Pass It On! Cattlemen Plan Ahead for Future Generations

Cattlemen share their beef industry stories

Generation to Generation at A-Bar Ranch, Oklahoma

Mike and Martha Armitage at A-Bar Ranch in Oklahoma say the transition of a beef operation from generation to generation can be difficult, but the beef checkoff is a leader in helping families do just that.

A-Bar Ranch, Oklahoma

Generations of the Armitage family, A-Bar Ranch in Oklahoma, say the beef checkoff in beneficial in many ways, from educating the consumer about the nutritional benefits of beef to protecting beef's reputation.

Dalebanks Angus, Kansas

At Dalebanks Angus near Eureka, Kansas, the Perriers say beef checkoff programs have helped them drive more value to their beef. With the upcoming 7th generation, they believe the checkoff's efforts to help tell the producer story will be valuable, too. 

Driggers Cattle Company, South Carolina

The Driggers Cattle Company was started in the 1970s and now spans four counties in North and South Carolina. They have continued to pass along the operation, and as natural beef producers, Jamie says the checkoff helps create marketing opportunities for them.

Empire Dairy, Colorado

At Empire Dairy near Wiggins, Colorado, the family relies on the checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program to teach them cattle-handling information that allows them to sell better quality beef, along with the high quality milk produced at the farm. Following good management practices is part of their plan to pass the farm along to the third generation.

Menges Family Ranch, Arizona

In southeast Arizona, the beef checkoff has played a part in helping three of the Menges Ranch family members be their best when it comes to producing and selling beef. That support makes them feel confident about the next generation’s prospects in beef production.

Townsend Ranch, Montana

On the Townsend family farm and ranch in Montana, the business brings together many generational views to be successful. Watch as Will Townsend explains how he believes the beef checkoff has brought together a lot of industry segments to promote beef.

Joplin Regional Stockyards:  Joplin, Mo.

Joplin Regional Stockyards is a family business involving two generations. Jackie Moore has worked at the stockyards since the 1970s, and he says the checkoff is crucial to promoting beef not only in the U.S., but worldwide. His sons Skyler and Bailey say other aspects of checkoff support, like the focus on beef quality and new product research, means today’s consumers will continue to demand beef, and that demand means there is a future for them in the business, too.

AL Bar Ranch of San Antonio, Florida

Bill Barthle, 3rd generation rancher in San Antonio, Fla., says the checkoff helps explain to consumers how U.S. beef is produced. He feels increasing that knowledge and the demand for beef will play a crucial role in passing the beef operation on to future generations.

Byergo Family:  Savannah, Mo.

Watch the video to learn about the Byergo family's passion for beef production and how the checkoff helps keep that passion alive.

Mushrush Red Angus: Chase County, Kansas

From his family's ranch in Chase County, Kansas, Joe Mushrush said he and his wife, Connie, "have told our kids that any of them that want to return to the ranch, that we would do our level best to make a spot for them." So the couple is dedicated to creating a viable entity for any of the family's future generations to return to the ranch. Learn more in the video below about his family's efforts -- and the role of its checkoff investments -- toward accomplishing that.

Triangle H: Garden City, Kansas

Sam Hands said business planning for future generations is a critical part of the Triangle H ranch south of Garden City, too. One of the first six checkoff volunteer leaders from Kansas back in the checkoff's first year in 1986, said it was "very humbling and gratifying to see all segments of the industry come together with a common goal - to advance the sustainability of the beef industry by way of a product that would bring satisfaction to consumers." Learn more in the video below about how he is bringing his daughter and grandsons into the fold.

How Does the Beef Checkoff Help?

Your beef checkoff plays an important role growing and maintaining beef demand, thus opening new opportunities for cattle producers to sustain their businesses for generations to come. That includes keeping close tabs on what consumers want from your end products and the information they want about the level of care you provide for the land and animals you steward -- then making sure that's what they find at the meat case when they go to purchase food for their families.

It’s no small task, but your checkoff investments are part of the reason that beef demand has remained strong throughout the extremely tight supplies of recent years. In fact, a study by Dr. Harry Kaiser at Cornell University demonstrates that every checkoff dollar invested has a return on investment of $11.20. That means that every dollar you invest returns $11.20 more than you would have received without the checkoff in place.

Check out some checkoff results through this website – and at this sample of the checkoff’s consumer-facing websites: