Practically Ranching

#24 - Lamar Steiger - The Cattleman and Walmart

November 02, 2022 Matt Perrier Season 1 Episode 24
#24 - Lamar Steiger - The Cattleman and Walmart
Practically Ranching
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Practically Ranching
#24 - Lamar Steiger - The Cattleman and Walmart
Nov 02, 2022 Season 1 Episode 24
Matt Perrier

Lamar Steiger is a consultant to Walmart and other businesses in the beef supply chain. He owns The 808 Ranch in southwest Missouri and calls the Bentonville, AR, area home today. 
Lamar is a lifelong student of the beef industry and today uses this perspective to help retail companies find new and better ways to manage the beef supply chain and deliver consistent, high-quality beef to consumers. 


Show Notes Transcript

Lamar Steiger is a consultant to Walmart and other businesses in the beef supply chain. He owns The 808 Ranch in southwest Missouri and calls the Bentonville, AR, area home today. 
Lamar is a lifelong student of the beef industry and today uses this perspective to help retail companies find new and better ways to manage the beef supply chain and deliver consistent, high-quality beef to consumers. 


Matt:

Hello. And thanks once again for joining us for episode 24 of practically ranching. I'm your host, Matt Perrier and today's guest is Lamar Steiger. Lamar works as a consultant for Walmart and several other companies in the beef supply chain development. Uh, Lamar advises them and advises ranchers in ways that we can best supply folks like Walmart and other stores with a consistent high quality product. I E beef. And hopefully continue to grow that market for high quality beef. Lamar grew up in the beef industry. I was born on ranch in Wyoming. Uh, his family then moved to Arkansas and, and Lamar has a very, very interesting, perspective. Not just on retail, supply chains, not just on the beef industry, but on both and on all things in between and, and Lamar. Takes that experience that he's had, and he puts that into practice for his clients. And I think quite often for us as producers as well. There'll be some things that we talk about on this podcast. That'll, that'll make a lot of us, maybe a little uncomfortable. Uh, when we'd start talking about data and dollars tied to that, when we start talking about technologies like blockchain and RFIDs and, and a national ID program. And. And using data to track beef and to track cattle and things like that. But it's one of those conversations that is hard as it is to have, and to listen to. It's probably that much more important for us to think about and to position ourselves, to be in the best place as we go forth in this beef industry to growing a business and, and competing with those businesses around us. Uh, really, really enjoyed this conversation again, it's one of those that, that I looked forward As we created practically ranching. And I think again, as as much of a paradigm shift, as it may be for a few of us, Uh it's a really good one to listen to so as always thank you for listening to practically ranching and enjoy our visit with lamar steiger.

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Well, Lamar, thank you for joining us here on Practically Ranching. I appreciate you being here today. Tell us where you're coming from and what you've been up to so far this morning.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Hi, Matt. uh, it's good to be with you. and in my office in Bentonville, Arkansas. I've lived in Bentonville since 1970. Came originally down here from a ranch in Wyoming. And this morning I had coffee with a great friend who is, uh, part of Pioneer Bible translators, and he uh, raising money to translate the Bible world.

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wow, that's great. As many times as the Bible has been translated, you would think that we were there, but, obviously, there are some parts of the world that still have yet to see it in their language.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

They are, within 25 having every translated largely due you and I are on today, amazing, technology that we get to

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technology, Well, I guess proof positive that, as much as sometimes technology seems to be from the devil, uh, that we can use it for good.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Absolutely. I think

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think about that often. You're exactly

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

People are figuring out how to good. You're exactly

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That's good. good. Well, speaking of doing things for good, give us a little history about your life and, and I guess specifically as it pertains to, to the beef industry, but, um, us up to today and, or at least the last several years. And then, uh, we'll drill down a little deeper on what it is you've been doing here. Most.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Okay.

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Well, uh, as I mentioned, we were, our family was originally

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

northeast Wyoming.

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my grandfather,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

had bought a, uh, pretty good size cattle ranch in the Black Hills back in the early hundreds. And then my

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my dad Wasd, going out there.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Wisconsin every summer. And after World War ii, he took it over and my one guys in the country to use, uh, technology and the beef He was a original founder of, uh, Beef Improve, or not beef improvement, but the predecessor to beef improvement. The, uh, God, the initials, I can't remember, but he

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Probably the B C I A.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that's.

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that sound familiar?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

You're exactly Uh, uh, and then he was one of the first guys to use, uh, ai, uh, artificial insemination.

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And, uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

used, uh,

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our way

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and,

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and.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and siminal way back in the early sixties and kind of played around with all that and decided he liked the char cattle

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Was

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

his horned herford, uh, herd. From that to Charle, we moved to, uh, he was in a really bad farm

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in

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

1966, he

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his, stepped in back

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

stepped in, tripped, and fell into

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step,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

at the base of

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the wow,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

he survived and, but his knee and his, uh, a really hurt After that, the cold weather pretty hard on him. 1970, we moved south and bought a little ranch outside of Bentonville, Arkansas

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Arkansas and started to build our ranch here

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Arkansas, just about the

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and all kinds of Walmart.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

was almost what they

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you can today. I, not this same ranch

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

he bought for 50, almost Matt and, um, and, uh, have

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years'. Watch.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh,

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Walmart,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and my,

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your father-in-law

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one of the senior executives at Walmart and so kind of

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had a, had a front row

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

as him. He also owned, owned a black Angus ranch, uh, Jack's Ranch, which is

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sure.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And I ran Jack's ranch during the eighties and nineties and, and I

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travel with him, Walmart,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And, uh, he and the team built Walmart. And,

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and then he

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

retired and traveled the world, consulting in retail. And,

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and,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

actually helped a young man or man my age, young man, uh,

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and we're gonna go with that.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in the early two thousands, a guy named Greg for, uh, in merchandising and retail. And when Greg became uh, CEO of Walmart, US in, uh, the early teens, 2013, somewhere in there. Greg

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asked me to come help,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to

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uh, Walmart.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

with their, uh, their beef

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Supply chain

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And so I,

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um, to say that I was a rancher

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

who

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got involved the supply chain,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

beef. Uh,

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but now I say

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of a

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supply chain

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

who happens to have a as And I have really and been privileged to have this door to the entire beef supply chain from genetics all the

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the way through to the counter

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the, the frustrations that those of us who

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with both

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

are,

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are often

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

same frustrations the folks that are trying to sell our meat for us. And so it's been fun

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to have that.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

big, wide view of the entire which I don't think a lot of us really have.

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I've learned that, uh, both personally, just how. I know about the other aspects of our industry. Um, but I think any, anywhere you go in the beef industry, there's, there's varying levels of understanding, and that is in each segment. Um, I've, I've mentioned that Amy and I got the opportunity to go to the certified Angus Beef, uh, annual convention or conference, uh, a month or so ago. And, and in talking with those folks who process, deliver, sell our product, prepare our product, you know, I think the biggest difference between them and and us is neither of us know what the other one does day to day, but they have an incredible amount of desire to learn about our part. And I think sometimes as ranchers, we are maybe a little guilty of just the opposite. Wanting to know, I shouldn't say it that way, but, but not having the desire to know what it is that, that is a challenge for that chef or that retail grocery store owner or, or that packer processor for sure. And then, um, that's, that's sometimes challenging. it's always challenging to, uh, when we can't put ourselves in their shoes to understand what it is they're going through and why they want what they want from our product or from our structure or from that supply chain you mentioned.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, you're exactly right. But, but on the other hand, I mean, there's so many of us in the cattle few hundred thousand and, and sometimes you see different data on how many people own 50 cows or more, and or 700,000 for sure. There are a lot of folks that are

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Very

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and

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progress. Very much.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

ranchers who really want to produce what customers want to eat. And uh, one of the early

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Beings that I had, now's

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

one of'em who's not a meat guy, but he's a grocer executive, that he's like, Lamar, I of another that produces a product that don't want. And that teeth get the products, the way that the customer wants

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from, And there's so much of

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

produce in this business that what the customers are asking for. Uh, but yet because com, those different interests, different incentives for different parts and different segments of our supply chain, it's in their best along the supply chain to, to do things that are not necessarily in the best of the grocer and his ability to sell his or her ability to sell, sell the meat the customers want.

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So when you talk about producing things that the consumer, the customer doesn't want be specific, what is it you're talking there?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I is, and I've worked with with Walmart for quite

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town. I've also

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

been exposed to grocers worldwide and, uh, and

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you have the chance

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to

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to the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

a folks that are in that end of the industry. And I think the one the most obvious that's so

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the hard to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to

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try their out.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the size of these carc. And so, you know,

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know, when I take a Walmart

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to a uh, a sale, an auction for bulls, is pounding

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the table

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

His desk

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up there and he's pounding it and Hey, look at the size rip on this by.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

d. It's huge. Like,

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This is fantastic what you live on.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Well, the, the American

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Americans' love

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

huge rib end, uh, steakhouse. when I city and I get to go to one fabulous steakhouses, then

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by golly,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

hoping that my tomahawk and my rib is so impressive that I take a picture and put it on Instagram. But yet

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the grocer

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

consumer, the consumer that's out there beef, uh, from the grocery after week after week, can't afford. A rib that's that big that rib is cut so thin. And

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what the problem is

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the grocers is that this ribeye will come in so big

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So that, uh, order

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

meet that that particular grocer, and Whole Foods or an heb or a

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likewhatever,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

all those know what price point their are willing to pay and at what price point it goes over that they're not willing to pay, which is really hurtful to their

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therapist. Sure. And

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in order to meat is sold by the pound, then what they have to do is they have to have their case ready facilities cut that ribeye thinner and thinner. And call it, uh, Matt, I call it cooking abuse, is that, there are a lot of folks that take a stake home I have been to my friend's houses, Throw a steak on the grill and I'm like, Holy smokes. Like, let me take that off now. And I, but you kind of hold your tongue, right? You don't, you don't get into another guy's grilling

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be, be, be respectful. Lamar

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

yeah, there's a lot of, there's a lot of cooking abuse that goes on, and it's especially that way on thin, thin cuts.

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Right. So you know the thes

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the, that want at, um, at, at a Walmart and other mainline grocery stores are a lot smaller

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the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that are coming off. competing interest and, and incentive is

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Pack

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

they make bigger carcasses,

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Sure, sure. They get paid more

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

then all throughout this entire supply chain, we buy and sell our cattle on weight. And so, uh, and so until the incentives are changed, you know, then it's just a real frustration for the grocers. When they have to figure out what to do with these ribs that are too big for the tray. Like Walmart doesn't have butchers in their, in their stores. And so they have case ready plants around the country that they either own or that they with that puts that, that meat on a, on a tray, a styrofoam tray, styrofoam until they come up with something better. Uh, but oftentimes, I mean, those, those ribeyes are so big that they kind of go over the edge of the rib eye and customers look at that and they just don't buy it. They just don't buy

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I not only

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customer not buying it retail, but then the, the

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is the tell.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

it down on day three or four in the store. And so they're taking a loss, beyond the fact that it didn't sell a retail. Now they have to take a loss on it to get it, to get it sold. And so it's just this continual cycle of, of, just dysfunction really.

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So from a retailer's standpoint, you would say that the number one, or at least one of the drivers of things that consumers don't want are bigs?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, So, and that speaks to, uh, bigger than just

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Yeah. Big carcass. We would love to have.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in the size.

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Okay.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in the size. And you know, one, one of the merchants told me that when we high, when we buy shirts, flannel shirts, that we order x number of thousands, hundreds of thousands of larges. And that company does not ship us extra smalls and extra larges when we order large

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right.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And so it's this, it's just this real issue that we have with inconsistency in the size of our,

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This your size in quality,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of our product. And so

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the merchant

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

puts in

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in an order with with,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

plant partner. And the I'm sure is trying their best to fill that order, which would be a

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will rise

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

a cut of steak that fits in

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aray the

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then

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as those cattle come

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and they're all different sizes and they're all different, uh, different, uh, consistencies and, and then, and

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It's, and

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all,

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then those packers have

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best they can to fill that because

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our industry

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

so, broad and and wide

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on

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

kinds of different sizes, all kinds of different types of cattle, all different ways that fed It's

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really

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to meet the consumer's demand. And,

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far of.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

recently I was with some grocers that were

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We're talking about

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

this time, uh, of uncertainty

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in the I

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Customers that they getting a of beef. And if

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if they're we

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then they a cheaper protein next time and

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probably

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the recession is,

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Is I

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

whatever. economic that we're in, uh,

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This,

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straightens out. Because,

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uh, if theyre gonna pay.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

for beef prices, then they, uh, fully expect to be fully satisfied with a great cut of meat. And when they're not, they just switch out.

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Yep. It's the market and it's what we should expect. I mean, if we're consumer focused, we need to realize that yeah, they're gonna vote with those dollars. And it's been really good, the fact that they voted with those dollars over the last decade or two and proven that they want premium beef and they're willing to pay a premium price. When the economics turn down and or when, um, when we miss the mark on what it is they're expecting, then yeah, there's, there's gonna be a consequence. And, and we've always known that, they're gonna, they're gonna trade to something else. And it sounds like instead of trading to a little cheaper cut of beef or a lower grade or a non-branded type program, um, they may be trading clear outside of the, outside of the species. And that's, that's not good for any of us as farmers and ranchers.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah. Um, opt, oftentimes when I bring this up about the size of the ribeye people and just, this happened to me last week, when I was traveling with some, uh, and some folks from New Zealand and, and

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we were in New York, but they were like,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

why don't you just cut the ribeye, off the ribeye, and then you'll get

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But now that is,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

can get it can get it thicker. But

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can get merchants Tell me

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

if a rib doesn't look like a rib eye, uh, and the lysis cut off, they switched to pork.

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that. Wow. And so

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customers kind of when they see it, and, uh,

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want. They can't,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

interesting, Matt, I

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they just,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customers can't explain to us what they want, they

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look at a shelf

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

meat and they can pick out the one that they want, but they really can't articulate it as what it is they're looking for. But if it

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me looks like a rib. Uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and, uh,

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and merchants that I've with tried,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to cut the

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a box if

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

cut smaller so that they, they could cut it thicker and, and ha and, and hopefully then provide that customer with a better eating experience. But customer

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customer just, uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

abandon that product. together,

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Yeah. I remember. Retail meat, consumer purchase data. I can't remember exactly what they call this, but basically they interviewed consumers, asked them what they wanted to buy, and then mapped that over what was actually in their cart and that they actually purchased at the at the counter, and it was rarely the same. You know, they'd say one thing and then they'd go do another. But that's interesting. You know, for the longest time, I was of the mind that if it makes more economic sense and it's more efficient to produce, Bigger ribeyes, heavier carcasses, et cetera, et cetera. Yeah. Just split the ribeye and, and obviously it's not as easy as cutting it in half, but you know, there's a lot of work being done on new product development and things to, to trim that spins off, which is being done. And a and a food service is worth an immense amount of money higher, way higher than just the rib I would be. And then you have what's left as I think a lot of times they'll call it the rib foa or something like that. Restaurants and, and chefs can, can sell that and can tell that story. It's a little tougher when, like you said, it looks about like a pork chop, so why wouldn't I just buy a half price piece of meat here? And so I hadn't thought about that in the retail case. It's, it is harder to tell that story and why we are doing what we're doing.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, I the big supermarket chains are, are not the place to convince customers of new products. Uh, you know, and, and they can do a little bit of that, but, uh, but if we're gonna reeducate, let's say, or, or not reeducate, let's just say educate customers

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Uh, about

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I think most'em are uh,

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educated. And I said, That's not thes. I, that's our fault.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

an industry.

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And, uh, if we're gonna do that, I think it's

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

as you said, with restaurants and butcher shops and,

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then once,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

gets popular, then the mega grocery stores,

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take that. So I think the trik knit

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

example you know,

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30 years ago, Tri-tech school thing,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

only happening in California and, Oklahoma Rancher who had moved from California and he always did this tri-tip thing, and it was like, Oh, this is so awesome. This is so much fun. When we'd go visit him, and now, you know, I think.

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it's probably,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

anywhere and everywhere you have Tri-Tip, that's a long process and it doesn't solve the problem that the merchants, the grocers have today.

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Yeah, as an aside, the flat iron stake is something that's interesting to me. You know, that was pieced out I think as part, as part of NC b's, um, new product development, gosh, 20 years ago. And, and that was one, at least on a regional scale. We've got Dylan's stores here in Kansas. They're owned by Kroger, but Dylan's would have probably once or twice a month they would feature flat iron stakes and I mean at a good price and they would sell the tar out of them truckload after truckload. I've noticed post pandemic, and I actually had a neighbor of mine ask, Why can't I buy a flat iron at Dylan's anymore? And I would presume, and you may know this from working with different, uh, different clients, I would presume that's a labor situation in the plant. And they have said, We don't have enough people to get these cattle. Process that takes a lot of extra knife work. The flat iron is probably still being part of that roast that, that it had been for decades or centuries and not being cut out. Or at least it looks like Dylan's stores aren't, aren't featuring that like they used to.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And I think that's one example. But in general, think that that every, all the merchants in all the restaurant,

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They had to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

they during the pandemic. simplify.

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Sure. Really had

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

simplify your supply chain and, and things and upcoming

Track 1:

and things. You try, I'll

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

on ho

Track 1:

probably talk on hold,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

as we come out of all that and they get their labor situation out, and, and all maybe we can get back, back to that, but just goes to show that even with developing new products from our existing carcass, that when push comes to shove and when ti things get tight, customers kind of have their basic And uh, and they may have things outside of the basics that they might go to at a butcher shop or at a restaurant, but when they go into a Dylan's or a Kroger, Safeway, Walmart, they, they pretty well are, you know, they, they know what they want and they're pretty simple and, and the cuts that they know and, and appreciate.

Track 1:

And that makes sense. I, I think some of our listeners that are listening to this podcast on back of a horse or in a pickup or something else would say, Yeah, I get it. I mean, you look at input prices and, uh, drought and some things like that. We're, we're going back to basics in a lot of, uh, a lot of the management techniques that we're using in the cow calf and, and feed yard world as well. Just, just to try to make sure that we can do as much as we can with, with, um, with what we have.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yep.

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So let's go back after we have figured out that consumer. Preference on, on ribeye size, let's say for instance. and like you said, if they make that major purchase of a ribeye steak, get it home and it doesn't meet their expectations, they may trade down. What is the next level after, as you said, consistency of size in the ribeye, for instance, or all any of these cuts of, of of beef that they're buying? What's their next level of? Did we meet expectations or not?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, and this one is, I think, interesting. It's, I, I.

Track 1:

Interest

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

work with grocers and merchants. I'm not, I'm not at the front table, but are at the front counter. But I do note the next thing that I hear them talk about a lot is, uh, and what's really important to, like my friends at Walmart, is the eating experience. And so eating experience would, would probably, uh, I think

Track 1:

I

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

are talking about the tender. And a taste, which is enough marbling.

Track 1:

Part and,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and, and in there with, uh, something,

Track 1:

I don't want to be

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

critical

Track 1:

critical, the,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

chain because

Track 1:

I think,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Matt, like your family and others that are in the genetics end of this business have done

Track 1:

done an amazing job,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

over

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uh, 20

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of really improving the eating

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Really

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

for,

Track 1:

vast of,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

go through the supply chain that was not there. And it goes to intensity that you've done and in, and those of us in the pure bread business have done with, uh, with genetics and EPDs

Track 1:

adding to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and

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really

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the pencil on the number of that, uh, that.

Track 1:

than, uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and, and even better. that has really improved the eating experience across the board. Uh, and doom and gloom. I don't want to come across as saying that's what the customer or the, uh, the grocers are saying,

Track 1:

but it's when that,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

not, when those pieces are inconsistent that fit the eating experience that, um, that the customer asking the merchants for.

Track 1:

and quite often that that eating experience, like you said, it's, it's based off tenderness and taste

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yes. then again,

Track 1:

and then actually the Yeah. Yeah.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

somebody, somebody can cook a meat well or not, know? So, um,

Track 1:

not well

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

another factor. Yeah.

Track 1:

especially, uh, yeah. Especially not when it's a half inch thick. Yeah. And, and I've heard it said before, I think we all have that quite often for that consumer that's not able to cook it just Right. Marbling is not only a taste attribute, but it's an insurance policy. If you've got enough marbling in there, they can go a little too far, they can get to one 50, or hopefully not one 60 degrees doneness. And it's, it's not gonna be complete shoe leather. Um, it would've been a whole lot better at 1 35 or one 40, but, um, you know, that, that is a bit of an insurance policy to basically help lubricate that beef that was probably cooked a little too far. So that, that's one nice thing.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and then the next one I would add on there is price.

Track 1:

Okay.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

so when you have price, eating experience and uh, and size, then

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Those three things, Heather

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customers, uh, choose our product over pork and they choose chicken

Track 1:

goes, and that I watch the industry.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

my entire and especially in the last few years, I really am a big believer that we lot of the problems that we're having of bringing, uh, the carcasses up through the chain

Track 1:

about all the way

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

grocer with It's that the, the

Track 1:

industry that when

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the ones that figure out how to get rid of the, the, uh, like if you look at a bell curve, you, you kind of both ends of the bell curve and you those cattle that fit the upper two thirds choice.

Track 1:

and that's

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

really

Track 1:

really clear.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customers, whether they shop at Walmart or heb, that's where of do their bread and butter. Beef upper through thirds choice. Now, you might buy prime when you're night. Like I have some really good friends that I, some young men I mentor in their thirties, and they'll find that, that, uh,

Track 1:

that Maha occupants,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

a blue tray at Walmart, which is Prime,

Track 1:

they'll send pictures

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

me and they're having four or five of their best friends over, and they're gonna have this big state cookout. But third's choice is kind of the middle of the bell curve of what we, what we really want. And

Track 1:

in order to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

with the, the, the,

Track 1:

the not

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And to know which ones are the ones that are better is we really, just hoping that we as an industry will start

Track 1:

about,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh, the

Track 1:

tools that's taking in order.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

track data. And, and what that really starts with is e i d tags or, or there's some new technology that may be out there where they can photograph individual cattle and,

Track 1:

And so we make

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I've,

Track 1:

recognition if the,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

are working on that. and whether it's nose i d or whatever, is, is

Track 1:

it's, we an

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

need to kind of go back and, and that if we can

Track 1:

in

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Track cattle and then add to that genetics that are in that cattle eventually.

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in

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

way out there and I know it's really hard for a lot of us to, to get our minds around,

Track 1:

those are

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that are gonna help us to narrow down the outliers that don't appeal to the customers. And, um, you know,

Track 1:

thes when we, when I

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

around the country and speak to groups and I talk about individual ID and all, it reminds me of when I traveled with my father-in-law, Matt, in the early eighties, my father-in-law came up with the idea for the barcode. And he was a senior Walmart executive. He was president of Walmart and he he

Track 1:

He up with it.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and he got together with a supplier that made Hoy.

Track 1:

They went

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

MIT and they told those scientists at mit, we don't know what we want, but we want something that we can track items individually by the box.

Track 1:

to and

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and

Track 1:

uh, they rolled back

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

out, it's very familiar to what I hear about e i d Well,

Track 1:

recently or ized

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

pay for it. Well,

Track 1:

something else get was,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

on that off. We don't, There's all these obstacles and challenges to, to individual idea of cattle, but

Track 1:

But the win on

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

on on was that were unimaginable in 1980. When he traveling the country. And by sheer force of his was a big guy with a big By sheer force of his big personality, he really drove barcode. And, and him standing in line with him at a ski lift and he said, Someday, uh, you know, you're through a ski lift line and you're gonna do a barcode. And we were like,

Track 1:

my wife was like,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that's the silliest thing, you know, I've ever heard. he was a visionary for this. And so

Track 1:

just

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

think we're just a, a dec few decades behind the rest of all supply chains, every supply chain in the world is becoming where they can either track and trace it by lot number, uh, like, like a pallet of lettuce,

Track 1:

where.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Track and trace it through the box, through a barcode and now the QR code. we as an industry, if we

Track 1:

Figure out how to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

it will pay long term. Now, it may seem painful, just

Track 1:

It's like the folks, the folks that

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Kleenex for Walmart or producing paper and they were like,

Track 1:

towel, we're not gonna go.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the expense of putting a barcode on this box. Like, this is not,

Track 1:

We're just

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And he was like, No, you will.

Track 1:

not gonna, I think

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

we don't, as an industry, Matt, embrace getting a handle on what our supply chain really is and fixing the problems along the way,

Track 1:

I think

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

it'll be forced on us by the grocers. And the grocers will in

Track 1:

our supply chain

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

we're gonna wanna know

Track 1:

than we know.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And that starts with track and tracing. And I, I, I think I on a rant here, but I just think it's so important to solve the problems that we were talking about at the grocery end.

Track 1:

Well, don't apologize for the rant because as I've said before, that's where the best discussions usually take place, at least on this podcast. And, and I think any place else, if we're really honest. so you mentioned the logistics challenges of, of, let's just narrow it down to R F I D because everybody knows what one is. A lot of people are at least using it in some way, shape or form or, or familiar with it. Um, I, my opinion, and it has been since we started talking about some form of a universal identification program for beef cattle, 20 years ago, by the way. I mean, I was going to these meetings in 2001 when I worked for the Angus Association. And we heard the same roadblocks then that we're here and now. the logistical challenges, at some point that calf is either gonna be roped or he is gonna be through a shoot before he leaves that ranch of origin. 90% of the cattle, I think today are so, I think the logistical challenges are not insurmountable. I think where we run into a roadblock, as you have mentioned, and, and, and made analogous to the barcode scans and the suppliers to Walmart or anyone else that was saying, We'd like you to do this. It is, what information am I giving up? And so I guess I'd, I'd ask you that question both. What are the biggest, put your cowboy hat back on, put, put yourself in in your dad's place in Wyoming as he is adopting technologies. But going, okay, what are the downsides? What are the risks here? So from a producers standpoint, what are the risks that you see there? But then what are the opportunities from a producers standpoint? Not for Walmart, not for Safeway, not for Tyson Cargill national, whomever. Um, what are the opportunities to the beef cattle producers? And then maybe we can talk how this supply chain kind of comes together in your world. Yeah, yeah. I totally get

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and I understand the issues with what we're giving up and, and that there's, there's fear number one, and number two, it's kind of like privacy, right?

Track 1:

the right. I don't want

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to know And

Track 1:

So I think the difference

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in,

Track 1:

now is that we need to do that.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and the difference now is blockchain. And I think if you think back four or five years ago, every newspaper article had somebody financing a blockchain company. And it was exciting and it was really cool and this was gonna be great. And then all those companies got a bunch of money and then they kind of had to try to figure out how to make it work. And so it all went not completely silent, but you just don't hear about a lot. on. My son Eli, uh, lives in Denver and he runs a blockchain team for Walmart.

Track 1:

And they're,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

process of, of tracking and tracing leafy vegetables, fruits, that kind of stuff. And

Track 1:

it actually

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of works. is a blockchain would allow a rancher identify the cattle, to identify the

Track 1:

data points that are important

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and to such a way

Track 1:

way that their privacy

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and protects their, uh, the integrity of their information how they to other ranches and all. And that that all is part of a block. And block is a, is and then permissions are giving given to use certain amount of different ways along the supply chain. And

Track 1:

so I think new way and

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I'm not a and if my son was on the. Podcast, he could explain it a lot better. But the, the, uh, challenges we've been talking about doing for like most of your life and most of my

Track 1:

right.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

this supply chain is, are,

Track 1:

Have been

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh, legitimate challenge to ranchers. And so I think this new technology with blockchain where you can share needs to be shared, but keep private who you are

Track 1:

new private

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

your own data that you don't want then on the other, Of that, then

Track 1:

then supply chain could

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

data back to you in a block where you get the actual, you get a lot more information on how your calves have done.

Track 1:

where you,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

not shared publicly. That's just shared in your block, in part of this big supply. And then can make

Track 1:

of monuments,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh, by getting rid of the bottom 10% of your

Track 1:

cattle, and really know.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

which ones are the ones to call and which ones are the ones you think maybe we think we should call. And so I and, and it might be that you find somebody for a podcast, uh, that's a blockchain, um,

Track 1:

technology,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

can kind of, uh, kind of explain this a little better than I.

Track 1:

well, I think that 30,000 foot view is, is probably best for right now. But that gives us, that gives us an idea, uh, up to this point for the most part, with the exception of a few programs. If, and let's just talk about Carcas data. If a cow calf producer wants to get data back on their pro, on their steers that they retained ownership on and sent the feed yard, that's about the best. And the only way to get that back is to own them, or at least a portion of them, all the way to the, to the, uh, packing processor plant. And, um, today there's a few programs and you work with one. I know that, that we'll offer some of that data back without having skin in the game, uh, which is commendable because, you know, there is that risk. Cattle went up there and graded 40%, 50% prime, and a hundred percent c, a b. you're probably gonna own those cattle next year and, and, and, not let somebody else get all the good out of that. But I think there's value in that. But there is a price, both buyer and seller, to not only putting that tag in and conveying and, and checking those boxes of, of what on this blockchain is shareable and with whom and what is not. But there's also, I think, value in that information to the next person who owns it, whether it's the feed yard buying those caves, whether it's the pack and processor buying those carcasses or, or cattle, um, the retailer, food service, buying those cuts. There's value with that information. And I, I foresee, and I guess I'd like to get your feedback, but I foresee a day where premiums and discounts aren't necessarily assessed on the cattle or the carcass. But the information that is provided, uh, not just what that Carcas did, but maybe what last year's carcasses did when we value those feeder camps, and, uh, there's some talk about that in the industry. Tell me how you see that happening in our segmented industry of today. Um, where the lion's share of calves get sold at or shortly after weaning may get traded a couple times before they finally hit the feed yard, then possibly get sold on a value-based grid to the processor and parceled out and sold as, as boxed beef to whomever it is. That's, that's taken it from there. Ken can blockchain and can a true value based system assess equitably and. Properly assess value all the way back through that? Or are we going to need to see more and more cattle retained ownership all the way through to actually get those premiums back to the, the guy or gal who bought the bulls and raised the calves.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, I think to the basic probably both. my son, who's the blockchain guy, he's, he says that uh, being in a blockchain will be your permission to do With a supply chain. And outside or outside of

Track 1:

system, light chain

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

will be, cost. I think eventually down the road.

Track 1:

there've gotta a bigger

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of participating,

Track 1:

what that is with, uh, with whatever technology and

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

keeping that you have to order to be a part of a supply chain. And,

Track 1:

And so,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the, the, you know,

Track 1:

just so.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the barcode. There's a cost

Track 1:

Barcode's, the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

There's a pro all that without that today, you don't get to be a part of a supply chain. I mean,

Track 1:

mean, there's, there's, that's your a product,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh,

Track 1:

in Hardboard box builder, which, which

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

manufactured

Track 1:

without a barcode.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

it. Right? And and so,

Track 1:

I think that'ss

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

cost, is the cost is worse by not participating in a supply chain and not trying to get on board with trying

Track 1:

figure out

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

how to get the customers what And

Track 1:

so there's a whole nother factor

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that plays into this, is that the American consumer not only wants premium,

Track 1:

that they want the grocery

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

They want their

Track 1:

store that

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

where from, and they want them to know

Track 1:

bes all

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

steps along the as far as what it, what was done everything from humane

Track 1:

handling that.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to be the, your ranch is BQA

Track 1:

could, could

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

part of the information in that. And how,

Track 1:

how else would

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

kept up through the supply chain that you as a rancher, were b q a certified if, uh, we're not recording that in some way in a blockchain or in some way along along the and consumers, uh, they wanna know the animal,

Track 1:

are they, Well,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

wanna know,

Track 1:

uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the animals know what if they've had growth hormones. They wanna know all these things. And,

Track 1:

hormones

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

want

Track 1:

necessarily all the way

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

individual ranchers, Matt, they wanna, they, what we've discovered is that they wanna know that their that their grocery store knows. And

Track 1:

and so,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh,

Track 1:

so the.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

are trying to figure out how do they build the trust of their supply? Um, so that they can look their, their customer in the eye and they say, We know that our animal were blank. Uh, let's say Sid, they did not have, implants. Which,

Track 1:

whether that's

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

or a bad thing or not

Track 1:

good. Yeah.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

What customers, customers want, right? And, and,

Track 1:

uh, every

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that

Track 1:

manufacturers any

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

probably

Track 1:

probably product that they would to one

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

but customers want it in another way. so,

Track 1:

you know,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

smart

Track 1:

grow or products

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customers actually want.

Track 1:

As you're describing this, the whole thought of consumers not necessarily knowing the individual place that this animal came off of, but know that their supplier, Walmart, Costco, Dylan, Safeway. Knows where it came from and that's enough. Uh, I chuckle because number of years ago, 10 years ago, I think Amy and I got the opportunity to go out and work with a small, but a very progressive retail chain called St. Stu Leonards out in, um, New Jersey into New York. And, and um, and Stu was great and is great today at going to the locations where at least some of his product is coming. So he'd go get a picture in a strawberry patch in California. He'd go get a picture in a feed lot or in the Flint Hills of Kansas, where most of his beef that he was sourcing from a packer that just had two plants in, in, Kansas. And he would put that in these huge murals on top of the beef case and, and show stew right out there with the cows in Kansas. Say, I'll only buy Kansas cattle. Well, We all laughed cuz we said, Oh, that's bogus. You know, those calves could be coming from the Texas panhandle, They could be coming from South Dakota, may have been fed and Kansas may not have been, but he was buying from a plant in Kansas. Two plants actually. And so that was good enough. We just thought, well this is crazy. Well, guess what? For the last several decades, Stu has been doing exactly what your data is showing that, that as long as somebody in that supply chain, that that consumer trusts, trusts other people and can back it up with data, um, that may be good enough. Right?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yep.

Track 1:

Yeah.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

um, when a grocer has a high level of trust, for instance, like St. Leonard, and I've been in a, one of those, a couple of those grocery stores, and just last week

Track 1:

week I was in

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

was able to go

Track 1:

New York. I think you,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

high end uh, in the, in and around that,

Track 1:

that area and those

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

customer. They have such a high level that grocer, that the in a lot of ways doesn't have to, to claim a lot of attributes.

Track 1:

Risk to like, there was no,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that I visited last week had a antibiotic. I mean a, uh, yeah, a never, ever

Track 1:

no benefits in

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

chain.

Track 1:

there. Nobody was making

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

at the

Track 1:

the reason they didn't have

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that claim for never, ever is already have trust of their customers and they know their customer. Now

Track 1:

if you think about grocer

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Walmart who has

Track 1:

500 grocery store,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

They

Track 1:

didn't have grocery store,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

1990, and they, they

Track 1:

got into the grocery

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

business and

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by the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

they were the largest grocer in the,

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in the country.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And

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You don't go to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

stores in 12 or 13 years with high

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Not

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Probably the number one. weren't enough

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What? Enough? Yeah.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Uh, then Walmart doesn't hire a union, and so most of those butchers are union. And brought

Track 1:

in case ready,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the United States market was not probably case ready, but Walmart did it anyway. And, and, and

Track 1:

So have 400

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

meat, but not a very good reputation. And when uh, my friend uh, New

Track 1:

Zealand than my

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

had trained, when he took over Walmart,

Track 1:

father-in-law

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

he was like, Okay, we're building a better reputation so that our

Track 1:

ation trust. Well, since they maybe,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

such a good o or as one of the executives said, we had a well-deserved bad reputation in beef. was 10 years ago to 8, 9, 10 years

Track 1:

well, I remember the Thomas E. Wilson specs and so I would say there may be a little bit of just a quality benchmark that they raised this time, because that, that stuff wasn't very good.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And they pumped meat all. But it, it was a different time. It wasn't the foodie,

Track 1:

Different. That's true. Yep. Sure. So, you

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

was a different time and you had a different customer base and all that kinda, you back and beat up merchants who did things for a reason and they were able to make it

Track 1:

work. They wanted

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

build a better reputation to meet. And so since they

Track 1:

to build

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in meat,

Track 1:

and they started

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

a lot of. A attributes that people knew And so one of the first things Walmart did was they sent the word to the Packers that they wanted Angus Syd, and had in the

Track 1:

contract say, being decided it. Part of the reason

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that is,

Track 1:

uh, you know, I grew up in c

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

business. I'm

Track 1:

i, people to me all the time know why does the expand this well?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

If

Track 1:

Are trying to narrow down

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

inconsistencies in the product and you have 4,500 stores, there's so many more Angus cattle than there

Track 1:

the, so we narrow down city

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

choosing one breed.

Track 1:

and so they chose

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Angus, which has a great thanks to the American Angus Association and c a b,

Track 1:

And, and so they started

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in their, in their black tray program, which is upper choice, was years ago that they for Angus

Track 1:

hired and then,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh, we

Track 1:

we brought in a help

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in, uh, supply chain, uh, for 500 stores or a few stores down in the and they they said, Okay, not only in non hormone added because

Track 1:

But the customers

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

telling them. That

Track 1:

was important

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

them.

Track 1:

to them, so they're tracking

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

those sales all the way through. They're seeing like, do respond to non hormone added? And, and they'll, they, they make their decisions on

Track 1:

they make so,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

things that customers are telling them.

Track 1:

uh, And so, know, you could, things, their attributes,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

or is that what Walmart kept increasing their attributes actually now have a pretty good reputation in

Track 1:

actually, I'm on airplane all the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I love to ask people where they buy their meat. And more and more, I'm sitting next to people that are like, you know, we tried, we were, we were at we tried this Walmart black tray and it was really, really And I'm just hearing that more and more, and I know that's anecdotal, Matt. I mean it's, but Walmart analyzes more data probably than anybody maybe except the US government and they, they the pulse. Of the American in beef and in everything they sell every single day

Track 1:

they, they know.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

what price points consumers will pay. They know what price points they won't

Track 1:

They know when a product is

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to snuff that consumers don't buy a second time. They might buy once, but they buy again. Uh,

Track 1:

Know that

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

consumer is unhappy and they, they, they

Track 1:

obviously unhappy cause they bought my team three weeks in a row. They went

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

weeks beef.

Track 1:

dunno who you're

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

but they can kind of track you based on credit card use and stuff like that. But they're not tracking individually who you are. They're just tracking, know, buying habits.

Track 1:

Well I would say if they went six weeks without buying beef, that would add to their unhappiness. So, uh, we need to find a way I and the other, uh, the other humorous thing, I thought as you were saying that the only entity that may look at data more than Walmart's federal government, I, I think Walmart probably is a little more accurate with their at least interpretation, sometimes from the data points.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I think they're trying anyway, and they, they, it just, it's just so, uh, so cool for me, Matt, as I've been able to go and be behind the door, a lot of these Walmart meetings that and Sam guys were focused on It was

Track 1:

was like, what can we

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

So to, to

Track 1:

to help customers save money?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

they can live better. And if

Track 1:

But look at the Walmart slogan

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

they about maybe eight or 10 years ago,

Track 1:

that they went back and

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

all of Sam Walton's speeches and they watched him on the, the old and all that they of pulled out what did he talk

Track 1:

The most talked about saving. So the people

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

live better. to today, and there's young buyers that are. In the middle of a meeting and they're like, So how does this help the consumer? What the consumer?

Track 1:

doing, they ultimately are so focused

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the consumer just brings me great pleasure to see that here we are. Walmart's a 60 year old company and they are still singularly focused on the customers

Track 1:

Yeah. And that's, that's the thing that gets lost. And I'm not gonna turn this into a Walmart commercial, but I do respect, um, that's the thing that gets lost. Walmart gets such a bad rap on so many different levels. But what they did was basically stymie inflation once they came in and kept consumer goods, in my opinion, largely from, from increasing, in fact, decreased costs of that. Now, did it make it harder for the mom and pop retailer? Yes. Did it make it tougher on some of the suppliers to, uh, become more efficient or get outta the business? Yes, but I mean, when you put that much pressure, On a system, on a supply chain, actually things do get better and the beneficiary of it in addition to, let's be honest, in addition to the folks that own Walmart and, and work for Walmart. But the beneficiary is largely the consumer because they can buy hopefully more consistent, as you said, goods at a, at a cheaper price. The one thing that I will also say is that if anyone listening ever gets a chance to go to Bentonville, Arkansas, and they haven't already go through the Walmart museum, and I had never been your brother, Carl had had told me about it, you suggested it once or twice and I thought, Oh, you know, another corporate museum. To me, if you're a capitalist and you're anywhere involved in an entrepreneurship or a business, um, it's inspiring. It really is. And granted, yeah, it's told from the, from the perspective of the Walton family and, and the Walmart, company, but, but it really is an impressive thing that Sam Walton and Mr. Shoemaker and everyone else did in those early days to be able to, to make that work. So, backing up, as I so often do, I heard thousands of people out here in podcasts land yelling at me as you talked about all these data points and all of this improved consistency and all these things. How are you gonna pay me to do this? How are you gonna pay me to share this data? How are you gonna pay me to improve? Whatever the, the consistency in my rib eye size and the marbling of, of my cattle. And granted, there are some places at, at the packer level, if you're selling cattle on a value-based type of grid that reward producers for that. But rank and file commercial cow calf producer that's listening to this podcast, what's in it for them?

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah, so when

Track 1:

when weve put together, uh, uh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

together two, two supply chains for their beef. And

Track 1:

first

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

with this, Pursuits and it's, uh,

Track 1:

sponsored by

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Farms, a big Angus outfit down in Texas. And, and, uh,

Track 1:

uh, over and

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the senior Walmart said over and over.

Track 1:

They were

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

with the number of slots the supply chain the disconnect from the rancher to the grocery. And

Track 1:

over and over.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

The senior VP at the time was, uh, was a guy, a really good merchant,

Track 1:

Scott Scott all

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

over said, We want the ranchers to win and

Track 1:

He wants

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

win. And,

Track 1:

novel concept.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the frustrations that the grocers have with the supply chain are the

Track 1:

Very

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

that ranchers have. And

Track 1:

So they're pretty committed

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

their two supply chains that they're, one is developed and one that they're just developing, uh, where they

Track 1:

and bought

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

a partial ownership in the sustainable beef plant up in, uh, up in

Track 1:

in Nebraska

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

as they're

Track 1:

they're really,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to having everyone along the way make enough.

Track 1:

that we

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

can

Track 1:

help take out the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

in the supply

Track 1:

fluctuation, so,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and know, over and over again, I've witnessed here living in Bentonville, all kinds of different supply chains that have the same issues that beef has. You know, that well,

Track 1:

Who's gonna pay for, How are we

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

these added costs? How can we for this?

Track 1:

require,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh, here in Bentonville that sell everything from, you know, shampoo to Coca-Cola, they just are moan and grown about the fact that they have these added cost when there are these things that were

Track 1:

they'd

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the consumers to do

Track 1:

do a better job with the,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

product at a great value. And, uh, and those are the same folks that are still making just as much money or more money than they ever did because efficiencies

Track 1:

efficient

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

more than

Track 1:

paid

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

The cost of doing these programs. And a little it's gonna be, I, I believe, and, and, and

Track 1:

it, folks around this,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

uh,

Track 1:

they the same

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

your permission to be in a,

Track 1:

thing in,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the, in the

Track 1:

in the chain.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to be, uh, a to participate in the technologies that are out there and their technologies are

Track 1:

I, And I really think

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the technologies will get better and better

Track 1:

that, that we're gonna figure out the

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

cost

Track 1:

lowers trade.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And, and I

Track 1:

I was at the, A summit

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Francisco. I think

Track 1:

think that was last March. I think it was

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

this

Track 1:

just last March. And it's The number of brilliant people

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

for

Track 1:

have helped develop Google who helped develop,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Microsoft, they've and all that. Were at this meeting in San Francisco they're looking at agriculture and they're saying, This is the last great There's, I guess there's two

Track 1:

Great class, great

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

mining. And

Track 1:

agriculture are the of the,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

to be

Track 1:

be digital

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and the digitalization, the technology embracing of

Track 1:

a really, really smart people

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

are developing

Track 1:

that it's all this

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

this new tools that will

Track 1:

help us

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

do a

Track 1:

better job

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

and tracing and improving our supply at about, at we can afford to implement it at. And, if you

Track 1:

you just look at the way the industry is right,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

then you're, you're gonna say, This doesn't work for me. This, this is really hard.

Track 1:

you

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

if, if you'll join those who are trying to be visionary

Track 1:

they're trying be a part. I mean I want these to

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

part

Track 1:

a part of

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

consumer in the 20 and thirties we

Track 1:

be in 30 too.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

years from

Track 1:

Your life. We could really have,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

hard, hard situation for the be, for beef

Track 1:

you know,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

tackling

Track 1:

start.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the different, uh, all the different parts of the, interest

Track 1:

Activists

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

tackling our industry for one part or another. And, and like, I'm

Track 1:

not to sit around and them

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

is

Track 1:

win, Like, let's

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the technologies and the supply chains that help to answer their, their, some of their, some of their frustrations with the beef business are legitimate. Some of them are not legitimate.

Track 1:

answer. But

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I'm willing to go out be fight to try to help the beef supply chain to win 10 years from now.

Track 1:

Yeah. And Amy and I talk a lot about telling beef's, story telling farmers and rancher's story. And we try to do it, uh, as, as producers in this industry, but. It's ironic that it may take technology to help us better tell that story and to reward that story with, with dollars for doing the right thing even better. And I think that's what this program and several of these types of programs and, and technologies hopefully enable us to do. you I have my thoughts on, on ways that we can better price these bits of data and this, these pieces of information even better than what we have today and, and pass those along. And, and that's, that would be a lot longer than an hour podcast on here. And, and they're rough enough that, to, I need to talk offline with you for quite a while before we can flesh some of those things out. But it's gonna change. And I think that's one takeaway. Uh, we've talked about a lot of different things the last hour or so, but, uh, That's the one takeaway I want our listeners to have is that, it will probably look different. This is not gonna be our grandfather's beef industry in the next 10 to 20 years, but without accepting and figuring out from a industry led and producer led standpoint of how we make these changes workable and profitable for us, the alternative may be to go the way of the sheep business and hardly have any market left. Even though there's demand for lamb, there's not enough infrastructure because they dug their heels in, they said, We like it the way it is, and they weren't willing to get consumer focused and figure out how to work with each other in the supply chain to make a healthy. business environment for all of us. And, and, um, what we've been doing with this commodity mentality of beef production and trying to steal a profit from the guy or gal up or down from us in that supply chain. Uh, I hate the word sustainable, but from a business and financial standpoint, that's not sustainable. And yet we've got folks that just, that's all we've ever known. And that's by gosh, what we're gonna clinging to. And I think it's, it's, it's dangerous,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I'm what I call, I call the Excel generation. If group of new young, uh, owners and managers, uh, and, and some of'em aren't so young, but. If you kind of had the excel in junior high and high school, uh, it's second nature to you and you're more data driven. And those are many of those in the ranchers that contact me and say,

Track 1:

Hey, how do I become artists

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

of this or some sort of

Track 1:

Things cause

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

like the way. doing it, it's not gonna work, you know? And so unless we just wanna keep mortgage in the ranch against the

Track 1:

Added value

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the, the billionaires are bringing when they, when they come in ranches and they set the value at some huge amount, and you just keep, you know, you just keep mortgaging that, a very sustainable or, or exciting way. a living.

Track 1:

No, it's not. And, and that's, that's one part of competition. Competition for land and resources that, I haven't, I haven't had to deal with nearly as often as we have in the last 10 or 20 years. And, when that, again, when that pressure comes in for the resources that we have to have, i e land and, and water and things like that, we don't have any other choice but to figure out how to make a healthier business model that rewards us for the hours and hours and hours we spend every day trying to, to bring beef to the marketplace.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

So bottom line, like, I'm really hoping that we can form digital partnerships, digital cooperation. I'm not, I'm not interested in vertical, vertical integration. the way that, you know, a lot of us have seen the, the poultry industry go to and other, other industries is I think number one, the capital involved in the beef is so huge.

Track 1:

Oh,

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

not worried about anybody controlling any big part of it. You know, uh, the numbers involved with just two supply chains at Walmart are just numbers that get the attention of the senior leaders and the board of directors. It's like, how much are we doing? Like, what is our commitment here on capital? And a

Track 1:

Lot of

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

have a lot of ways that they can spend capital and Walmart and I'm just so proud of them. They've chosen to invest a huge amount of money in our supply chain trying to figure out how bring

Track 1:

the.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

the customer that the customer wants week in, week out.

Track 1:

Well, I appreciate that and, and, um, we may have to have you on again, because on my list of, of thoughts that I would cover here, one of the question was, again, from the producer's standpoint, is having that amount of capital from Walmart, healthy or scary, um, for the beef industry. And, and again, we may, we may have a two hour podcast on that question alone. but I do, I, I wanna recognize, your work and, and the folks that you work with, both at Walmart and, and in other segments of the supply chain because, as hard as it is for, for us cowboys to think about, as you said, making these, forging these digital partnerships or seeing our premiums based on data and on blockchain instead of. What we feel like's a good calf compared to a bad one. Uh, as hard as that is, it's relevant and it is pertinent and it is something that we, we have to stay plugged into and engaged in and ready for as, as our industry changes the way we, the way we buy and sell and, and merchandise and, and place value on, on cattle and beef.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

And, and you it's kind of the way the rest of the

Track 1:

Seriously. I know I know, but we've always been cowboys Lamar.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

I know, I know, I know. We, I just really hope that we start, we to improve our, crops where people, we're producing the products and again, I think we've done a lot in the last 20 years and it's largely due to families like.

Track 1:

Well, I appreciate that and, and I think we will. I, I think that, uh, what we've seen in change is, is only the beginning and, and we've learned. I think as an industry to adapt to that, it's never easy. It's still not, and, and probably never will be, especially for folks in our culture. But, um, but when the other option looks as bleak as what it does to opposing that change, uh, I think, I think we'll figure out a way and, and probably be better off on the other side because of it. Well Lamar, thank you very much for your time. Uh, appreciate it a bunch. This is, uh, this has been a great conversation, one that I know that everybody's really gonna gonna like. And like I said, we didn't, uh, we didn't get through it all. I, I have a feeling that I will get, uh, quite a bit of feedback on this one and, and folks saying, Why didn't you ask him this or that? So, maybe we can come back around or maybe even talk to Eli on blockchain and, and, continue the conversation and keep learning.

lamar-steiger_3_10-31-2022_100633:

Yeah. Well, thank you for having me.

Track 1:

You bet. You bet. Thank you Lamar.

Matt:

It's time to invest in practical profitable genetics from Dale banks, Angus will sell 145 yearling and coming two year old bulls on Saturday, November 19th. They're the top end of our 2021 calf crops bred for over a century to offer a balance of calving, ease, docility, maternal excellence, carcass, merit, and sound feet and legs. They're ranch raised freeze, branded fertility checked and ready to work either this fall or next spring. Catalogs will be available in late October. Contact us today to get on the list. Videos of all bulls will be available prior to the sale. Come see us November 19th, Northwest of Eureka, Kansas, or bid online@cci.live call or text Matt Perrier at 6 2 0 5 8 3 43 0 5. Or go to Dale Dot com.