PCC’s Grass-Fed Alliance

As you know, PCC recently formed an alliance with Tyson Foods and Cactus Feeders to produce a high-quality, grass-finished beef product. This product will be All Natural. It will compete with imported grass-fed beef. There is a difference between grass-fed and grass-finished. Any old cow that eats grass can be classified as grass-fed. Grass-finished beef, on the other hand, is well-marbled beef that provides a very enjoyable eating experience. Most of the imported beef is very lean.

This alliance also includes many PCC customers. We have 2000 calves and yearlings contracted for fall delivery. Pharo Cattle Company is paying $15/cwt over the Oklahoma City market or over the customer’s local market – whichever is higher. That is a premium of $75 per head on 500-pound calves and a premium of $120 per head on 800-pound yearlings. We have reason to believe the premiums will increase in the future. If all goes as planned, we will probably need 10,000 to 20,000 head every year.
Tyson Pharo, Tim Goodnight and I visited Cactus Feeders in Texas last week to see how the 120 steers in our trial run are doing. The steers look very good. They are grazing a variety of high-energy green forages on an irrigated circle. They are moved to a fresh paddock every day at 1:00 in the afternoon. The steers act as though they are very content. It looks as though they will be ready to harvest in another 60 to 80 days.

Pictured below with the steers are Tres Hess and Troy Keller from Cactus Feeders and Tyson Pharo and Tim Goodnight from Pharo Cattle Company. We also met with Paul Defoor who is CEO at Cactus Feeders. The management team at Cactus Feeders is very open-minded and innovative. They are not afraid to look and to think outside the status quo feedlot paradigm.

As stated in our Game Changer article, Cactus Feeders added two groups of ten head each of some mainstream genetics they consider to be among the very best they have fed in the feedlot. It is not difficult to see that the mainstream steers are not performing as well as the PCC steers. The mainstream steers were bred and selected to perform in the feedlot – not on grass. In this case, a picture may be worth much more than a thousand words.

As a cow-calf producer… would you want sisters to the thick, easy-fleshing PCC steer above or sisters to the taller, narrower and leaner mainstream steer above? Unless you keep your cowherd in a feedlot, you better stay away from mainstream genetics. This comparison reminds me of Tim Goodnight’s “Gut Volume” article in our Fall 2018 Newsletter.

Suffice it to say, we are all extremely excited about this alliance. It will be a win-win relationship – from the cow-calf producer to Pharo Cattle Company to Cactus Feeders to Tyson Foods to the end consumer. Working together, we will be able to accomplish things no one could accomplish on their own.