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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Heart of Ag: Bid on Beef With Me

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By: Amanda Radke

As a lifelong beef cattle rancher, there are some fundamental truths about this business  cattlemen and women hold dear. 

This isn’t an easy life, but it’s a good life. Staying connected to the land and being a caretaker to the animals is an incredible pursuit, and the fruits of our labor are best enjoyed alongside family, who are willing to tackle the day-to-day grind of this business and stay committed to the task.

And although cattle prices are currently quite favorable, there are some hard facts about our industry which sometimes paint a grim picture.

Our nation’s cow herd is the lowest it’s been since 1962. The average age of a rancher today is pushing 60, and the capital requirements and risks to enter into this space are often daunting and overwhelming for a young person coming into it.

We lose millions of acres of pasture and farmland each year to development projects, and 85 percent of our beef supply is held captive by four major packers. 

Each year, we lose 1,300 cow/calf operators, and in the last 20 years, we’ve lost 75 percent of our nation’s family-owned feedyards. 

However, despite these trends I’m very optimistic. 

Every week, when I’m on the road, I meet innovative and determined beef cattle entrepreneurs who treat this way of life as a business. They are willing to upend the status quo, ditch the conventional rules and make a go of it, no matter the size. 

They make each animal and each acre count through value-added options which might raise an eyebrow or two with the neighbors – agritourism, direct-to-consumer beef sales, skin care products from beef tallow, corn mazes, hunting lodges, farm shops, specialty products and events.

It’s all there for the taking, and I have countless examples of ranchers who are absolutely changing the trajectories of their family’s futures and the profitability of the farm and ranch through their creativity and boldness to try new things.

Let me give you an example of one I’m wildly excited about. 

It’s called Bid on Beef, a new auction platform designed to connect beef producers with beef consumers.

The platform,, will host carefully-vetted American cattle ranching families, with a focus on delivering a top-end, prime Angus and Wagyu product for an unforgettable, white table cloth restaurant eating experience which can be enjoyed right at home.

The platform launched on June 1, and I’m so proud to be a partner in this exciting new venture. 

A lifelong dream of my dear friend, mentor and New Mexico rancher and CK6 Consulting Owner Chris Earl, this has been a labor of love to bring this website to fruition, and since we made the grand announcement, our phones haven’t stopped ringing with excited ranchers and shoppers eager to connect on the site. 

We see this as an opportunity for commercial and seedstock producers alike to add value to their calf crop each year. We see it as a way to bridge urban and rural America. We see it as an opportunity to get closer to the consumer retail dollar, moving product in volume while also earning a premium and we see this as a unique opportunity for American families to stockpile their beef from a trusted source.

What makes this platform extra unique is we are taking the concept of cattle auctions and applying it to retail beef sales. The CK6 team I have the great pleasure of working with has done $150 million in cattle sales in the last five years, and using this same sales mentality and drive, we have hosted four pilot auctions, moving 5,200 pounds of product and averaging $31 per pound. 

So we are inviting consumers to participating in live and timed beef auctions, where they choose the ranch, the beef cut and the price, and it’s delivered straight to their door nationwide if they are the winning bid on their favorite lot. 

I share this news with all readers with humility and enthusiasm. We are going to pour our passion into this model, and it’s our sincere hope it could be the solution for the producers we serve to take their beef cattle programs to the next level.

In the heart of rural America, we have every opportunity to hope, dream, plan, create, build and be the change we wish to see. This is my step to doing exactly this, and I would love to invite everyone to check it out and bid on beef with me.

Amanda Radke is a rancher, author, motivational speaker and podcast host. For more from Radke, visit

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