Sixth-Generation Family Business Grows With Technology
1893. The year when Rhein Valley Farm was established. Today, Chelsey Erdmann is a proud sixth generation on the farm.
She hasn’t always worked on the farm, though. Her grandparents’ retirement opened a role for her and her brother to come home to the farm, so Chelsey left a job she enjoyed to invest in her family farm dreams.
“The opportunity to work close and see family every day is the best part,” says Chelsey.
Finding efficiencies and tracking costs
It’s a family affair on the North Dakota operation – Chelsey works alongside her brother, parents, grandma and young children, and her husband on occasion. It’s all hands on deck to run the feedlot, cow-calf operation, feed dealership and row crop side of things.
Before using Performance Beef, Rhein Valley Farms kept track of inputs, but it wasn’t very precise. Plus, they relied heavily on mental math.
“We would roughly track bales through the feeders, bedding and feed through the self-feeders, but it was never assigned to a group of animals like it is with Performance Beef,” explains Chelsey.
When Chelsey’s family heard about Performance Beef in 2019, they saw it as an opportunity to save valuable time and home in on costs.
“It’s all in the little details,” Chelsey adds. “When margin is tight, it’s much appreciated to know our as-fed costs exactly.”
The technology is especially helpful when someone new runs their feed wagon. Performance Beef helps reduce stress and increases confidence in feeding accuracy.
The family knows their operation is much more accurate today than it was in 2019 since they started capturing every pound of feed loaded and delivered.
“The end of the mental math is a big benefit. Even after thousands of loads with Performance Beef, watching the numbers count down still feels magical,” says Chelsey.