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10 July 2004

Dear Sir or Madam,

Let me commend your organization for the very well designed and informative web page on livestock issues.

My name is Mario Ruiz; I retired as veterinarian from USDA-FSIS. Currently I work as HACCP consultant for the food industry in Merced and Stanislaus Counties, California Central Valley.

I am interested in starting a meat business by acquiring myself from stockyards good quality cattle, or steers for immediate slaughter at one of the plants, which I am assisting.

The reason for considering myself to start this business is the increased domestic demand for good quality meat, and a potential export possibility to Korea and Japan.

After completing a partial inquiring, on the pursuing of such endeavour, I understand that there are possibilities for a moderate profit along with risk. However, I would be grateful to you for a candid opinion on this matter. Thank you so much.

Yours truly,

Mario Ruiz, DVM, Ph.D.
I don't know to whom you are addressing this letter but the syntax is confusing. The useage of the word 'myself' seems to be incorrect English usage. I am not sure of this and would suggest you ask a professional secretary or perhaps an English teacher to go over the letter and make suggestions as to how to make your inquiry more clear.

Hope I have not offended you, just thought you posted the letter because you wanted some feedback.

Best of luck.

Agree with other respondent. Language is little confusing and doesn't sound like a cattle person. Are you from Nigeria by any chance....?

This is a discussion board. The "Dear Sir or Madam" is a little offbeat for us...
I would agree with the other posts, this does not sound like an american, even one of hispanic origin, if you want to go buy feeders from a feed yard, and sell they at a packer go do it, you don't need to ask us about it, JUST DO IT

Cash Talks BS walks
Well Mario, I don't think your question was all that difficult to understand and your English is pretty darned good, much better than my Spanish!; and keep in mind that I have virtually no experience in the phase of the cattle/meat business in which you are interested, so my opinions may be virtually without value; but, since you asked for a candid opinion, I'll just say that in my humble opinion you should FORGET ABOUT IT, at least for now.

Sorry, but offhand I have no idea what a "HACCP" consultant is. Have you had extensive experience, while working for others, at doing what you propose to now do yourself? I'd bet not --- but maybe that's what you're actually doing now as a consultant ???. And of course you have to realize that there are significant "economy of scale" issues, hedging issues, considerable uncertainty associated the US and foreign markets for beef due to the BSE problem (among other eonomic and political problems), etc., all of which seemingly would be important factors in your proposed business. Do you have a good group of advisors, partners and financial backers that are very well experienced in the cattle industry in general and particularly experienced in the feeding, slaughter, marketing and export phases of the business? Not to sound condescending, but if the answer to most of those questions is no, then what makes you think you can successfully compete against the huge companies that now dominate this particular phase of the cattle business?
All very good points, Arnold.

Mario, a few thoughts. Getting the fats is easy---if you've got the money. Getting them killed is easy---if you've got the money. Getting them processed is easy---if you've got the money.

The most difficult part of your project is on the selling end. Lots of competition in the export business. Some deep pockets to tangle with.

Lots of competition on the domestic front. Limited amount of room in the retail display case. Plan on paying a lot of money for a square foot of space in the meat case at your big retailers. Your up front money guarantees them that they won't have to participate in your losses.

If you've got all the money together to make it work, go for it! But only after you're positive about the commitments to get it gone.

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