Jared and Marion Wine didn’t grow up in the cattle industry. Marion is a chemical engineer and Jared trapped for the government, plus worked at some cattle sale barns and feedlots after college. The two purchased their Alice, Texas property in 2014 and dabbled in the cattle business, buying some fixer-uppers to flip.
So, they decided to take a chance.
“One day, I was just like, ‘this isn’t that complicated, Marion.’ We dumped everything we got into it, and we had been very fortunate, because it is, knock on wood, doing well,” Jared remembers.
In 2018, the first-generation ranchers partnered with Jared’s mother and stepfather and poured everything they had into the operation. The resulting momentum grew their cow herd to 200 head. Their custom backgrounding lot followed suit, increasing from 500 to 2,200 capacity.
“Our theory is, ‘if you’re not growing, you’re dying’,” Jared says. “We try to add capacity every single year. Now, for the first time ever, I’m turning people away since my yard is full.”
For the first few years of operation, the Wines owned all their own cattle. Now they start and background calves for numerous large operations throughout Kansas, feeding calves for 90 to 120 days instead of the usual 60 to 90 days. Jared grows the calves to between 700 and 800 pounds before returning them to their owners.
Performance Beef replaces paper and clipboards
Management challenges accompanied the Wine’s substantial growth. That led Jared’s nutritionist, Brandon Greenwood, to recommend he try Performance Beef since some of his other customers were already using it successfully.
Like most producers, Jared was marking up an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Most days, he’d carry a bunch of printed sheets around on an old metal clipboard, along with a feed chart covered in handwritten notes and random scale weights.
Accurate dollars and inventory
“I immediately found Performance Beef useful for tracking dollars primarily on the health side,” he says. “It keeps track of what calf had what shot, and if I miss a detail I can easily go through my screens, check my lots and quickly bring things up to date. It helps ensure revenue I might have otherwise lost.”
Since the Wines focus solely on backgrounding, cattle are constantly moving in and out. When Jared begins feeding a new set of calves, the program accurately tracks numbers and movements.
“I can put a naive pen together with 10 head I grab from here and there and when I start feeding this new group, it’ll allocate the funds,” Jared says. “I also do all my invoices and month-end stuff with it.”
Improving lending relationship
He says Performance Beef even improved his relationship with his banker. Rather than requiring a yearly renewal and increase on his line of credit, his banker offered Jared a three-year renewal turnaround thanks to the accuracy and organization of the program.
Jared says the feeding and billing aspects of Performance Beef are his favorite features. Each month he sends his customers a yard sheet outlining what’s on hand, where the death losses are and projected weights to show how the cattle are doing.
“It’s such a timesaver,” he says. “I don’t have to do a bunch of figuring. I simply click on the report, put the dates in and it’s right there.”
Jared recommends Performance Beef because of its ease of use and tracking abilities.
“The cost is negligible considering what you may be missing without it,” he says. “The glory of it is everything is right there on your phone, iPad or computer.”