Go Home Little Bull
a white paper report about the sudden window of opportunity in direct marketing;
opportunities, obstacles, solutions, and a new partner to help kickstart the process

This whole nutty pandemic may actually contain a few genuine silver linings when it's all said and done. Have you noticed how many more people are experiencing renewed appreciation for their food supply right now? Before Covid-19, farmers markets with local garden produce have been growing in popularity, carving out new competition for grocery store chains. And now, the pandemic is creating a rise in appreciation for locally grown beef & dairy products(1). This presents a sudden & significant opportunity to develop more local meat marketing strategies(2).

Unnecessary Problems for Farmers: With the pandemic producers have been losing money and livestock. They've been hit hard, dumping millions of gallons of milk in the dairy industry(3), and being expected to kill thousands of animals that the meat packing industry can't handle with some closures(4); all the while watching the USDA bring in additional beef imports from new countries(5).

Unnecessary Restrictions for Consumers: With pandemic, more people are home, noticing the effects of monopolies in the commercial packing industry --many owned by other countries(6) --and seeing the waste in government overreach, that, all put together, is inefficient, costly, cruel, ridiculous, and anything but safe for our food supply.(7)

Where Do We Go From Here? This colossal inefficiency and damage, while adding insult to injury in every level of our food supply chain, might become the conglomerate middleman companies' undoing(8). A huge window of opportunity is now open for direct marketing of local beef and dairy products. It seems the pandemic is just leading us where we were already headed, but faster. If producers can hold on long enough, maybe they can work together in the private sector, supporting more locally owned small lockers, and home butchers. Supported by a more understanding consumer, maybe farmers can help steer the direction we go from here: toward more private sales.

Direct Marketing: The way to market meat and dairy products directly is usually to sell locally at Farmers Markets, roadside stands, or selling online straight from the ranch or farm, or with CSAs or local abbatoirs & meat lockers. The major obstacles include the time & effort it takes to do one's own marketing, or to get enough sold compared to what is produced, while avoiding the mainstream commercial middlemen and staying legal. At the end of this report, I have included links to several articles and videos about how ranchers may turn this renewed demand into opportunity. And to help with any direct marketing strategy in agriculture is something that I know about personally, and am honored to recommend:

IntelliBeef™: This is is a simple way to employ RFID eartags, collars or microchips in livestock and participate in record-keeping databases online to track any animal along the food chain, and help identify, document & verify the production of safe local food that people are looking for.

IntelliBeef™ is a value added solution for the cattle industry at every level and phase of the production chain. It is a cost effective solution that collects & organizes information that is vital in the management, identification, marketing and reporting of livestock, including:

Here's How it Works: The livestock owners invest in ILR RFID intelliBeef™ ear tags (for same cost as any RFID tags). But the differences are substantial.

        IntelliBeef™ Program: Labels that would allow consumers to choose Normande beef, Pinzgauer beef (both known in Europe for awesomeness...) or heritage Angus, heirloom Hereford, or American bred Wagyu... labels so they could choose between organic fed, or fed with no GMO grains, or wholly grass fed, and naturally raised on free range pasture, and see where it was bred, fed, and humanely harvested (without stress and fear). Records provided will all be documented. Documentation for practices not done, such as no growth hormones, no antibiotics, no feedlots or inhumane slaughter, etc ... are at risk for deception. But the reliability will be above what exists now. It will be local. Everything provable will be documented. Local producers will build their reputations and gain consumer confidence over time. Consumers can check records provided on intelliBeef™ labeled products--buyers can buy cattle entered in the intelliBeef™ database, and surely be as reliable as anything the government approves of--if not more so. Outfits that are too small to buy government verification as officially organic, 100% grassfed, etc, can still record their operation and management practices with documentation, and let simple facts -- and real value prices -- present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and get it accessible to all involved. This is a value-based solution that is available to any producer. It will work for consumers looking for a safer more reliable food supply, direct from local producers, rather than buying some kind of meat, from some kind of animal, managed somehow, slaughtered somehow, and shipped from somewhere to the neighborhood chain supermarkets.
        I believe this pandemic could bring about a VERY positive turnaround, allowing consumers more direct access to a safer food supply, and to support safer meat & dairy production. Nothing is perfect nor foolproof, but as long as laws are followed, livestock producers can use this database program as a partner to help shape future markets and develop trust with local customers.

Call ☎ 816-738-4179 or email for more information about intelliBeef™.


NEXT: an interesting post from Facebook that discusses what intelliBeef™ is all about:
Horse Creek Ranch & Farm · to public group; Grass Fed Dairy · May 3, 2020

empty shelves        How is everyone holding up? ... The biggest thing we are trying to show here is how important it is to support local farms and ranches especially during a time like this.
        Candice and I went shopping today to collect our odds and ends we needed for the month. We walked past the meat section in this store and not only realized the scarcity of the meat selection, but how expensive the meat is now. We continued on shopping and once we came back home we did some research. There is an article titled "Yes, There Is Less Meat In Grocery Stores Because Of The Coronavirus. Yes, You're Going To Pay More." That caught our attention. The article states and I quote, "The viral infection and subsequent closures (of processing plants) are straining the supply of meat to market. Beef production is down 25% and pork has declined 15% from a year ago, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Like I stated before and even in the article noted above, the price is almost double it was about a week ago. What is the point I am trying to make?
        The point I am trying to make is that if you buy locally from a grass fed farm or you raise your own meat, you know what exactly is going into the animal. Compared to the processing plants where the animal may be laying on it's own manure jammed packed in one stall waiting to get butchered. We are all about locally sourced food. We would rather spend close to $1,000 for a year's worth of grass-fed meat than buy meat from a supermarket ever again. Yes, that may be a lot of money for some families but we know that we will have enough meat to last, our family of four, for a year. I mean, anyone that has followed us on our page has seen that we buy only grass pork and beef from local farms. But not only that, we go and see the farm, meet the owners, and see how the animals are living. That's how we know we are receiving healthy grass-fed raised meat compared to the stuff you buy in the supermarket.

(1) I live in the 5th or 4th largest populated counties in the country, and local supply of beef & the farmers market system here is suddenly being talked about everywhere around here... This subject is blowing up on social media, too. So many people are home, seeing scant shelves in the grocery store, paying attention to what is essential and what is not, and taking care of their family's best interests, first hand. ~ D.G., author

(2a) Trend of the future??... New Wyoming Law Lets Local Ranchers Sell Cuts of Meat Directly to Consumers; Wyoming’s first-and-best-in-the-nation food freedom law just keeps getting better... by Baylen Linnekin | 04.04.2020 | reason.com.
(2b) Navigating the beaurocracy of FSIS in the pasture to plate or farm to table movement; Sandhills Beef Company, Mullen, Nebraska. Owner Jacob Wingebach ; videos with Trent Loos, and Dr Michael Fisher. (Facebook public video posts Feb 2020; This is the nuts & bolts of legally getting through established law & resulting beaurocracy in the pasture to plate process.)
        "We have a unique opportunity right now in our food system to create change. At a time when American producers are dumping American product and the USDA wants to assist American beef producers in disposing of livestock while we as consumers allow our government to import cattle from other countries and mark it “Product of the USA.” The whole thing pisses me off. So.... I own (Sandhills Beef Co) that can get the best beef from the state of Nebraska. Arguably, the best beef in the world. Our producers have it and our customers want it. In order to make a good profit and pay the family decent wages we have to “lean forward”. It's a wild ride we're on and I'd love to hire some folks that have experience breaking down or slaughtering in a custom exempt shop." ... "We have minimal small business in this country. That's BS. The ones we have have thin profit margins. This makes it difficult to pay people a decent wage for their time because you're competing with other countries that pay their worker's $3/day. We've accepted that, until this BS virus shut the economy down. Now, we have record beef prices and our AMERICAN producers are loosing their ass.... It's so ridiculous." ... "The best part, we're introducing thousands of American's to the age old American process of purchasing beef directly from the producer. PARADIGM shift. NEW BUSINESS MODEL. CRAFT BUTCHERY!!!!! .... It's going to be ok. Sharing ignites the fire. Thank you."

(3) Arizona dairy farmers forced to dump milk during coronavirus pandemic, The Coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on Arizona’s Dairy industry. The sudden closure of restaurants, schools, and other businesses throughout the U.S. has reduced the demand for dairy products, forcing farmers to dump millions of pounds of milk and cream a day. April 13, 2020, Fox News.

(4) What Meat Shortage? The coronavirus pandemic hasn't just resulted in huge disruptions to the nation's largest meat processing plants. Now, it's effecting American farmers too. Baby pigs, chickens, and cattle are being killed because there's no room for them without running ("non-essential") processing plants. Those animals are the ones you would've been buying at the grocery store in a few months. But, actually, there IS room for them. LOCAL meat processing plants are allowed to do business with individuals, so why can't they process meat to sell in local grocery stores? Or Farmer Markets?

(5) Namibian beef imports now in the US. South-African country (whose northern area has FMD) is now licensed to sell chilled and frozen beef products into America. Alan Newport | Apr 30, 2020 | FarmProgress.com. Meat from Nambia, South Africa arrived yesterday but ranchers are being told to destroy cattle. Crops tilled under, milk dumped, chickens euthanized and more.
(5) USDA confirms approval of Chinese chicken By Bill Tomson, agri-pulse.com, 11/07/19. China now allowed to certify slaughter and processing facilities there to export chicken to the U.S. See more here.
(5) African and Brazilian beef imports are deliberate attempt to destabilize U.S. cattle industry The Fence Post Ag News | February 25, 2020, an R-Calf USA report. BILLINGS, Mont. — R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said that the Agriculture Secretary's opening the U.S. market to fresh beef imports from Brazil and Namibia, Africa, are deliberate attempts by both the government and multinational beef packers to destabilize the U.S. cattle industry. Bullard explained that the meatpackers and the secretary are working aggressively to force cattle producers to comply with unnecessary mandates that will facilitate the vertical integration of the live cattle supply chain. He cites the secretary's recent and unlawful mandate to require producers to begin using RFID technology and to register their premises with the government.

Author's comment: IMHO R-Calf cares only about R-Calf... BUT yea, you bet... covid-19 meatpacker closures woke the public up--who now pay much closer attention to their food supply--NOT what the meat packer monopoly conglomerates want. But it is what WE want. What we need to do now is use RFID technology in a privatized way, and take our food supply back -- with Direct Marketing. Don't use RFID for the government, but FOR the people--producers and consumers--by moving the food chain to the local level. (For example, you do not have to get a premise ID to get intelliBeef™ 918 RFID eartags).

(6) Who’s behind the Chinese takeover of world’s largest pork producer? PBS NewsHour, Sep 12, 2014. Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, was acquired by a Chinese firm (supported & financed by the Chinese government bank) in 2013 for nearly $5 billion -- 30% more than the company's actual market value.

(7) COOL: (USABeef.org) - Beef was originally required to be labeled for country of origin until Mexico and Canada filed an unfair trade dispute with the WTO and in 2015 won their case; Petition to immediately re-enact mandatory COOL for beef, pork & dairy products: In response to the COVID-19 Crisis, the President and Congress should immediately pass mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for beef, pork and dairy products to strengthen national food security and help stimulate economic growth. Country of Origin Labeling grants Americans the right to choose between imported or USA produced beef, pork; where they were born, raised and harvested; and where dairy products were originated, produced, sourced and processed. Access to safe food is the right of every American and in this time of crisis every American consumer should be able to make an informed purchasing decision as to where their food is from. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling strengthens the largest sector of U.S. agriculture, secures and creates jobs, strengthens the working class and supports rural American industry, production and manufacturing. For more information about mandatory Country of Origin Labeling go to LabelOurBeef.com.

(8) A new lawsuit accuses the “Big Four” beef packers of conspiring to fix cattle prices. by Joe Fassler, 04.23.2019. The plaintiffs, a group of feedlot operators, say companies like JBS and Tyson Foods illegally plotted to use various means—including strategic plant closures—to force desperate ranchers into selling their animals more cheaply.



Kansas Cattleman Explains how the American Cattleman is Being Destroyed, Lonesome Lands Blog ... “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much” — John Wayne

New Wyoming Law Lets Local Ranchers Sell Cuts of Meat Directly to Consumers; Wyoming’s first-and-best-in-the-nation food freedom law just keeps getting better. by Baylen Linnekin | 04.04.2020.

Pennsylvania Dairy Farmer Decides to Bottle His Own Milk Rather than Dump It. Sells Out in Hours. The American spirit lives on at a 300-year-old, cream-line dairy farm, where a farmer is working around the clock to bottle his own milk after his processor told him to dump it. Locals are lining up to support him.

Following the money in a grass-fed business (2010)

Producer's Guide to Pasture-Based Beef Finishing, Kentucky Cooperative Extension, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY.

Organic and Grass-finished Beef Cattle Production, By Lee Rinehart, CGP., NCAT Agriculture Specialist, Published February 2011, ©NCAT

ATTRA Grass Finished Beef Cattle Production. Please become a Friend of ATTRA and help us continue to serve farmers, ranchers, and educators; free pdf downloads, Categories: ATTRA Topics, Beef Cattle, Cattle Production, Livestock and Pasture, Marketing and Processing, Organic Farming, Organic Livestock.

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives covid-19 response

Weston Price Foundation: Real Milk campaign ~ Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and Organic Pastures Dairy Company (OPDC)

Benjamin R Lynn, Australian Galloway Beef Producer


Pastured Meat Producers are Facing Catastrophic Losses. Support Your Local Farmer. These Efforts Could Help Them Weather the Pandemic. Community-based initiatives have sprung up to support independent livestock producers shift to new markets. "Thank you for being a loyal reader. We are offering new membership levels to better support you in these challenging times, to offer more flexibility in how you support Civil Eats. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, so please email info-at-civileats.com if these options are beyond your budget." Civil Eats. Food & Policy. Farming. Health. Environment.LIST of OK cattlemen who sell direct

Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association compiling list of members selling beef direct-to-consumer, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, by Jamison Faught. Consumers are looking to buy beef direct — selling beef direct to the consumer is not a new idea, but it has definitely gained popularity during the recent disruption in the meat supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

USDA's Local Food Directories help you locate farmers markets, on-farm markets, CSAs, and food hubs.

Surviving 2020: a Farmer’s Guide, by Sami Tellatin and Jayce Hafner — April 20th, 2020
“Direct to Market” app to reach customers. As Politico reports, sales of boxed, direct-to-consumer farm goods are skyrocketing as cautious customers opt to shelter in place rather than risk a trip to the grocery store.

Barn2Door https://www.barn2door.com
FarmDrop https://www.farmdrop.us
GrazeCart https://grazecart.com
Harvie https://www.harvie.farm
Local Food Marketplace https://home.localfoodmarketplace.com
Meat Suite https://www.meatsuite.com
Open Food Network https://www.openfoodnetwork.org
WhatsGood https://sourcewhatsgood.com

Your Food Connection ~ Connecting Ranchers, Farmers & Processors to Consumers. A website directory to to list your produce, and to find your local food producers.

Today's Beef Choices, BeefNutrition.org - grain-finished, grass-finished, naturally raised, certified organic.

Livestock’s Contributions to Climate Change: Facts and Fiction. A white paper, defining the role animal agriculture and other sectors of society play in their respective contribution of greenhouse gases, as the societal concerns grow to seek a sustainable global future. Frank Mitloehner, Professor & Air Quality Specialist Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis.


Why Your 'Product Of U.S.A.' Steak May Not Actually Be From A Cow Raised On American Soil: "American shoppers face yet another dilemma in the grocery store aisle. According to a petition submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) by the Organization for Competitive Markets and the American Grassfed Association, not all meat labeled “Product of U.S.A.” is actually from animals raised within U.S. borders. It is “deceptive and misleading,” says the advocacy organizations in the document. They state that due to an ambiguity in the language in a regulatory policy, imported meat that is processed in a USDA-inspected facility is being labeled “Product of U.S.A.” despite the fact that the animal source was born, raised and slaughtered in another country." By Nicole Rasul, (who writes about the makers and shakers in our food system.) Aug 29, 2018; Forbes.com

Wise Traditions Diet ~ 50% Pledge: Spend at least 50% of your food$ on direct purchases from local ranchers, farmers & artisans. Weston Price website.

Raw Milk Use and Safety Fact Sheet. Authors: Center for Rural Affairs, Martin Kleinschmit, Hartington, Nebraska Northeast Nebraska RC&D, Plainview, Nebraska Holistic Management® Certified Educator, Terry Gompert, Center, Nebraska, 2007. PURPOSE: This fact sheet is prepared to educate both the consumer and producer on facts about raw milk. Raw milk sales are legal in over half the states (rules vary state by state). Most of the raw milk purchased in the U.S. is done so legally at the dairy farm. Check with the Department of Agriculture in the state you live for specific rules. As with other foods, milk may cause allergies in some people. Consulting a nutritionist, medical personnel, and other food experts would be well advised here. Producers and marketers of raw milk need to know the liabilities.

Raw Milk Benefits Skin, Allergies & Immunity. This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician.

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