Tiffany Cattle Company

(Sam) Hello, I’m Sam Capoun and today were at the American Royal with the Our Town Our Food convention and I have with me Shawn Tiffany. So Shawn you kind of talked today at the convention, so tell me a little bit about Tiffany Cattle Company. (Shawn) Well Tiffany Cattle Company has been in business for almost eight years under that title, but it’s actually been a commercial feedlot since the 1960s. My brother Shane and I are the fifth owners of the business and we had the opportunity to step in as owners in 2007. And when you think custom cattle feeding operation, think bed and breakfast. We charge a fee for providing the care, marketing, procurement in some situations, basically all of the care for those animals while they’re in our enterprise and we do that for family farmers, family ranchers throughout the Midwest and even into the upper Midwest all the way to the east coast. (Sam) So with the influence of the Tiffany Cattle Company, tell me a little bit about what your speech was today at the convention. (Shawn) The feedlot industry in many ways, is a very environmental business. We utilize by-products of other industries, that without being able to feed things like distillers grains or brewers grains or things of that nature to cattle or other species of livestock, they would have no value and they would be a liability sitting in a landfill somewhere. (Sam) Certainly. (Shawn) The other thing is in a feedlot setting we can do things much more efficiently and in many cases, cheaper than what our customers can do them at home because when we have multiple customers and good size numbers of cattle, we can buy the inputs to grow that beef much cheaper than an individual with say a hundred head at home can do. It makes the vertical integration of the whole beef production system more economical and allows the consumer then to have a cheaper, high quality protein on their plate. (Sam) With the feedlot stage you’re kind of labeled as a factory farm or corporate. So how do you tell people, advocate people that you do produce at a local level and you aren’t a factory farm? (Shawn) Well, many of our customers are in the eastern half of Kansas and in Missouri. Like I said earlier, they’re all regional and small family ranches. But our business is very much a family operation. It’s my brother and I and our wives. Between us we have the eighth child between us, is on the way and all of our kids at this stage of their life are very interested in our business and participate at varying levels, depending on their age. And we pride ourselves on being one of the ag employers of choice in our area. And we see our employees as just an extended part of the family. And the same with our customers. Our customers in many cases, have become close, personal friends and there’s just a level of trust that can be developed in those relationships that is exceptional. (Sam) Now in terms of the growing population and trying to feed the world, why is the feedlot stage important to have meat and products to feed the world? (Shawn) Well one of the things that was discussed here today is that we are just so blessed to be able to have these kind of choices, and frankly have these conversations here in the United States. At the end of the day, those of us in agriculture are stewards and whether that’s stewarding a piece of ground, by monitoring how we’re growing crops on there, how much manure we’re applying it, to it, or taking an animal that if not managed properly is just going to be an environmental hazard at some point, and turning it into a useable product that can be an asset to the owner of that animal, or the consumer that is gonna utilize those cuts and parts. (Sam) Well certainly, certainly. Thank you Shawn so much for joining us and it’s been great talking with ya. (Shawn) You too Sam, thank you.

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