Heart of Ag: Eat Beef and Be Merry
By Amanda Radke
The holiday season is officially upon us, and for those who are looking for the perfect gift for the hard-to-shop-for someone in their life, let this cattle rancher offer a simple solution – give the gift of beef.
Ribeye steaks. Tenderloins. Tomahawks. Tri-Tip. Who is going to complain when they slap a fancy steak on their grill, courtesy of one of their dearest friends?
On Dec. 1-3, my friends, the DuVall family at Capitol Angus and Texas Beefhouse will be offering 12 holiday gift baskets featuring Wagyu steaks. And, the unique thing about it is these lots can only be purchased via an online auction.
The event will be held exclusively on CCI.live, with buyers able to bid on beef with guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Now the reason I’m dedicating my weekly column to this topic is because this may be the first time in modern history where beef has been sold at auction, and I’m excited about it.
I work with some great friends at CK6 Consulting, a service focused on the purebred Angus seedstock business, and CK6 Consulting Founder Chris Earl had been mulling over the idea of auctioning off beef for quite some time.
Taking beef products to the free market sounded like an incredible idea to me.
Doing this allowed for customers to determine the true value and price. It cut out the middleman. It allowed producers to develop close and meaningful relationships with customers, and it added dollars directly back to the ranching family.
In theory, it seemed like a win-win-win idea, but would it actually work?
We put the concept to the test in November with the Capitol Angus and Texas Beefhouse Annual Bull and Female Sale. Consumers were invited to a barbecue and ranch tour, followed by a live beef auction.
The results were jaw-dropping, to say the least. I don’t think any of us quite expected what would happen next.
More than 800-plus people attended the event in person and online for this historic, landmark auction. The event was hosted on the video sale platform CCI.live and organized by CK6 Consulting. Auctioneer Wes Tiemann led the sale, assisting 100-plus buyers from all over the country in making their beef selections.
Families, restaurants and business owners gathered to stock their freezers, purchase steaks for Christmas gifts and tour the Capitol Angus grounds, giving a unique opportunity for folks outside of agriculture to see how beef is raised on a family-owned Texas ranch.
Results from the 33-lot beef auction were impressive.
In total, 2,564 pounds averaged $26.96 per pound; 1,750 pounds of ground beef and sausage averaged $8.46 per pound and 774 pounds of primals and steaks averaged $68.81 per pound.
“To our knowledge, this is the first modern beef auction of its kind, and the excitement was electric,” said Earl. “The DuVall family took a huge risk in trying something completely new, and the market responded in spades.”
“Buyers weren’t just buying beef though – they were buying into a hard-working family and the story behind this beef,” he continued. “The DuValls work tirelessly to invest in Angus and Wagyu genetics, which will ultimately create a great beef eating experience for the people they serve.”
This is just the beginning for Texas Beefhouse, and we are all looking forward to the Christmas auction and many more to come. And perhaps, this might be a new avenue for many ranchers, just like the DuVall family, to market their beef direct to consumers and earn a premium for what they do.
“We are so grateful for everyone who came out to support us for this sale, both in person and online,” said Tyler DuVall of Capitol Angus. “We are excited for the future and eager to rollout new opportunities for our customers to purchase high-quality Angus and Wagyu beef.”
Interested individuals can learn more about the upcoming auction at texasbeefhouse.com, and my encouragement to all beef cattle producers is this:
There are many challenges threatening the future of our businesses and our way of life, and unfortunately, the political will does not seem to be there to address any of these issues.
We can’t wait for a white knight to swoop in and save us. We must, instead, look for ways as entrepreneurs and capitalists to enter into the free market and capture the true value for the hard work we do back at home on the ranch.
And, the best way for us to do exactly this is to focus on raising the best beef we possibly can and telling our story to the people we want to serve. When we do this, good things will come our way, and perhaps, we’ll discover new and exciting ways for our children and grandchildren to make a go of it in this industry we all love.
Eat beef and be merry, my friends!
Amanda Radke is a rancher, author, motivational speaker and podcast host. For more from Radke, visit amandaradke.com.