On the ranch
0

Faith, family and feed

Tiffany Hat Blog Post500

So tell me Miss Morgan, where do you see yourself in 10 years?  Um…well…that’s a good question!

If you had asked Shawn or Shane Tiffany that 15 years ago, could they have guessed what blessings lay in store?

In December 2007, at 28 and 30 years of age, “the Tiffany boys” to the locals around Herington, Kan., became some of the youngest feedlot owners in the industry.

"The Tiffany Boys" don't really have defined positions in the feed yard but if roles were to be assigned Shawn (left) would be operations manager and Shane (right) would be business manager. Shane explains that he makes the promises and Shawn carries them out.

“The Tiffany Boys” don’t really have defined positions in the feed yard but if roles were to be assigned Shawn (left) would be operations manager and Shane (right) would be business manager. Shane explains that he makes the promises and Shawn carries them out.

Their father Steve was yard manager at Black Diamond Feeders for 14 years, so when former owner Doug Laue was ready to hand off the business that helped launch U.S. Premium Beef, he offered the chance to Shawn and Shane, now owners of Tiffany Cattle Co.

However, this transition wasn’t a stroll through the alleyways.

“It was a baptism by fire, no doubt about it,” says Shane. “Name change took place Dec. 1 and 10 days later the lights went out—big ice storm. So we ran the feedlot for 10 days without any power. I look now and think how in the world did we get through that but I think ignorance was bliss. We just put our heads down and worked. You know it hasn’t been easy but God has just blessed us tremendously.”

Recession was about to hit the country and advisors had warned the boys away, that it would be “crazy,” but they had faith.

During that first crisis, they had eight customers and about 2,800 head on feed.  Now they feed for close to 130 customers, stay full for most of the year, manage 2,300 head on grass and farm enough acres to not only spread feedlot waste, but grow all the silage and some of the corn they need.

What once used to be a WWII Army air core base with 2,500 men stationed there has now become a temporary home to more than 20,000 cattle fed by Tiffany Cattle Co. every year.

What used to be a WWII Army Air Corps base with 2,500 men stationed there has become a boarding house to more than 20,000 cattle fed by Tiffany Cattle Co. every year.

Laue’s role as a founding member of USPB helped the Tiffanys with continuing market access, but it’s their level of customer service that underscores success.

“Everyone is aware that this is a risky business or it can be at times—you’ve got weather events and all these different things that are going against you—but no one likes surprises,” says Shane. “I think one of our biggest advantages is we just communicate. They don’t find out there was a problem with the pen when we ship them, they find out the day it happens. And they don’t find out on a piece of paper, I want them to hear it from my mouth and give them every bit of information I can.”

This quote is written on the white board in Shane's office to remind him what the business is all about.

This quote is written on the white board in Shane’s office to remind him what the business is all about.

They credit most of their success to the quality of cattle they feed but no matter how good the genetics,  it takes people who know what they’re doing to create high-quality beef, and the numbers prove they can do it.

In 2013, they fed 21,000 head that made 83% Choice, 5% Prime and including 39% CAB, averaging $58.80 per head in premiums per customer.

In an industry built upon relationships, these brothers have turned customers into friends.  And that’s the bottom line.

-Kaitlin

blackinkwithcab
Ride along with the Certified Angus Beef supply development team as we work to help cattlemen put more black ink in their record books with cattle management news, tips and ideas to profitably improve quality. CAB is a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Angus Association. It was founded in 1978 as the first fresh beef brand based on specifications, and remains the largest in the world. We spend every day working with cattlemen and women across the country to help them better supply the CAB brand with high-quality beef. Join us for a view from many a pickups' passenger seat.
Related Posts
unspecified-4
Maternal instincts, predictable cattle
Ranchers and chefs have a common customer
Rations may change, business models won’t

Leave Your Comment

Your Comment*

Your Name*
Your Webpage