I can make money selling freezer beef

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HDRider

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I am still new to cattle. Some of you have spent a lifetime in this business, and have forgot more than I will ever know. I have now sold five calf crops.

Many of you know my opinion of how the cattle business is run. I think the deck is stacked very heavily against us. The processors own the market, they control the market as much as one can.

I have done everything I can do to keep operating expenses down. I do not include capital costs, or land in my profit loss calculation. I have sold at every weight class to feel out the market.

Feeder cattle are about $153 right now. 400# sells for $612.
Live cattle are $116. 1,000# sells for $1,160.

I can get $3.50 per pound hanging weight. 600# hanging sells for $2,100

Sure I do a little more work, but not much. Of course my expenses are a little higher, again, not that much.

I can make money selling freezer beef. The processors know that. They will do everything than can to squash small processing facilities to keep me down, and themselves up.

We need lots of new small processing plants brought online.
 
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bigbluegrass

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I think there are a few hurdles the freezer beef market needs to get over to really compete with the larger processors. One is small processing facilities, which you have already mentioned. Another is marketing. Farmers, generally speaking, aren't good at marketing. Another is the general public's perception. And finally is the availability. Most people don't want to buy a half a beef, they just want a few roasts or steaks and they will come back for the rest.

I think there is an opportunity here for some tech savy folks. What if there was something like an ebay or amazon for buying freezer beef? A consumer can go online and click and pay for a few cuts or as much as they want. Surely a computer program can figure out what parts and pieces to combine with orders and what to do with what is left and what there is a market for that would be the most profitable at that time. The farmer would get an email or ticket that says this beef is sold and needs to be delivered to this processor on this date (and here is your check). The processor gets an email or ticket that says what live animal is showing up on what date (here is your check for kill fee). Then 2 weeks later, the processor gets another email or ticket that says what the cuts are and where to ship each of them (and here is your check). Sellers of live animals could be rated. Processors could be rated. Consumers could select a beef from this farmer, to be processed at this processor and how much of what they want. Or they can select what is available to ship now. They can place an order for 2 weeks out, a month or next day, depending on how picky they are. Obviously, next day means the animal is already in the freezer and ready to be shipped. Certain farmers might get more for their products, others less. Same with processors. Nice thing about beef is you can always grind it into burger. Might not be the most profitable, but it will sell.

Now I am not a very savy business man for sharing this idea on a public forum... There would still be a lot of kinks to iron out. Maybe this is already going on and I just don't know about it..
 

504RP

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I am still new to cattle. Some of you have spent a lifetime in this business, and have forgot more than I will ever know. I have now sold five calf crops.

Many of you know my opinion of how the cattle business is run. I think the deck is stacked very heavily against us. The processors own the market, they control the market as much as one can.

I have done everything I can do to keep operating expenses down. I do not include capital costs, or land in my profit loss calculation. I have sold at every weight class to feel out the market.

Feeder cattle are about $153 right now. 400# sells for $612.
Live cattle are $116. 1,000# sells for $1,160.

I can get $3.50 per pound hanging weight. 600# hanging sells for $2,100

Sure I do a little more work, but not much. Of course my expenses are a little higher, again, not that much.

I can make money selling freezer beef. The processors know that. They will do everything than can to squash small processing facilities to keep me down, and themselves up.

We need lots of new small processing plants brought online.
Have you sold alot of freezer beef ?
 

Hardin Farms

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No. Last year was my first year doing it. I just sold two more, but the severe shortage of processors has made it all but impossible.
Could you explain the process of selling freezer beef? What weight do you sell at? Do you carry to processor and sell that way? Who pays to have processed?

Would love to go this route. The wife is excellent wt marketing. Would you ever benefit from opening your own processing facility? We have tons of deer processing facilities that pop up every fall around here.. how much difference would it be?
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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Could you explain the process of selling freezer beef?
Decide who your customer is.

For example
Grass Finished
Grain Finished
Halves/Wholes/Quarters/ By the piece
Find a processor (good luck)

What weight do you sell at?
I aim for 1,000 pounds

Do you carry to processor and sell that way?
I carry
Who pays to have processed?

Would love to go this route. The wife is excellent wt marketing.
The buyer pays for processing
Would you ever benefit from opening your own processing facility?
Big bucks, like $400 to $500 per square foot
We have tons of deer processing facilities that pop up every fall around here.. how much difference would it be?
Here a guy that does deer is called a custom processor, and can do hogs, beef, etc. They can only process for the owner of the animal. No by-the-piece sales, the opposite of a USDA processor.


This guy in NC has it nailed
 

504RP

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No. Last year was my first year doing it. I just sold two more, but the severe shortage of processors has made it all but impossible.
Do you think the shortage of processors will get worse and that their prices to process will start going up because there are more and more people coming to them ?
 

Hardin Farms

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Decide who your customer is.

For example
Grass Finished
Grain Finished
Halves/Wholes/Quarters/ By the piece
Find a processor (good luck)


I aim for 1,000 pounds


I carry

The buyer pays for processing

Big bucks, like $400 to $500 per square foot

Here a guy that does deer is called a custom processor, and can do hogs, beef, etc. They can only process for the owner of the animal. No by-the-piece sales, the opposite of a USDA processor.


This guy in NC has it nailed
Great info!

so how do you get the money for the animal? Do you put a per pound price?
 

Dave

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Over the years I have done a lot of direct sales. Started with the first one I raised while in grade school. By the time I graduated from high school I had done enough to pay for my first two years of college. I always sold halves and quarters. The ones I did as a high school senior I got $0.73 a pound hanging. The last year I put an effort into it was 2012. I got $3.00 a pound. That year I did 18 steers. For me the biggest hassle was dealing with the people. Not everyone you deal with will be happy.
 

TCRanch

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@HDRider I belong to a Facebook group, Shop Kansas Farms. Ranches/Farms across the state are selling beef, cheese, vegetables, chicken, eggs - you name it. And the ones selling have had huge success. Plus, phenomenal advertising, by way of online reviews. Yes, getting booked at the processor can be over a year wait, but at least in the middle of the USA, people are willing to pay more for farm-to-table. Might see if there's something similar in your area.

BTW, I haven't sold anything, but have purchased, just based on the reviews. Perry's Pork Rinds? Cheese curds? Who knew?!
 

shaz

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Do you think the shortage of processors will get worse and that their prices to process will start going up because there are more and more people coming to them ?
There was a government program for small processors. We have a new facility in Lincoln county just opened. Maybe more will follow.
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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@HDRider I belong to a Facebook group, Shop Kansas Farms. Ranches/Farms across the state are selling beef, cheese, vegetables, chicken, eggs - you name it. And the ones selling have had huge success. Plus, phenomenal advertising, by way of online reviews. Yes, getting booked at the processor can be over a year wait, but at least in the middle of the USA, people are willing to pay more for farm-to-table. Might see if there's something similar in your area.

BTW, I haven't sold anything, but have purchased, just based on the reviews. Perry's Pork Rinds? Cheese curds? Who knew?!
I admin a FB page called Arkansas Farm to Family
 

sstterry

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There was a government program for small processors. We have a new facility in Lincoln county just opened. Maybe more will follow.
I think there was limited money in that program. My guy wanted to expand and get another cooler ect. I think they ran out of money before he could qualify.
 

Dave

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There is a start up here called Elkhorn Meat Solutions. They do the selling and take care of the money collection. They are marketing and financial professionals. They work with both grain and grass fed. Fat steers and burger cows. They sell and deliver the meat to the coast where the high populations live. They need a couple months notice of approximately when the animals will be ready to go. They pay the ranchers $3.00 a pound hanging. The customers pay $3.50 plus the processing. They take the $0.50 for their services. It seems to be going . I hope it flies. I know a banker who left his 15 year career to join this team.
 

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