THE DUST HAS SETTLED…
…and it’s now MUD! Since sale day we have had nearly 3” of rain at our place. I’m hearing amounts of up to 5” in some places in and near the county. God just stacked blessing upon blessing. We are pleased with the sale results and we now have enough moisture to get the grass going this spring (we had almost no subsoil moisture prior to this event). HIS mercy and grace never cease (even in trial which, interestingly enough, is when we grow closer to Him)! There is even grace in that this moisture came as rain and not snow. Some were not so fortunate. This winter has given me a new perspective and more appreciation for those producers who must function in extreme cold and snow conditions.
At our 4th annual ICE bull and bred heifer sale we sold 44 bulls for an average price of $3600+. We sold 60 heifers for an average price of $2100+. ICE bid on 3 bulls and got 2 of them and we bid on 36 heifers and got 27 of them. Our list of heifers to bid on was longer but we pared it down. It is a challenge to know how many replacements are needed. We CANNOT find females that fit our criteria anywhere else. Other seedstock producers won’t sell their females and even if they did we would have to go through the culling process of trimming cows that can’t make it in our program. If the demand for our bulls ever becomes such that we need to significantly expand the herd we may not offer our bred heifers for sale either. I don’t see that happening, however. I believe there is a win-win opportunity to offer every female for sale every year. Our females are a main reason several customers have returned to buy bulls. If a customer wants a female more than we do we both win. We had a handful of no-sale bulls and heifers but only 1 bull, lot #45, is left.
My aim is to never be “cheesy” or disingenuous regarding my faith and you may take the following as such but I genuinely want to acknowledge what God has done in and through this enterprise. I consider work-ethic and decision making and opportunity and ALL blessing to ALL be from His hand. All glory, praise, thanks and honor should be directed to Him. We have had what I would consider a relatively tough go of it since leaving Pharo Cattle Company, and though I hope we are not yet at the peak, this feels a lot better than the first 3 sales. It is genuinely pleasing to know that past customers like our products and that new customers are willing to give us a try. We take that trust very seriously and pray these cattle are pleasing and profitable for our customers. I believe a lot of programs are willing to sell subpar bulls and not stand behind them (your stories are too numerous to think otherwise). I also believe it is easier to satisfy a current customer than try to drum up new business. I am more than willing to aim to work out an unsatisfied customer’s complaint. We LOVE our customers! That doesn’t mean, however, that I will do whatever the customer wants. We strive to find a solution that will work for both sides. These sale results will not, nor will any ever, derail us from a tough program that culls problems so that only the cream is offered for sale. Our problems don’t become your problems, they become beef. The combination of genetics we have to offer paired with the program they are tested in is unmatched as far as I am aware.
Kristin gave me some interesting information. In our last PCC sale in 2017 we sold 71 bulls for an average price of $5500. In that program the CP (cooperative producer) gets 50% of the sale price so we averaged $2750 on the sale bulls. We had about 20 cull bulls which got sold as weigh up bulls for which we received $380 each. So, for the nearly 90 bulls we sold in ’17 we received an average price of about $2250. In that program the CP isn’t supposed to have any development or marketing expenses in exchange for 50% of the bull sale value. For three years we were not able to eclipse our previous sale average until now. By God’s grace, through our customer’s generosity, this sale can’t be classified as anything but excellent!
So, what does that all mean? At least 2 things: 1. We get to go back to work and do it all over again to prepare for next year. However, we do this with a little more enthusiasm knowing people are starting to see value in the ICE program. 2. THANK YOU!!! If you are a past or current customer it is really YOU who are making this possible. Clearly, for any business, no customers = no business.
Grace to you.