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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

dish. “Eye-of-round is sought after for beef tartare because it has no fat in it,” Lockhart explains. “Tenderloin is also used, and sirloin can be if trimmed really well.” Jackson’s fi ne diners want delicious food presented ornately, and they want to learn about their foods’ origins. “People will look through a menu and order something just because it’s sourced locally,” Lockhart says, “rather than what they originally intended to eat.” The best marketing tool is ranch location abutting city limits: an eye-catching two-story red barn, Lockhart brand emblazoned white on the barn’s peak, surrounded by Hereford cattle grazing lush meadow. “But when my cows get out,” Lockhart says ruefully, “they aren’t in the neighbor’s pasture. They’re in Smith’s parking lot.” Last year, Lockhart Cattle Company discontinued registering their Herefords. Lockhart shares management decisions with his brother, who thought they might as well register the cows because they could. With beef sales growing, Lockhart suggested that not weighing calves and fi lling out registrations could gain effi ciency. “We decided we are in the beef business and not the cow business,” Lockhart says of the fi nal decision. “I raised those bulls, put horn weights on and ultrasounded them, and made no money. I was like, ‘It’s not even a hobby I want. I want to mountain bike, that’s a hobby… not a bull herd.’” Lockhart plans to cross breed to Red Angus bulls, and hopes to try Wagyu bulls in the future. “I want to cross my cows to Wagyu to see if it helps with marbling,” Lockhart says. “The problem is Wagyu aren’t a hardy breed and don’t weather as well as Angus or Hereford. “It’s fun to try new things, but it takes a long time. Once I buy new bulls it will be two years before their offspring are on the rail and I can evaluate beef quality. Then if I try different bulls, it will be fi ve years before I make major changes. And I want to be on the forefront of beef taste.” REFINING THE BUSINESS Lockhart sells 70 percent of his beef in the summer, and 30 percent in the slower winter months. Current sales do not balance the amount of work. “If I can fi gure out how to scale it for small margins, I have a shot,” Lockhart says. There is more demand than supply for Lockhart beef. Lockhart is penciling out how to run more cows and slaughter fi ve days a week. “I used to think one cow is the same work as 100 cows,” Lockhart says, “because they all need water and feed anyway, but that’s not true. Every cow is more work. Every beef slaughtered and every customer comes with more problems. “Every employee hired and every piece of infrastructure—I bought a freezer trailer to deliver meat—has complications. For the trailer, I need to work on the cooling unit, keep the tires blown up, and fi x the generator. At the farmers’ market, the tent blows away. At every step there’s something. It’s not about just buying more cows.” Value-added products, such as hot dogs and bratwurst, will reach a new market, but Lockhart needs to grow his beef herd fi rst. “I don’t have the AmproMed™ (amprolium) FOR CALVES Tackle coccidiosis with easy-to-use oral solution Economical - 1 gallon of oral solution treats 1,600 gallons of drinking water - Available in 16 fl oz or 1 gallon sizes Versatile - Approved for both Treatment AND Prevention of coccidiosis Convenient - Oral Solution disperses easily - Readily accepted by calves in the drinking water For more information visit our website BimedaUS.com AmproMed™ is NOT affected by the FDA's GFI 213. The Over the Counter (OTC) status will remain the same after January, 1 2017. Withdraw 24 hours before slaughter. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in pre-ruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. MAY CAUSE EYE IRRITATION. For irritation, flush with plenty of water; get medical attention. Sodium Benzoate 0.1% added as preservative. Restricted Drug (California) – Use Only as Directed. FOR ANIMAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE IN HUMANS. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. AmproMed is a trademark of Bimeda, Inc. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 I WORKING RANCH I 85


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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