Bastrop Cattle Company

  (Bastrop, Texas)
Bastrop Cattle Company
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Promoting Grass Fed Beef in the Current Market

I play this little game with myself - every Monday, I tally the sales for the past week to see how we've done.  I have a specific goal - posted in red on my side board - for weekly sales.  Monday is my day to see if I met my goal.  Every month, I add more to the figure for what I need to bring in per week.

The good news is that every month since we started selling our sales have gone up.  And my accountant tells me that our growth is impressive.  However, my little demons are telling me its not enough, and that I have to "sell more beef!!".  So says my banker, and all those loans I have out!

 I think I'm doing all the right things.  Farmers Market twice a week (though the market has been really down over the last couple of months), website to promote our product with a shopping cart for people to buy direct (we just made it possible for people to use their credit cards), direct mailings every month to regular customers, enewsletter to regular customers, and advertising strategically placed to reach the customers most likely to buy our meat (believe me I've done my research).

I've also lined up wholesalers (groceries, restaurants, etc.) in our main market, Austin.  And every Monday I'm on the phone - not waiting for them to order, but asking if they need anything and when do they want delivery.

So, here's my question to y'all out there.  Am I doing everything I should?  Am I missing anything?

I follow up on leads.  I take samples to potential new wholesalers.  I call in networking connections to see if they know anybody else I can talk to.

Still, I've noticed shifts in the market.  For one, the Farmers Market sales have fallen off.  I figure this is for two reasons; we sell out in Bastrop and I'm sure that people have been hit by the downturn out here faster than say in Austin.  I'm committed to this Farmers Market.  We're really trying to grow it.  However, I'm being told to shift to Austin and go to those Farmers Markets instead.

They are certainly bigger markets, but there is also additional costs and paperwork required if we do that.

Also, what do y'all think about promotionals?  Any ideas.

What about partnerships with other producers - like chicken or pork or veggies?

I'd appreciate any ideas!!



Tthe value of ranch land and attitudes

I had a very unnerving event this past weekend.  It happened at the local farmers market that we sell our beef at every Friday and Saturday. It went  something like this.  Another vendor stepped up to me and said; "Don't you live on such and such a road just outside Bastrop?"


"Wow, I bet that land of your's is really worth a lot of money."

"Yes, but we're not interested in selling.  We ranch and want to keep it that way."

"Well, but when the developers come around and offer you all that money, how are you going to say no?"

"We'll say no if we can avoid being squeezed out by the escalating property taxes and don't have eminent domain used on us (there is also talk of a loop around Bastrop and it could very easily go through our land)"

At that point another vendor piped in, "But a road wouldn't take that much land and just think of how much more the land will be worth at that point!"

At this piont, my stomach is starting to turn.  All I can see is a road going over all my live oaks and my cattle staring at each other separated by a four-lane.  What just happened here?  I just want to stay on my land. 

And I guess my questions are; "Isn't what I do valuable to society?  And doesn't my land have a lot of value just because of what I do?  Would it really be worth more to society with loads of houses and cars on it?

Finally why does everybody think that what I do as a rancher is so expendable?





Grass-fed, free-range beef in a drought

I haven't heard from many people and decided that I probably needed to be more proactive.

If you live in Central Texas, you know that we are now in a two-year drought.   For those of you outside of the area, we are!  What does this mean to a rancher?  Well, not anything good.  I'm looking outside my window at a lawn that is all sand, and I can hear my well going off again as the herd comes in to drink from the concrete trough that we now keep full 24 hours a day.  So far, the cows are looking pretty good considering.

With some foresight last spring, we had our back pasture treated with compost tea and it stood the grass well.  Everything is brown now, but at least we still have grass on most of the pastures -- abate with only limited protein.  We make that up with natureal mineral suppliments.  So far, the weather has been warm and with as much cover (native and coastal) as we have, we've avoided having to put out hay.  If it turns really cold, though, that will change.

Still, it can be tough on the cows.  All the cows on the place are young, and expecting their first calf.  While they look good, they are still undergoing some stress -- cows don't like dust either.  I see a lot of runny noses out there.  We're keeping a close eye on everyone to make sure its nothing more than sinus irritation!

I just wish it would rain.


Information about us.

This is just a short blog to let everyone know that I am always happy to answer any questions about our beef, how we raise the animals, how we handle the meat and how we sell it.  I appreciate any serious questions, comments and suggestions.  Thank you.
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