Build a Winning Team of Experts to Support Your Cattle Business

Management : Cow & Calf

Nutrition : Supplements

Elizabeth Backes-Belew, Ph.D.

Nutritionist, Beef Technical Solutions

Michael Jordan. Babe Ruth. Joe Montana. Mia Hamm.

All four are considered some of the greatest athletes and champions in their respective sports. They also share a common thread in surrounding themselves with a team that took them to the next level. You, too, can have a team that helps your cattle business win.

Who’s on the team?

Surrounding yourself with a team of experts or advisors is beneficial to ensure you meet your goals. The roster of advisors you recruit might include:
  • a Purina nutritionist
  • a veterinarian
  • an Extension agent
  • a banker
  • a sale barn representative
  • an accountant
Each can individually focus on different components to get your operation to the next level.
For instance, a veterinarian knows the proper health protocols for vaccines or dewormers to utilize in your operation. A Purina nutritionist can help you capitalize on your genetic decisions using nutrition to optimize performance.

Don’t forget about the value of the perspectives of other cattle producers you trust. If you’re new to cattle production, talk to somebody who has been in the business for a long time to bounce ideas off them. Maybe they are specialized in another segment of the cattle business and can provide a different viewpoint.
Taking steps to pool information gathering from a variety of sources can help optimize opportunity and reduce risk for your operation.

Where to find your team?

Start looking for your advisory team in your local area. You may already have cultivated business relationships with several people mentioned. If you don’t know someone with specializations in herd health, nutrition or finance, ask other producers for recommendations. Your Purina® dealer can also provide guidance on experts to connect with locally.

Also, don’t be afraid to utilize experts from outside your area. Agriculture trade shows and cattlemen’s conferences are places you can network to meet new people who may have knowledge you want to utilize.

What do conversations look like?

Once you’ve built a team of advisors, consider talking with them quarterly. It doesn’t have to be formal meeting with everyone all at once. Most of the discussions can happen through individual phone calls where you ask questions and seek answers.

It can be beneficial for your advisors to visit your farm or ranch during the year. They might observe something in your management that you’re excelling in or needs improvement.

Try meeting with a few of your advisors once a year as a group. Meeting together can be advantageous because they can share their expertise with one another to ensure all facets of your business are aligned. For instance, a banker might gain further insight into what is happening in the cattle markets by speaking with a sale barn representative. These group meetings could be a dinner at a local restaurant, at your home or even a brief discussion at a conference you’re all attending.

Building a team won’t happen overnight. It takes time to find the right people and build trust. Each advisor should have some understanding of your business situation and your goals. Once they do, they can provide input that helps push your operation forward.

Does your cattle nutrition program stack up? Find out with a Proof Pays trial and by working with a Purina® dealer.