On the ranch, On the road

A Day on the Ranch

An everyday event for ranchers is a pivot point for beef distributors

As someone who grew up in rural America, it’s hard to fathom never having visited a cattle ranch. My upbringing included fields surrounded by livestock, lots of days showing at the county fair and a healthy education about where my food comes from.

Not everyone is so lucky.

You might be surprised at how many people, even in the beef business, have a limited understanding of what happens on the ranch every single day. For the men and women who sell the Certified Angus Beef® brand for licensed distributor Sysco in Houston, a day on the ranch in Buda, Texas, isn’t just a nice day away from the office. It’s good for business.


It is an opportunity to hear from a rancher. It’s a chance to ask questions, ones rattling around in their own brains and ones they get from their customers.

And of course, it’s a time to eat great beef.

Many ranchers would cringe at the thought of hosting a tour bus full of inquiring eyes right before their annual sale, but Kevin Gallagher isn’t most. The manager of Rutherford Ranches opened his gates and sale barn to chefs, restaurant owners and Sysco beef sales professionals eager to learn about the brand’s origins.

The group arrived on a cool South Texas morning. Kevin had a group of heifers penned up close so visitors could get a good look at the Angus cattle as they learned how the seedstock operation fits into the production cycle of the beef they sell.


They huddled around the rancher as he spoke. They truly understand the 10 quality specifications that make CAB stand out in the restaurant and meat case. They’ve done the taste panels and believe in the superior flavor — but aren’t always sure how to tell the rancher’s side of the story.

When one of their customers asks about hormone implants, genetically modified organisms or if our beef is grassfed, they need to know how to answer.

It’s an experience many of us so often take for granted — a day in a pasture surrounded by black cattle, that can help make or break a sale of Certified Angus Beef®. Getting “up close and personal” with calves and hearing how Kevin cares for the cattle? That’s a story and a personal connection these beef distributors might not get anywhere else.


There’s something about seeing the cattle in person and shaking a rancher’s hand that’s a pivot point.

The next time one of their customers asks if Certified Angus Beef® is produced in Texas, the distributors at Sysco Houston can talk about Kevin, the rancher who lives just outside of the city, breeding genetics that produce superior beef.

We live in a world where flavor is essential, but it’s the stories that create connections. These days on the ranch for CAB licencees help drive demand for the best Angus beef, in the personal insight they gain about how that beef really gets to their warehouses.


The group pulled out of the Rutherford Ranches driveway with a different perspective. Leaving with a better understanding of what it takes to produce the beef they sell, it’s a story they can now tell firsthand, from a ranch just down the road.

Until next time,


Raised in the Strawberry Mountains of Eastern Oregon, I’m a fan of wide open spaces and rural life. I didn't grow up in the beef industry, but I got here as fast as I could. My love for great stories, a well marbled steak and black cattle led me to Ohio where I consider myself blessed to blend my many passions into a "job" at CAB.
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