Episode 13: Opportunities and Challenges in the Cattle Industry - Live from the Ohio Beef Expo
Live from the Ohio Beef Expo in Columbus, Ohio, our hosts chat with a few special guests in the cattle industry, including Elizabeth Harsh and Tom Karr of the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, Dan Wells of the Ohio Angus Association, and Levi Richards of Kalmbach Feeds. From the ins and outs of these organizations to the ups and downs cattle producers are facing, we chat all things beef in this episode!
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- [08:53] Guest Tom Karr explains what the Ohio Cattlemen's Association (OCA) is, stating “we’ve become the voice for the Ohio producer.”
- [11:20] The National Cattlemen's Association works closely with American Farm Bureau as one of the two main lobbyist organizations due to membership size.
- [12:24] The Ohio Beef Expo is one of OCA’s staple events of the year.
- [13:15] Within the last few years, a new program that has been started at OCA is the Cattleman’s Academy, providing in-person and online meetings on topics of interest to beef producers.
- [13:49] Another popular OCA program is their youth development program called, the Best Program.
- [18:39] Guest Elizabeth Harsh explains that demand for beef is the highest it’s been in 33 years.
- [19:10] As demand increases and supply tightens, producers have been looking for opportunities to process locally.
- [20:12] Last year, a $10 million state budget was approved to increase and expand Ohio packing plants. It’s success resulted in being “over-prescribed'' by $29 million.
- [21:24] The beef industry as a whole experienced a record year in exports. By working to break down trade barriers and tariffs, beef exports were allowed into China and the United Kingdom.
- [23:24] As total cowherds decrease in the U.S., efficiency and sustainability of beef will be important.
- [24:24] Increasingly, American consumers what to know where their beef comes from and how it’s handled on the farm.
- [31:00] Guest Dan Wells explains what the Ohio Angus Association is.
- [32:06] The Angus breed is predominantly known for its maternal ability and meat quality.
- [32:47] Dan explains what Certified Angus Beef means.
- [34:04] As a result of the pandemic, cattle producers have had to find ways to keep revenue streams alive as in-person sales diminished and also combat input costs.
- [35:09] There is an increased demand for consumers wanting to buy freezer beef directly from procedures instead of going to the supermarket.
- [36:24] Dan explains what Expected Progeny Differentials (EPDs) are in cattle and why they’re important to producers.
- [43:06] Guest Levi Richards explains a particular animal feed called Formula of Champions.
- [44:12] Formula of Champions, as well as other feeds produced at Kalmbach Feeds, are heavily researched and tried before the product is released.
- [46:49] Levi explains how inflation and grain prices affect feed prices.
- [50:38] Show stock are fed to build their phenotype, while commercial stock are fed to meet a weight per day by a certain age.
- [53:42] Feed can be specifically produced and rationed by nutritionists to meet customer’s needs, such as using specific ingredients to minimize inputs , but still maintaining efficiency and performance.
- [54:45] Levi dives into some of the new ingredients and technology in feed produced by Kalmbach.
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Host Matt Adams
Matt serves Paulding County as an account officer at AgCredit. He has worked in ag lending for over three years and previously worked in farm equipment sales for 11 years. He and his wife farm in northwest Ohio with their two daughters and son. His favorite part about AgCredit is the people. From the member-borrowers to the internal team at AgCredit, every day keeps getting better. Matt hopes to bring insights to ag lending and some laughs to the AgCredit Said It podcast.
Host Brenna Finnegan
Brenna has been an account officer serving Lorain County for three years. She’s worked in the agricultural industry for over 16 years with experience in livestock production, specialty crop production, seed production and processing/distribution. She grew up on a small family farm raising row crops and cattle. She currently has her own herd of beef cattle that she breeds and sells as show stock calves for 4-H and FFA members. At AgCredit, Brenna enjoys being able to work directly with the local farmers and especially helping young farmers achieve something that they didn’t think they could.
Voiceover (00:02):Welcome to AgCredit Said It, the podcast for farm newbies and seasoned professionals alike. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from across the agriculture industry to bring you insights, advice, and must-have information on all things rural living, from farming to finances and everything in between. So, let's get to it.
Matt Adams (00:26):Welcome back everyone. To another exciting episode of AgCredit Said It. I'm Matt Adams. And with me again, is Brenna Finnegan. And we are at the 2022 Ohio Beef Expo here in Columbus, Ohio. And Brenna, a lot of good looking animals are out in the barns. We did take a little tour earlier. Boy, some beautiful looking animals out there. And I tell you, I think the quality of these animals when they come here is just some of the top notch.
Brenna Finnegan (00:58):Yes. And if you have a fluffy cow obsession, this is probably the right place to be. And it's definitely neat to see all the kids and the producers around here from the State of Ohio, and all the industry stuff within the expo area, or the trade show area, I should say.
Brenna Finnegan (01:15):And it's just neat to see what's all around here and what new things people have and the bulls on display, the semen tanks running around everywhere, and all that kind of stuff. So it's-
Matt Adams (01:27):Well, and I tell you, I think, a big part is just networking with all our cattle producers. Just walking from the truck up here to the trade show, we got stopped by a number of people that we know from being cattle producers ourselves, or with different aspects of our profession. So with that Brenna, why don't you go ahead and introduce our guest we have today for us.
Brenna Finnegan (01:49):All right. We have here Elizabeth Harsh, the Executive Director of the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, from Delaware County. Welcome. Thank you.
Elizabeth Harsh (01:57):Thanks for having me.
Brenna Finnegan (01:58):And we also have Tom Karr from Meigs County, who happens to be the Ohio Cattlemen's Association's President.
Tom Karr (02:04):Thank you very much.
Brenna Finnegan (02:06):We'll go ahead and get started with some questions. Each of you guys can answer. What is your background and how did you become into the roles that you are in?
Elizabeth Harsh (02:16):Well, I'm an Ohio native, raised in Eastern Ohio. Attended the Ohio State University, was an animal science major. Met my husband there, and now we farm in Delaware County where he was from. Raised our children there on the farm. Involved in the beef industry and really proud to work for Ohio's beef producers.
Brenna Finnegan (02:36):You've become a definite staple. Everybody knows you walking through here. So whether they know... or you know them or not it-
Matt Adams (02:43):How many years have you been active with the Ohio Cattlemen's?
Elizabeth Harsh (02:46):Well, I've been the Executive Director since 1992. So I hate to have to do that math, but it's great to see all the growth for the Association and the industry in all that time. And we've really been fortunate to have great volunteers, great folks involved, and really see programs kind of really grow in all those years.
Brenna Finnegan (03:07):You've seen a lot of the generational shifts too, so that's exciting. It is very, very exciting. And Tom, you can go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became President of Ohio Cattlemen's.
Tom Karr (03:19):Well, I don't know how I became president, but that's a longer story. But I've been involved with cattle since I was young. My dad was a Polled Hereford breeder in Southeastern Ohio and showed cattle. He was into the purebreds and showed cattle all over the US, promoting them. He was President of the Ohio Polled Hereford Association at one time and was kind of active in the breed. Not as much with the Cattlemen's Association, but more with the particular breed.
Tom Karr (03:57):And so he decided he was not that interested in farming anymore, so he told me to take the cows. And so I took those Polled Herefords and crossbred them with a lot of different breeds and ended up... The cross that I liked most was the Red Angus on the Polled Herford.
Tom Karr (04:20):And at that time I was feeding out all of my cattle to finish, and so I got to see a lot of different crosses in that feed yard. I'll make a little plug for the Red Angus. The Red Angus were the ones that finished first and they graded great. So that's what kind of pushed me to the Red Angus side.
Tom Karr (04:44):As far as the OCA, I had been to a national convention of the NCBA and was just fascinated at the lobby work that they do and the property rights and the tax rights and everything, and I thought I needed to do my part. So I got elected to the board and I have been on the board since 2015 and ended up President.
Brenna Finnegan (05:19):I may have voted for you. I'm not sure.
Matt Adams (05:21):That is awesome.
Brenna Finnegan (05:22):Since we're all members here. But now, going back to the Beef Expo real quick, give us a little bit of history of the event itself and how it became to be the fluffy cow central of Ohio, I guess you can call it.
Elizabeth Harsh (05:36):Well, believe it or not, this is the 34th Ohio Beef Expo. Of course, unfortunately, with the pandemic in 2020, we weren't able to do that one. And we were successful in having one last year, although we weren't able to do one as we're used to with all the bells and whistles.
Elizabeth Harsh (05:52):We're back this year with a sold-out trade show, large numbers in all of our breeding cattle sales, and it looks like our junior cattle show may set an all-time record.
Elizabeth Harsh (06:05):So beyond the junior side, where we have a lot of fluffy cows, we also represent all facets of the commercial industry. We had an online feeder sale this morning with about 1,800 head of cattle that were sold there.
Brenna Finnegan (06:21):Wow.
Matt Adams (06:21):Oh, wow.
Elizabeth Harsh (06:21):Working with United Producers. And then we have seven breed sales. And we'll have consignors, of course. Our folks raise really top cattle here in the State of Ohio, but we also have folks from all of our surrounding states that consign, because they are so successful, those sales.
Elizabeth Harsh (06:39):And in addition to that, the trade show, as you guys saw, has every product, good, and service that a beef-farm family would need. So we always say there's kind of three fronts of the event, if you will.
Elizabeth Harsh (06:51):And we've grown as the fairgrounds have grown because in the early years we didn't have the building that houses the trade show today. So it's nice to be able to see it grow.
Brenna Finnegan (07:01):Matt and I were talking when we were pulling in here, from another location that we were at earlier, and just trying to find a parking spot to even come in here was insane. And then, I mean, you could tell it's back with a vengeance after the whole pandemic thing. Everybody's here. And luckily, it's great weather and all that kind of stuff.
Brenna Finnegan (07:20):So it's very neat to see the growth. And I've been coming for, oh gosh, I don't even want to say the number of decades too, so we won't go there. But just seeing the growth that it's had. And we came down and the junior section, the kids there, they were all going into the horse area in the stalls. And it's just quite impressive the growth that's occurred within the industry. And there's a lot more to feature, I think, these days than what people would initially think just as a consumer.
Elizabeth Harsh (07:56):Absolutely.
Tom Karr (07:57):It's also... I'm sorry.
Elizabeth Harsh (07:58):Well, the only thing I was going to add is we're actually in the coliseum for the first time ever, just with our new schedule.
Brenna Finnegan (08:04):I saw that and I was like, "There's going all the way up in there." I said, "We're going to have to go check that out." Yep. So very exciting.
Tom Karr (08:11):It's very interesting to talk to the major vendors in the trade show. And we have a lot of vendors that are local people that have different things to sell and anything and everything about cows, but the bigger guys that go to a lot of the expos, they'll tell you, they wait on the Ohio Expo because it's just the biggest and the best in the east really.
Brenna Finnegan (08:41):Yeah.
Tom Karr (08:42):So, and that's very encouraging and quite a compliment and that's volume for them. So it's a good place to be. And we have a lot of traffic.
Matt Adams (08:52):That is very impressive.
Tom Karr (08:53):Yeah.
Matt Adams (08:53):So Tom, I kind of want to touch on too, kind of tell me a little bit, what is the Ohio Cattlemen's Association and what do they do for Ohio's cattle producers?
Tom Karr (09:04):We're an association of service to our members. We're a member-based association. So we depend heavily on our membership. Well, as some other things that we supplement our income with, but we want to serve all the facets of the cattle industry from the club calf people to the cattle feeders, to the stockyards. And of course, what we consider the staple is the cow calf people. So we try to keep that balance and have something for everybody. Elizabeth is very good at keeping an eye on what's going on legislatively in Ohio. And they respect the Ohio cattlemen too. If anything involves property rights, animal welfare, or anything Ag, they come and ask our opinion on it, so.
Matt Adams (10:14):So you guys really become that voice for the producer.
Tom Karr (10:17):We kind of become the voice in Ohio for the producer, but we also have input into the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. And it is not a political organization. It's grassroots. You go to the convention, you assign different people to different topics. And those topics are actually voted on by the members and not by the hierarchy of the NCBA. And on the other side of that, the NCBA is a very effective lobby in Washington, DC, along with the Farm Bureau. And the legislators, when they bring up anything, water rights, property rights, cattle markets, anything that is associated with Ag, they go to the National Cattles Association and the Farm Bureau and say, did we write this right?
Brenna Finnegan (11:17):I was just going to ask, how closely do you guys work with the Farm Bureau then too?
Tom Karr (11:20):Absolutely. Yes, because we're the two main lobbies or the two main organizations membership wise.
Elizabeth Harsh (11:28):So as Tom indicated, we're an affiliate of the National Cattlemen's Association. And just as he described that policy is very grassroots. We're in it about our position on all those tax tools or all the other things that he's already touched on. And we do that same thing here at the state level. It's our members that set our policy, that provide the direction of how we represent their business interest, those pocketbook issues. You touched on how we work with other Ag organizations. That is one thing that Ohio has, that is unique compared to any other state. And if you kind of take that survey across the country, you'll hear that come back, that all of our Ag groups here in Ohio work very effectively together, we know when it comes to environmental sustainability issues or whatever that is. Very seldom do we have a disagreement and we can be more effective working together. So we've got a great relationship here in the state.
Matt Adams (12:24):That's great. And we're talking about, we're here at probably one of your staple events, the Ohio Beef Expo. What other events and programs does the association have throughout the year?
Tom Karr (12:41):We have a Female Improvement Sale every year in Zanesville, the day after Thanksgiving. And we sell consignments from all different breeds. They have to be five years in under and be out of a registered bull so that they have EPDs to be compared to. And it's been a good organization.
Matt Adams (13:11):Great.
Brenna Finnegan (13:14):Any other?
Elizabeth Harsh (13:15):Well beyond those pocketbook issues as legislative and regulatory issues, we have taken on more of an educational role in the last several years. And certainly we work very effectively with Ohio State University extension with the faculty there in the Animal Science Department. But a new program we started just in the last few years is called our Cattleman's Academy. So we do those as both in-person meetings. And then we do a monthly live webinar as well with a different topic of interest to producers.
Elizabeth Harsh (13:49):And of course our youth development program, that is really what we refer to our Best Program as, that's our version of youth development. And so there's so many opportunities beyond just competing. It's the relationships that they build. It's how to win and lose gracefully. It's leadership opportunities. And everyone's familiar with that program, but we're proud of it because it's grown so much and those folks can compete anywhere across the country, those young people.
Brenna Finnegan (14:17):So it's kind of funny, you mention it. Because my niece was begging when she was younger to come show and I always wanted to, when I was younger, but my dad's a turn and burn kind of guy. Get him in, get him out, quit feeding him, that kind of thing. And when she finally got involved with it she was a real shy teenage girl. So she got on the cheerleading squad, but wouldn't cheer in front of the crowd. It's like when you took that spot from another kid. So when we started coming, my dad and my brothers were like, "Ugh, you're wasting a lot of money." And all that kind of stuff, but the development for her and the people she's met, I mean, they're still friends today and they're in their early twenties and they get together all the time and that kind of thing.
Brenna Finnegan (15:02):So the connections people meet at all of these events or the connections that they make at all of these events, it goes to show the quality of the program and the type of people that come out of it and everything, so.
Elizabeth Harsh (15:16):And those families you are so right. And that's a great story to hear. They will attend each other's children's high school graduations and family celebrations all across the state because they make those connections and develop those friendships. Our awards banquet, last year still in the middle of COVID in May of 2021 had over 800 people attend and that only represented a third of the participants in the program.
Matt Adams (15:43):Oh wow. I think it's one neat thing to see when you do go to the best shows. And even the junior shows are watching the very young kids. Watching the showman out there in the rings, wanting to be... You can see that spark in their eye that you know that the next generation is wanting to be out there doing that.
Brenna Finnegan (16:03):Well, the validation we got from taking her to all those shows. And it used to be just us three girls, my sister, myself, and my niece. We'd load up the trailer and go. And when she walked into our county fair and she won the showmanship, my dad finally turned around and my sister and I was like, "That's the best thing you guys ever did for that kid." And we were like, "Yes, we did it, we did it." And now we're got her out of her shell. And sometimes we want to shove her back in a little bit, but it just goes to show, like I said, the development of that program and what it really does for people, so.
Tom Karr (16:36):And I've seen that same scenario over and over and over with our kids program. So it's-
Brenna Finnegan (16:44):And her besties from Southern Ohio. So I mean "bestie." And like you said, they get together and attend weddings and other events and all sorts of stuff, so.
Matt Adams (16:54):Well, Tom, Elizabeth, this is kind of a question for both of you, since you are both producers, as well as part of OCA. It's been a crazy couple years in the Ag industry, the world economy, and especially our beef industry too. What are our producers facing today? And are there services out there to help with these problems? And along with that we're going to look at the market, how much has that changed? Supply. Where's our industry heading?
Tom Karr (17:28):Right now, we're in a 35-year low number of total cowherds in the United States that includes dairy and beef. And that's a two-fold problem. The problems that the smaller dairies have had, and they've sold their cows and they're gone. And then there's a mega drought in the west. And so they don't have enough feed and they're selling off their born-cows. So probably from what we learned at the convention is probably not going to affect calf prices immediately. But next year in '23, and next year, the year after that in '24, there just aren't going to be as many cattle out there. Not many calves to fill. Yes. And so for the cow-calf producer and the backgrounders, I think it's going to look better. Although the feeder calf sale that we had this morning, the calves were mostly 800 pounders, ready to go to the feed yard. And they went really well, so.
Matt Adams (18:35):Very good.
Tom Karr (18:36):I think that's encouraging.
Elizabeth Harsh (18:39):Well, maybe I'll work backwards in terms of everything that we see and all the market analysts that we work with indicates that I think a greater share of profitability is in the works for beef farm families here in 2022. From a consumer standpoint, we hear about prices and we hear about those kinds of things. But as long as demand's strong, that's great and demand for beef is the highest it's been in 33 years.
Matt Adams (19:09):Really?
Elizabeth Harsh (19:10):Yes. So all the experts tell us that as we see supplies tighten that's going to mean that we're going to have a little more leverage as producers. And we certainly didn't see that in 2020, as we saw the pandemic kind of slam upon us. We don't need to go through all the market disruptions. We all know that. I think what that did is shine a light on some of the price discovery issues within the industry that we were already grappling with. And when you didn't have a market and we saw packing plants having to stop or slow down production and all those kinds of things folks were not very happy. And you understand that so it was kind of two-fold. Then the supply chain things came right behind that. What it did is it really said that we need to look at those opportunities for local processing, where we can and continue those direct marketing efforts that allow our producers that want to bring that next generation back to the farm.
Elizabeth Harsh (20:12):They've got great genetics producing a great product, and if they can get that process in a direct market that provides income for, say that next generation. So we actually spearheaded working with our friends here in agriculture and with our friends at the state house, $10 million in last summer's state budget to increase or expand packing plants in the state of Ohio. And actually that program was so successful. It was over-prescribed like 29 million dollars.
Matt Adams (20:41):Oh, wow.
Brenna Finnegan (20:41):Because to say the distribution or the allotment was just put out there a couple weeks ago.
Elizabeth Harsh (20:46):Correct. It was. So they are now working on coming up with another 18 million to be able to recognize those other applications that work funded. And that's just one front, but the good news is I think we're moving through some of that. And when you think about opportunities and things that producers can do to protect themselves, one of the things we always talk about in our program, it's those risk management programs. I think those are things where we do things with our webinar and some of our other educational efforts and our marketing partners. That getting producers comfortable with utilizing those tools to protect themselves too. And when we have some of that turbulence in the marketplace.
Tom Karr (21:24):And our industry as a whole set a record last year for exports. So that's one of the other things that NCBA, the national organization does for us is continually tries to get into those markets. Last year, we got into China and it was good, but that was the first meat, first good American meat that Chinese people had ever had. And they like it. And we hear that all the time. Of course, our largest importer is South Korea, and Japan is number two. And for a long time, it had always been Australian beef, which is mostly grass-fed, but they found out there's a big quality governance between U.S. beef and Australian beef. So we’re working to break down some of those trade barriers and those tariffs.
Tom Karr (22:33):And for the first time, and this big surprise to me, we've actually worked our way, our industry has worked our way into the United Kingdom, and we weren't able to do that because of them being a part of the European Union. And then when they went through the Brexit, they separated them and allowed them to import our beef, which they hadn't had for a long time. And they are just so excited about it. And we are too, of course, we need to import some things from Britain too to offset that.
Matt Adams (23:07):So when we look at that market demand, it is really going to come down to... In a retrospect, the world economy is going to be looking at cattle producers-
Tom Karr (23:15):Exactly.
Matt Adams (23:15):To feed the world.
Tom Karr (23:17):Feed the world. Exactly.
Brenna Finnegan (23:19):And you just said earlier that there's less producers, so we're going to have to produce that much more within what we've got.
Tom Karr (23:24):That's true. And we've been doing that over the last 50 years. We've put more pounds on the plate or into the food supply per head than we ever have before, just because of the efficiencies and the sustainability of beef. So it looks good. We just hope it doesn't get to the place where beef is not for everybody, or it... We don't want it to get so overpriced or not overpriced, but high price that everybody can enjoy the beef.
Brenna Finnegan (24:03):So looking forward, what is Ohio Cattlemen's and the industry, the trends, what are we trying to see? Or what are we seeing with the new trends? Obviously, there's a lot of growth and like you mentioned the exports, what other types of things that you guys can think of that propping?
Tom Karr (24:24):One of the big topics or items that go back to our consumers is we're here to serve our consumer. They tell us what they want and we try to produce it. And one of the American producers number one, they want to know where their beef comes from and they want to know how it's treated, how it's handled at the farm and the whole history. The whole chain back through. And so we've concentrated as an industry and in Ohio on the beef quality assurance program, and it resonates with the consumer.
Matt Adams (25:10):And I hope that's one of those things that unfortunately, we talk about the misinformation that gets put out in the public. And today that the steps the Ohio cattlemen are taking and the producers, we're getting the right information out there to the public. So they know basically what they're getting in store. What's going to be on their plate at home.
Tom Karr (25:32):Right. And at the same token, we want to recognize that there are alternatives to beef, but we want them to be marketed fairly. And there has been a lot of discussion about products that are not beef being called beef. And so we're working to get them labeled correctly.
Brenna Finnegan (25:56):Create that line. One way or the other.
Tom Karr (26:00):And if that's what people, I mean, if that's what the consumer wants to eat, just so they know what they're consuming. So that's going to be a bigger problem every year.
Brenna Finnegan (26:14):Well, a lot of great information within the industry here, and we want to know how do you, producers, become members of the association?
Elizabeth Harsh (26:27):So it's easy to do that right on our website. Our membership is web-based. And so you can just click that button, join there at ohiocattle.org, as well as we've got a tremendous following on our social media. And you can reach us that way, or it's as simple as picking up the phone and calling the office.
Brenna Finnegan (26:47):I always stop here at the booth, in the same day here at the Expo, so.
Elizabeth Harsh (26:51):And that works too, and so do a lot of others here at the Expo. Folks just like to visit and that's okay too. So we are seeing membership really grow this year. And welcome folks that have not have been involved. Certainly, we're only as strong as the members we can represent, so.
Brenna Finnegan (27:07):So how would one also become a little bit more involved, say they want to become more a part of those committees or whatever it is that makes up and makes some decisions and gets things going for the industry here in Ohio?
Elizabeth Harsh (27:20):Participate and attend. That is, I guess that's the way I would encapsulate it. There's so many events and meetings. Our annual meeting was in January where we did some education, some socializing, some policy development. Same way at Best Shows, depending on what your interest is. Here at the Expo, this wouldn't happen without all the great volunteers that spend a lot of time and a lot of meeting time planning months ahead. And with all of our events. When we're out working with our county associations and putting on our Cattleman's Academy Programs attending. And all you have to do is just offer that you've got an interest and there's a spot for folks.
Tom Karr (27:58):And along with that, the State Fair is a big Midwestern cattle show. So there's lots of opportunity to engage.
Matt Adams (28:10):We'd like to thank Elizabeth Harsh and Tom Carr for being part of our podcast today. Be sure to visit the Ohio Beef Expo and be sure to look up the Ohio Cattlemen's Association. Plenty of information there and contact information for membership and all the different aspects that association does for producers. This is Matt, along with Brenna at the 2022 Ohio Beef Expo, and we'll be back shortly with our next guest.
Voiceover (28:43):Did you know AgCredit has loans specially designed with today's livestock producers in mind. From land, barn construction, equipment and operating loans. AgCredit has solutions for today's producers in an ever changing livestock environment. Contact your local AgCredit branch today, or find us on the web at AgCredit.net.
Matt Adams (29:04):Welcome back everyone. This is Matt here with Brenna. We're back at the Ohio Beef Expo. Brenna, how was your evening last night at the hotel?
Brenna Finnegan (29:13):Probably shouldn't mention, I can't say anything. No, it was a good night. It was fun. Hung out with a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time around the state in the beef industry. And it was great to just hang out with them and see each other again, so.
Matt Adams (29:29):Kind of nice to catch up with everyone. And I tell you the weather, we had a nice warm sunny 72 yesterday, and now it feels more like expo weather. It's a little chillier, rainy, lovely dreary..
Brenna Finnegan (29:43):55.
Matt Adams (29:43):Dreary Saturday morning here in Columbus. So Brenna, let's kick it off here. And why don't you introduce our guest?
Brenna Finnegan (29:50):We are here with Dan Wells, the Secretary and Fieldman with the Ohio Angus Association. Welcome, Dan.
Dan Wells (29:57):Thanks guys. Glad to be here.
Brenna Finnegan (29:59):So Dan, go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got to be with Ohio Angus and all that kind of stuff.
Dan Wells (30:05):Well, I grew up in Southern Ohio on an Angus operation. Grew up showing some Angus efforts through the state programs with the Ohio Angus Association. Went to Ohio State, got an animal science degree there. From there, I left Ohio and went to Virginia and actually ran the Junior Angus Association for four years. After I was there, I kind of transitioned back to Ohio to be more involved in our family's operation. Worked for a national sales firm doing Angus production sales all over the country for a few years, and then transitioned into this route where I kind of run and maintain the Ohio Angus Association.
Brenna Finnegan (30:40):So you got to catch some background noise here because we are out here in the Viandox.
Matt Adams (30:46):So yeah, we are living here at the Expo this year.
Brenna Finnegan (30:52):So Dan and I have actually known each other for, it's probably going on 20 years now at least, so.
Dan Wells (30:58):Pretty close. After old college days.
Brenna Finnegan (31:00):Yes, it is. So what is the Ohio Angus Association?
Dan Wells (31:06):Angus Association is a nonprofit breed association that represents the Angus breeders and just any really any other cattlemen that's interested in Angus within the state of Ohio. We have about 300 members throughout Ohio and surrounding states.
Brenna Finnegan (31:26):So how would you end up becoming a member of Ohio Angus?
Dan Wells (31:30):You can join a lot of different ways. We've got online forms for our website. We have printed membership forms that are around in a lot of our different publications. We just put out our annual membership directory, which is a great resource that has information about everything we did last year within the association. Kind of highlights that we had coming up this year as a full listing of all of our members. And there's always a membership form in there where people can submit that and mail it back in with their dues and become a member and get on our mailing list for all of our information.
Matt Adams (31:59):Okay. Well, why don't you tell us a little bit, what's the differences between the Angus breed from other breeds of cattle?
Dan Wells (32:06):The Angus breed is predominantly known as a very maternal breed, great mothers. We've also always been very well known for meat quality. That's kind of what differentiates Angus from a lot of the other breeds, is meat quality and also the maternal and mothering ability of our cows.
Matt Adams (32:23):Gotcha.
Brenna Finnegan (32:25):So with that meat quality, obviously everybody knows certified Angus.
Dan Wells (32:29):Certified, yeah. If you go to any restaurant or fast food place anymore, that's what we're always seeing promoted is Certified Angus Beef.
Brenna Finnegan (32:38):So, what does Certified Angus Beef mean? And what would a consumer want to see or know about it?
Dan Wells (32:47):Certified Angus Beef is a nonprofit affiliate of our national association, the American Angus Association that was started to help drive the demand for Angus cattle and Angus genetics by highlighting the traits and meat quality strengths of the Angus breed. Cattle that make it into the Certified Angus Beef brand are cattle that are very high in marbling, which everybody knows marbling is that intermuscular fat within the steaks. That's where your flavor, your juiciness comes from. That's something the Angus breed cells in. So it allows us to kind of differentiate. Cattle to go through the packing plants that are up in the upper two thirds or higher in choice for marbling. So that the consumer knows when they see the certified beef brand, they know they're getting a high quality piece of meat and the high quality eating experience.
Matt Adams (33:39):Kind of stemming from that, the last couple years have been just crazy and pretty much every industry is agricultural, for sure. And especially for our cattle producers. What challenges have you seen as a producer and as part of the Angus Association, the challenges out there for producers and what's being done to kind of combat some of them challenges?
Dan Wells (34:04):Yeah. It's been an interesting last two years, especially between COVID and the constant fluctuation of input costs and that kind of stuff. Those have been some of the biggest challenges. We really struggled two years ago and COVID hit a lot of these guys who are used to, from a cash flow standpoint, having a lot of these type sales, the stuff is a marketing outlet, they sell genetics and bulls and heifers and generate revenue. And we kind of had to scramble two years ago to find ways to take those sales online. So guys could still have their sales and their revenue streams. So that was a big challenge, but then kind of get past the COVID stuff. Now we're battling the input costs. And just around this weekend here is talking about what they paid for fertilizer inputs and stuff this year compared to what they paid last year, not knowing how that market's going to translate, and then we're going to see an increase in crops, but also in the cattle.
Matt Adams (34:55):Have you guys seen, especially everything with COVID, everybody kind of wanted to know where their food comes from. Is there an increased demand that you see people wanting to buy direct from the producer versus going to the supermarket?
Dan Wells (35:09):Yeah, definitely because of the COVID and a lot of those issues, there has been a lot more interest around the state. I've seen people wanting to buy freezer beef directly from producers. We've actually had several of our members that kind of capital lies on that and actually started their own small meat programs and whatnot, that they're kind of promoting and selling more direct and locally and able to get more return that way.
Matt Adams (35:32):I hope it's a trend that continues to follow. It's not just a fad that we can get back to people buying directly from producers and just knowing where the good quality meat comes from.
Brenna Finnegan (35:43):What have the packers changed or what are they looking for with the new methods of marketing and all that kind of stuff. I mean, with production and all that kind of stuff.
Dan Wells (35:55):I think the last two years are the challenges that come to the packers as they kind of had to change how they operate and do things. They face their own labor struggles. We all witness there's a lot of times where packing plants were shut down for periods of time to cut COVID outbreaks. So I think they kind of changed a lot of that, how they operate to accommodate the changing environment, but what they really look for is, it's still never going to change. It's how high-quality beef and beef that's highly influenced by Angus, especially because of the extra meat quality that our breed offers.
Brenna Finnegan (36:24):Okay. So with the extra meat quality and all that kind of stuff with producers, I mean, we got a lot of producers up in Northwest Ohio in our territory, but obviously within the entire state of Ohio and we all use these things called EPDs. And so tell us what EPDs are and why it's important to use them in production and growing your herd and all that kind of stuff.
Dan Wells (36:50):EPDs stand for Expected Progeny Differentials. So it's a tool, it's a number in a system that allows us to differentiate how an individual animal or bull or a heifer or cow’s progeny are going to differentiate from their contemporaries within the same herd. So if it's a way for people to kind of evaluate and differentiate, which bloodlines, which genetics are stronger or weaker in certain traits and to help them make selection of where they need to improve within their herd and kind of apply those genetics to their operation what their needs are.
Brenna Finnegan (37:29):Okay. So with growing your herd and choosing the right genetics and all that kind of stuff, the goal in mind is probably just to pass it on to the next generation and such. So thinking of today's youth and all of that, what does Ohio Angus and obviously like Ohio Beef Expo and all that do for the youth in our state that want to get into this and produce cattle, high-quality products for other producers or other consumers within our area.
Dan Wells (38:03):Definitely, whether it's the Ohio Cattle Association or the Ohio Junior Angus Association here both have great youth programs. Have shows where juniors are able to go out and exhibit and show their heifers or steers within the Angus breed. Obviously the cattleman, they have all breeds, but we have a really nice program through the American Angus Association for our junior program. We have a tremendous junior national show every summer where kids can come and exhibit their cattle but also compete in a lot of different ways. They have judging contests for speaking contests. They have an auctioneering contest, graphic design contest. So even if you're not an Angus kid and you're not really big in just a show ring side of things, our junior nationals in that program have a lot of different ways for kids to compete and show their Angus knowledge and cattle knowledge, but not just always in the show.
Speaker 6 (38:51):That's great. Great information
Matt Adams (38:54):It is. And all the information and contact for this, we will put links into our transcript on our website, www.AgCredit.net. And we're going to catch you on the next part of our podcast here. We're going to go meet another individual and we'll be back with you.
Matt Adams (39:14):Hey, welcome back everyone. This is Matt here with Brenna. We are still at the Ohio Beef Expo making our next stop on our rounds here at the Kalmbach Feeds booth. And Brenna, why don't you go ahead and introduce our next guest for us.
Brenna Finnegan (39:25):Here's another one I've known for a while. So this is Levi Richards. He is the Regional Sales Manager and Program Director of Formula of Champions. I'd like to welcome you to -
Levi Richards (39:35):Thank you.
Brenna Finnegan (39:36):And thank you for joining us on our podcast.
Levi Richards (39:38):Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I'm a podcast junkie, so I was excited when you told me you wanted to talk to us here, so.
Matt Adams (39:44):That's great.
Levi Richards (39:44):Thanks.
Brenna Finnegan (39:46):So go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Levi Richards (39:48):Okay.
Brenna Finnegan (39:49):Where you're from, background.
Levi Richards (39:51):Sure.
Brenna Finnegan (39:52):A quick resume.
Levi Richards (39:53):So my name's Levi Richards from Bowling Green, Ohio. And let's see, I started kind of showing livestock when I was a young teen and not born into an agriculture or livestock family whatsoever. So it was something really new for us and something I really wanted to take on. But had a really fun show career, went to Ohio State, ATI. Studied animal science there. And yeah, I've done a little bit of everything. From leaving ATI, I went to a 5,000 head sow operation in Illinois. Managed a small cattle herd here in Northwest Ohio. I was a grain buyer for POET for a little while, managed a small co-op for a little while, ultimately landing at Kalmbach Feeds.
Levi Richards (40:36):So I kind of wear two hats at Kalmbach Feeds. Like Brenna said, I'm a regional sales manager kind of covering Northwest Ohio and a little bit of Southeast Michigan. I've got a few other spots too, but then a big part of what I do is running the formula of champions brand, which is our premium line of show feeds. So that keeps me very busy between those things. And then I've also got a big family at home and run around the country judging some livestock shows when I can, so I stay busy.
Brenna Finnegan (41:05):And you have some calves here today.
Levi Richards (41:06):I do, yeah, yeah, yeah. We're showing a couple and a few that we've kind of sold and helped families find. So yeah, this is a big event. This is a highlight for a lot of cattle families in the state.
Matt Adams (41:16):That is great. Well, I tell you know, kind it for our podcast listeners out there, tell us a little bit about Kalmbach Feeds.
Levi Richards (41:24):Yeah.
Matt Adams (41:24):What all different avenues and businesses do you guys cover?
Levi Richards (41:29):Sure. So Kalmbach Feeds is a family-owned feed company. I would say it's got to be one of the largest scaled, still family-owned feed companies in the country. We are actually into our third generation of Kalmbachs within management. Paul Kalmbach Junior is now the President. And he's young and brings some new energy and it's exciting. But Kalmbach Feeds, we kind of cover a little bit of everything. If there's an animal, whether it's got two legs or four legs or anything in between, there's a likelihood that we've got feed for it, or we can make feed for it. Our premium line of horse feeds is called Tribute. That's become a huge, huge thing. We service a lot of dairies and commercial cattle accounts. We carry some different pet foods. We have stuff for hamsters, Guinea pigs, and everything kind of in between. So huge variety, huge variety.
Matt Adams (42:24):And we look at, especially down here at the Ohio Beef Expo, but looking at all these beautiful animals, Formula of Champions Show Feed. I mean, it's got to be your bread and butter right there.
Levi Richards (42:33):It is. It is kind of my little baby. I take huge pride in Formula of Champions and its growth. And I've got an awesome team that I lead that has really brought that brand to the next level. And we've got some cool things up our sleeve that we're going to be working on over the next year. But yeah, the Formula of Champions brand is really showcased when we go to these large shows and where you're able to find out how our customers do in the show ring, in the sales, things like that. But it is a big event for our customers and we love being a part of it.
Matt Adams (43:06):So what makes Formula of Champions show feed stand out from everybody else?
Levi Richards (43:11):Sure. Absolutely. That's a question I get quite a bit. So I think first and foremost, I think that we focus on gut health as much or more than any of our competitors. We put a lot of added components and ingredients in these feeds that make them perform better and make sure that every pound of feed that goes into those really counts to its maximum. Their gains are high, their efficiencies high, the animals stay healthy. Everything looks good coming out as good as it does going in and the animals do really well as far as you know their phenotype, they're built. We really focus on creating the best built animals. In the show ring, we're feeding that phenotype. We want to make the animals look as phenotypically good as we can. What their physical characteristics are. We want to max them out and make that animal 110% every step in the rank.
Matt Adams (44:08):Very good. Very good.
Brenna Finnegan (44:09):So go ahead and describe a little bit about the feeds.
Levi Richards (44:12):Yeah.
Brenna Finnegan (44:12):Obviously, we're here at the beef expo, so you can focus on that if you want. But, also the nutrition program. I mean, you touched on it a little bit, but like diving in as to what you guys do, research-wise, finding out what is going to work and making a good feed.
Levi Richards (44:27):Yeah, absolutely. That's a good question. So there's a lot of behind the scenes efforts and it really it's funny, it kind of starts with our own team. We're kind of our own Guinea pigs on the sow end or on the pig end, Kalmbach Feeds owns several thousand pigs. And we're able to run some trials. We're building a research facility. They're on site. We've got a really nice poultry facility for research right now. And there's some new things coming. But when we want to come out with a new product, we don't just throw some things in a computer and say, "Hey, this looks good on paper. Let's sell it." We're talking about years. And I mean sometimes two or three years of trials and research and development that goes into it.
Levi Richards (45:15):I'll tell you, we're getting ready to launch something at the end of spring, early summer, we are really excited about it. I'd love to tell you more about it, but I cannot. But it has been in the works for quite some time. It's been something we've been talking about doing for years and finally made the big investment to be able to make something the right type and size last year. And now the diets are done. The sales reps themselves have kind of been our Guinea pigs for it. Anybody that owns cattle, we've been able to send a few bags here in their home and try it out. I've got some here that I've got a heifer on. I'm super pumped about it, but it can be-
Brenna Finnegan (45:51):You can send some my way. I know the beat costs.
Matt Adams (45:54):And I think that's just one of the great aspects that you guys are a family-owned company, but you're not just putting something in a bag and tossing it out there to see if it'll stick in the market. There is a lot of research, it sounds like. And trials that go into this before you're going to give it out to the public.
Levi Richards (46:08):Yes. So the team that kind of leads the Formula of Champions effort, I like to call them my team of experts. Okay? There's about 15 people and they're not the people that will give you feeding advice by reading it out of the book, they are the ones helping me write the book. And that is the most literal thing I can tell you because every year we sit down and write a product book with all the descriptions and we make sure that these feeds are as absolute good and performance and quality as we can. And that team of experts are the ones trialing these feeds. We know firsthand what needs changed, what's working and what's not. So it's an incredible little group of guys and girls that really help bring this program to the next level.
Matt Adams (46:49):We talk about when we look at this good feed to give these animals, we also look at the cost of stuff. And especially, over the last couple years. The way everything's happening in the economy. And we look at inflation and we look at overall grain prices. We go into the raw product to make your feed. Tell us a little bit about that and how you guys are, I guess, working for that and against it and every other way around it.
Brenna Finnegan (47:16):Well, I can literally see where you want to put the best of the best into it-
Levi Richards (47:19):We do.
Brenna Finnegan (47:19):But you also have to take this economic side.
Levi Richards (47:22):Well, I'll tell you something. I absolutely refuse to make a feed cheaper by dumbing it down. Like to take some of the good stuff out of it, just to hit a price point. I am not that guy. I will not be that guy, and Kalmbach Feeds is not that company. We quality check every ingredient as it comes in. And we have a very rigorous procedure checking, not only the ingredients, but the finished products before they leave. Okay. But you wanted to bring up the cost. And I'll tell you now is not a fun time to be making a livelihood by selling feeds.
Levi Richards (47:53):Because it is not cheap. I've never sold a single product by being the cheapest. And I never intend to. I want to sell somebody the product because it's the best one out there for them. But yeah, none of them are cheap right now.
Brenna Finnegan (48:08):So in comparison to the feed cost.
Levi Richards (48:10):Sure. Sure.
Brenna Finnegan (48:10):I mean, obviously looking at current crop prices and seeing what they are.
Levi Richards (48:14):Yep.
Brenna Finnegan (48:15):How do you guys go about factoring that in when creating these feeds and then setting up prices? I mean, there's a return that you guys need.
Levi Richards (48:23):You bet. Yeah.
Brenna Finnegan (48:24):And also costs that you guys have to cover, but yet you still don't want to be like, "Well, it's 25 bucks a bag." And everybody's like, "Okay."
Levi Richards (48:31):Hey, let's not joke, 25 bucks is happening.
Brenna Finnegan (48:35):I know. I know. And that's what I'm worried about, so.
Levi Richards (48:38):All right. So yeah, you bring up a really good point. In fact, I was at our county Cattlemen's meeting and I was our retiring president this past year, but I joked at our banquet at the end. When I was a kid, I remember sitting at the table, there's a commercial cattle guy in our county that I've always thought super highly of and had so much respect for, and I still do to this day. But I was joking with him as a kid and he was giving me crap for feeding show feed. And he said, "You're paying 16 or a hundred for that show feed." Well, right now, 16 or 50, ain't even getting it done.
Matt Adams (49:11):Right.
Brenna Finnegan (49:13):I'm just thinking, how many days can I get out of this bag of feed.
Levi Richards (49:16):I know. I know. We've got to do what's smart. And yeah. You talk about the actual cost. It comes down… There's so much more into it than just the price of corn, beans and wheat. And that's what everybody looks at the Chicago Board of Trade. And some days the feed cost doesn't always match what the CBOT is doing. And they're asking me like, "What is going on?" There's so much more that goes into it. You don't think about it, but like say wheat mids, they go up usually in December, around Christmas time, the holidays wheat mids are up substantially. Sometimes double it's that's priced throughout the rest of the year. Or how about when minerals spike... Our products are fortified to the 200th degree.
Levi Richards (50:00):I mean, there's so much more than just corn notes and whatnot that goes into these products that there's a lot of factors there. And the other thing is everything in the Formula Champion is line, and really, even everything branded at feeds is a fixed formula. It's locked in. We have never since coming out with these brands. We have never changed the formula to make it cheaper. It is about making the most high-quality, the best performing products on the market.
Matt Adams (50:28):Do you see the producers out there wanting to try and come up with different ways to change up their feed program, especially with this time in our industry?
Levi Richards (50:38):Yeah. So, let's step aside from the whole show feed thing right now, because I do sell a lot of feed to commercial producers. And I wouldn't have the living today that I did without them. And I have so much respect for those guys that are feeding several 100 head or several 1,000 head in some cases. They especially have to do what's going to mean the most to their bottom line. You want to talk about the difference in feeding show stock or commercial stock, the show stock we're feeding to build that phenotype and that build. These commercial producers, they've got to be efficient and they've got to meet a weight and have the most weight per day of age, the most efficient, I guess, at the end of the day.
Brenna Finnegan (51:23):I like to do comparisons here, so.
Levi Richards (51:25):Yes.
Brenna Finnegan (51:25):I mean, Levi knows my family and everything and the, "Hey, you got to turn and burn, get them in, get them out. Feed them as fast as you can make the money, that kind of thing. But then going to the show feed side of things, it's the souped up version of it. And I always would say like, "Why do you watch NASCAR or something...' It's the same exact kind of thing. Like go watch cars go down the road rather than sitting and watching a track goes in a circle with pretty paint. And that's the difference. I say the cars on the lots going down the road and then, and all that kind of stuff in comparison to a NASCAR car.
Levi Richards (52:01):You bet.
Brenna Finnegan (52:01):Or same with tractor polls. Why do you have to watch the super-modified go down a track? Just so the plow and watch it go down the field. You know?
Levi Richards (52:09):When I started at Kalmbach Feeds, one of the other sales reps said that showing cattle was like a beauty pageant for cows. And actually at first it made me really mad just having such a passion for it. But compared to what those commercial guys are doing, it is exactly that. It's parading them through the ring. We've still got to have them really practical. They've got to be functional, but we're representing the beef industry just on a little prettier, more eye appealing level.
Matt Adams (52:35):Right.
Brenna Finnegan (52:36):So, spraying that show-sheen on is like slapping that sticker on the side of a car, right?
Levi Richards (52:42):Yeah, a little bit.
Matt Adams (52:42):It kind of gives us the difference that you would recommend to a feeding program for the show ring or the feed line.
Levi Richards (52:52):So I'll just talk about feed and steers. When it comes to feeding show steers, we've got a really very user-friendly three step program. Our one third pro grower grows them and gets some big metal and is bloomy and chubby. Some of those steers that maybe need a little bit more energy to kind of get finished, are going to go to the pro finisher at some point. And then I almost always have one go to a barley-based feed. We've got two different options for their last 60 to 100 days. So it becomes very user-friendly. There's a couple different pieces of the puzzle that you can use. Ultimately, that's what we're getting at. In the commercial world we are using what's going to be the lowest cost ingredients, but maximizing feed efficiency and performance.
Matt Adams (53:37):The quicker we can get the animal to the packer, is probably what those producers are looking to do.
Levi Richards (53:42):Yes. And as of now with commodity prices and ingredient prices and inputs where they are, everybody's scrambling just a little bit saying, "What can I do to cheapen things up?" Just for example, one of my biggest customers, actually my biggest customer called me this week because they've got several 1,000 young calves on feed and they needed to be able to make their 16% cash starter cheaper. And I can't blame them at all. By the time we looked at dollars and cents and what it was costing them, we've got to do what we can to minimize their inputs, but keep performance the same. So, luckily we've got an incredible team of nutritionists at Kalmbach Feeds that I was able to go back to.
Levi Richards (54:26):One that I work really closely with is Kyle Nichols. He and I work real close together, both on show feed and a lot of commercial accounts, but I took it to Kyle and said, what can we do? And he played with some numbers and ingredients, and he's an awesome guy at really being able to look at those and creating a better bottom line for these guys really.
Matt Adams (54:45):And I think that's a great thing you talked about too, is the research that goes into this. For the most part, your consumer would probably think of his feed. I mean, it's the same stuff I could buy at the local farm store, right? Is there new technology and new rationing and stuff that's coming out all the time for feed?
Levi Richards (55:05):Yes. Always. I guess for example one of the big components that we put in all of our show feeds is opt 4XL. It's a patented yeast strand. That's just really helped further digest every kind of feed you put inside of them, maximizing gut health and performance and efficiency. We also use Optor XL and almost all of our commercial diets and a lot of those supplements that you can buy for your corn, I mean, corn and pellet programs. And really just we can use some of that R&D that we've put into it on every side of it, not just show feed, not just commercial feed, but really is such a broad spectrum.
Levi Richards (55:38):But that's just one example of one of those technologies that we've got available to us. Or there's another one called Lifeguard. That's a blend of essential oils and, oh Lord, what else is in that one? It's a blend of like four different things that really help just the overall health and performance of the livestock. So Lifeguard's been a great, a great product and component, but we actually put that in products for all species. It's not even just beef, but that's been a huge part of our program.
Brenna Finnegan (56:08):It's funny, bringing up the essential oils thing. And in the last, like what, three years or something like that. Even with kids walking into the ring, we've put lavender and all that kind of stuff on them to help with the calming factor and all that. But I mean, doing it from the inside out is what you guys essentially are doing.
Levi Richards (56:28):Yeah, exactly.
Brenna Finnegan (56:28):So it's definitely neat to hear the transformation and the growth of the program.
Levi Richards (56:35):So yeah, I mean, it is. It's essential oils, it's probiotics, prebiotics, and a little bit of everything.
Brenna Finnegan (56:41):Everything our doctors are telling us to do.
Levi Richards (56:43):Exactly. We could take a little piece of our program home with us, if we really paid better attention.
Matt Adams (56:51):Well, Levi, if somebody wants to get more information on all your products with Kalmbach what is the best way they can get that information?
Levi Richards (56:58):Yeah. So anything, I guess, as a broad spectrum call kalmbachfeeds.com is the easiest place to go for information. And there's some contact information there. If you want specific information on show feeds, go to formulaofchampions.com and under Contact Us, you can find phone numbers for myself and a lot of those people on that team of experts. And I'd be happy to talk to anybody. We go to a lot of farms. I couldn't even tell you how many farms I get on per month or per year. It's kind of a crazy life.
Matt Adams (57:30):And I think that means a lot right there that you guys are willing and wanting to go out to the farm and see first-hand that animal and help that producer with that feed program.
Levi Richards (57:41):Oh, I prefer it.
Brenna Finnegan (57:42):You bring up the word team.
Levi Richards (57:44):Yeah.
Brenna Finnegan (57:44):You really want to treat it as a team. You want to see them as succeed as much as be yourselves and all that-
Levi Richards (57:50):And honestly, and Brenna, you can probably attest to this because I've dealt with your family for years, but when you buy feed from me you kind of become part of the family. I like to stop out.
Brenna Finnegan (57:59):It's kind of an understanding here because we've done birthdays and-
Levi Richards (58:02):Yeah.
Brenna Finnegan (58:03):Yes. But I really do mean it. Like my customers mean a lot to me. And there's some that I've grown very close to over the years, but I want to get on your farm. I want to see your livestock and let's make sure we're doing the right thing.
Matt Adams (58:13):Exactly.
Levi Richards (58:14):Yeah.
Matt Adams (58:14):And I think that's one thing we always pride ourselves to AgCredit as being relationship lenders, where you guys are just as much a relationship to that producer when it comes to the feed side. Another basic tool for his toolbox to keep growing and team members.
Brenna Finnegan (58:30):The team member.
Levi Richards (58:31):Yeah.
Brenna Finnegan (58:32):So Levi, we want to thank you for joining us and sharing your knowledge, especially about Kalmbach and the industry and all that kind of stuff.
Matt Adams (58:39):And we will have the links in our transcript on www.AgCredit.net and transcripts for our podcast. That way we have all your information there, so.
Levi Richards (58:50):Perfect.
Brenna Finnegan (58:51):Feel free to reach out to us and help create a better team for all of our producers in our area. Right?
Levi Richards (58:57):Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you guys so much for having me.
Matt Adams (58:59):Yes. Thanks, Levi. We do appreciate it very much.
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