This is The Ledger winter 2019. Open and start reading right away!

THE LEDGER Association News | Features | Events & Shows WINTER 2019

Breed Promotion and Marketing

Official Publication of the American Aberdeen Association

Sandford Ranches Start with the best Angus genetics…

Coleman Bravo 6313 Angus Reg# 18734838 Coleman Charlo 0256 x Coleman Donna 714 Co-owned with Coleman Angus

GCC Eight Ball 692Z Angus Reg# 17544879 DUFF Jetset 7122 x DUFF NL 228 Diamond 723 Co-owned with 4B Ranch & Griswold Cattle Co.

Designed by

O C C Unlimited 940U Angus Reg# 16573087 OCC Linebred 661L x OCC Juanada 815R

NCC Prestige 317 736K Angus Reg# 18121964 OCC Prestige 672P x OCC Blackbird 736K A maternal sibling to OCC Paxton 730P …to make the best Aberdeen Plus cattle!

Semen available from

Sexed heifer semen available!

DUFF Mercy Me 459 Aberdeen Reg# 28474 Ardrossan Orient x DUFF 927K Instinct 1541

DUFF Trust Me 2525 Aberdeen Reg# 22055 Fairwyn’s Low Beau 204M x DUFF Amigo 927K Juanda 071

Sandford Ranches Jack Sandford, Greenwood, Texas Call to order Semen — (940) 389-9225


To JC Ranch for their purchase of HSR Jacks Baby Girl at the Supreme Sale!

A Big Thanks

HSR Jacks Baby Girl 2018 American Royal

Reserve Grand Champion Moderator Heifer

The Tradition Continues ... With the sale of another GREAT ONE at the National Sale in Denver.


Lot 13

Duff Aberdeen+ 4105 (Next Generation) x Bar J Polly T8 (2009 National Champion Percentage Female) HSR Pollys 4105

Heaven Sent Ranch

Jacob and Kendall Choctaw, Okla. Jacob: (479) 601-1551

Mike, Valerie and Hailey Fayetteville, Ark. Mike: (479) 841-9319

“Championship Genetics with Commercial Application and Eye Appeal”


NEXT ISSUE ADVERTISING DEADLINE ISSUE: DEADLINE: Spring 2019 Feb. 1, 2019 The Ledger is recognized by the American Aberdeen Association as the official breed publication for Ab erdeen cattle; however, management, editing and financial responsibilities are vested in BluePrint Media LLC. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any copy or advertising material submitted for publication. BluePrint Media LLC hereby expressly limits its liability resulting from any and all mis prints, errors and/or inaccuracies in advertisements or editorial content. The opinions and views expressed in all editorial material are those of the writer or the person interviewed and not necessarily those of American Aberdeen Association. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: American Aberdeen Association, 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104, Parker, CO 80138. THE LEDGER The official publication of the American Aberdeen Association is published quarterly and mailed to AAA members and interested parties. MAGAZINE STAFF Publisher Blueprint Media P.O. Box 427, Timnath, CO 80547 email: Managing Editor JESSIE TOPP-BECKER • (701) 307-0772 Editor LISA BARD • (970) 498-9306 National Account Sales Manager DEAN PIKE • (303) 810-7605 Designer/Materials Coordinator MEGAN SAJBEL • (303) 981-4668 Administration/Accounting LESLIE MCKIBBEN (970) 556-9296 Copy Editor LARISA WILLRETT

ON THE COVER A young exhibitor gives his Aberdeen female a drink of water during the 2018 National Western Stock Show, Denver, Colo. Photo courtesy AgTown Technologies.


Meet the Rancher – Jerry Adamson Read about how Rocking J Ranch uses Aberdeen genetics on its sizeable commercial cow-calf operation. 8


Branding the Aberdeen Breed


Association rebrand, new marketing materials ignite interest in Aberdeen cattle. Aberdeen Has a Seat at the Restaurant Table Discover how Aberdeen cattle can leave a lasting impact on consumer eating experiences. 16


2019 AAA Annual Meeting and NWSS Information

Find details about the annual meeting and show schedule for the National Western Stock Show, Jan. 21-26, 2019.

12 16

DEPARTMENTS 6 President’s Column 6 Aberdeen Events 7 AAA New Members 7 AAA Registry 10 Logistics 11 Sale Report 18 Ad Index 20 Junior Corral


WINTER 2019 | 5

AMERICAN ABERDEEN ASSOCIATION 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104 Parker, CO 80138 • (303) 840-4343 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President JANIS BLACK • 2J Livestock PO Box 50693 • Casper, WY 82605-0693 (307) 234-0331 • (307) 262-1279 Vice President GARY GILBERT • Gilbert Aberdeen Angus 3986 Lindahl Rd. • Hermantown, MN 55810 (218) 348-7877 Secretary ROB FANNING • Fanning Cattle Co. 877 Oakland Lane • Harrodsburg, KY 40330 (309) 373-2996 Director WADE COFFEY • 7C Aberdeen Cattle Co. 4001 W Glencoe Rd. • Stillwater, OK 74075 (405) 880-6908 Director NEIL EFFERTZ • Effertz EZ Ranch 17350 Hwy 1804 N.• Bismarck, ND 58503 (701) 471-0153 Director DARWIN ENGELKES • Pine Hurst Farm 16927 H Ave. • Wellsburg, IA 50680 (319) 415-0540 Director CRAIG WALKER • W Diamond Livestock 1601 Sprinfield Rd. • Roswell, NM 88201 (575) 626-7444

PRESIDENT ’S COLUMN  JANIS BLACK G reetings to all! After nine years on the American Aberdeen Association Board, and serv ing as president for more than seven of those years, this is my last message to you. During my tenure as president, we have seen changes, weathered controversy and grown our breed. We have cattle that are second to none and we have worked hard to get the cattle industry to recognize that. I applaud each of you for all of the hard work you have put into our breed. Thank you! This year we have decided to have Dean Pike, national account sales man ager, represent us at several cattlemen’s conventions across the country. We have designed a booth and some new brochures to help promote our cattle. We are hoping this personal touch will help bring awareness of what our cattle can do to a wider range of cattlemen. In this issue of The Ledger you will also find an article written by Tonya Pérez, co-owner of AgTown Technologies, that discusses major accomplish ments and promotion efforts we have undertaken in the last year and a half. Be sure to read the article on page 12. Our national show, sale and meeting will be held in Denver, Colo., Jan. 22 26, 2019, during the National Western Stock Show. The sale catalog is includ ed in this issue, and you can find event details on page 21. I hope to see all of you there to join in the promotion of our cattle and to enjoy fellowship with other breeders. Working together is key to continuing the growth of our breed in the future. The Board regretfully accepted the resignation of David Shockey during our November meeting. Craig Walker was appointed to complete David’s term. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and are able to unite with family and friends. I also want to thank you for the support you have given me during my term. Please be kind to one another and let’s work together to “build a better boat” in our association. TL ABERDEEN EVENTS January 23-26 National Western Stock Show, Denver, Colo. For a full schedule, see page 21. May 31-June 1 Effertz EZ Ranch 13th Annual Focus on Efficiency Breeders Seminar and Production Sale, Bismarck, N.D. June 24-29 AJAA Junior National Show and Competition, Lawrence, Kan. October 2 West Fryeburg Fair, Fryeburg, Maine 5 Shetler Cattle Company 1st Annual Production Sale, Dickinson, N.D.

AAA Representative  DEAN PIKE

Need assistance in purchasing Aberdeen cattle, marketing your program or herd management? Contact Dean Pike: (303) 810-7605

For information about registering animals or membership, contact the AAA Office: 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104 Parker, CO 80138 • (303) 840-4343 The American Aberdeen Association is a not-for-profit corporation of North Dakota dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Aberdeen cattle . The International Year Code for 2019 is: G



Active Members (18) Royal Acres Cattle Company LLC, Springdale, Ark.

Junior Members (10) Lilakate King, Springdale, Ark. Cooper Rollins, Lapel, Ind. Alexzander Fontenot, Welsh, La. Autumn Futch, Welsh, La. Nicholas Lane Daley, Sulphur, La.

Sugarloaf Creek Ranch, Hartford, Ark. Triangle Y Farms, Mount Vernon, Ark. Craig Hara, Mililani, Hawaii Black Horse Ranch, Midvale, Idaho Ansay Ranch LLC, Emmett, Idaho Darrell Herschberger, Tuscola, Ill. Huizenga Cattle, Thomson, Ill. Rickman Family Farms, Osco, Ill. TNT Farm, Butler, Ill. JJC Rollins, Lapel, Ind. Davidson Farms, Holt, Mo. Penny Pinching Farms, Roswell, N.M. BLC, Reno, Nev. Flat Rock Creek Farm, Fairview, Tenn. Rafter P Livestock, Perrin, Texas Witts End, Jacksonville, Texas Jade Rose Farms, Danbury, Texas

Jacob Spear, Roswell, N.M. Caleb Spear, Roswell, N.M.

Katelyn Thompson, Coolridge, Nev. Travis Lester, Farmersville Station, N.Y. Garrett Lester, Farmersville Station, N.Y.


MONTH FB PB % FB PB % TRANSFERS Sept. ‘18 25 4 12 71 8 46 126 Oct. ‘18 29 4 34 103 32 120 311


Open Fullblood Heifer Born 2-18-18 Sire: MCR All Jacked Up Dam Sired By TL Julius

She comes from the Surprise line having the most powerful fullblood donor cow, Kobblevale Surprise in her pedigree twice!

Thanks to Scott Hansen Heuvel for purchasing this female!


HH SEMEN AVAILABLE HH “JASE” REG #26139 RED FULLBLOOD $30 per straw $100 for fullblood registration $50 for percentage registration

ALLEN SIEVERKROPP • 22288 SAGEBRUSH FLATS ROAD • EPHRATA, WA 98823 • 509-750-4203 SIEVERKROPP@GMAIL.COM • SFOURFARMS.COM Red and Black Aberdeens Fullbloods & Percentage

WINTER 2019 | 7

Meet the Rancher – Jerry Adamson BY HANNAH JOHLMAN, FREELANCE WRITER C herry County, Neb., is the largest county in the state, with nearly 4 million acres of prime grass country and more mother cows than any other they were in a more confined area to keep the breeding animals from getting too fat. The trip resulted in

the couple purchasing embryos and semen out of a bull called Brenton, the highest performing bull they saw. At the time, Jerry and his son, Todd, were noticing some is sues in their cow herd. For many years they had been taught that the biggest weaning weight heifer calves were the best re

county in the United States. More than 100 years ago, Dan Adamson arrived in Cherry County from Ireland, and his offspring have remained there ever since. His third, fourth and fifth generations currently live and work on the family ranch near Cody, Neb. When third-generation Jerry Ad amson was growing up on the ranch, Cherry County was in the heart of Hereford country, but it wasn’t long before Rocking J Ranch began to tran sition to black-hided cattle: Angus, Simmental-Angus, Limousin-Angus and Chianina-Angus. The Adamsons have always looked for efficient cattle, and they found them in 1999 at the National Western Stock Show right around the time Ab erdeen cattle were making their way to the United States. “[We] and some other cattlemen were interested in them and, as a result, we went over to Australia to see them,” Jerry says. “The tour was educational. We had never seen cattle as small framed as the purebred Ab erdeens.” While in Australia, Jerry and his wife, Deloris, found that Aberdeen cattle were so easy fleshing that they actually had to exercise them if

Since 2000, Rocking J Ranch has utilized Aberdeen influence to breed replacements that have resulted in a smaller-framed cow herd that weans heavier calves using less grass.

placements and that the heaviest bull calves should be retained as bulls for large-framed cows. “Therefore, it didn’t make any dif ference what breed was out there, they were going to get big, and we found that, because of that selection criteria, our cows were too big and they weren’t paying their way on this grass,” Todd says. “We couldn’t ex pect a 1,400-pound cow to eat grass and wean 50 percent of her body weight.” In Australia, efficiency was mea sured not by pounds at weaning, but by how many pounds of beef could be raised per acre of grass. Jerry began

to realize that there was a tipping point (similar to fertilizing a corn field, where efficiency diminishes), and be gan switching the ranch’s focus to the Australian method. The Aberdeen cattle he saw in Australia reminded Jerry of the first pen of Angus cattle he showed in Chi cago more than 50 years earlier that weighed 1,050 pounds. When cross bred to Chianina-Angus, bulls were capable of weaning calves weighing more than half their body weight. “Not that we will get back to doing exactly that, but we knew we had to get back to the smaller-framed cow, bred to a crossbred bull of some sort,” Todd says. “We needed to get back to that efficiency to best sell our grass.” Initially, the Adamsons crossed full blood Aberdeen bulls with their first calf heifers, a win-win for calving ease and delivering a smaller-framed cow. The best heifers were kept as replace ments, and the process continued as they worked to cycle the cow herd. Eventually, they switched to halfblood Aberdeen-Angus bulls to keep the resulting calves from getting too small to fit their end goal. “Our intent from the get go was to create a more efficient herd that would fit into the commercial indus try,” Todd says. “The [Aberdeen-influ enced] cattle are easier fleshing and, in general, they will wean a higher percentage of their body weight than the average cow.”

Adamson family patriarch, Jerry Adamson, was one of the first to bring Aberdeen semen and embryos to the United States from Australia.

Continued on page 11 


WINTER 2019 | 9


Nutrition and Cooperation

Y ou might be wondering – what on earth do nutrition and cooperation have to do with each other? They are key ingredients to mar keting quality Aberdeen genetics as breeding stock. Remember, if you are interested in selling breeding stock for more than “beef price,” you have to start with quality Aberdeen genetics. Your reg istration paperwork must be in order or you are just fooling yourself and your customers. There is a distinct difference between selling beef cattle and selling breeding stock. Given that analysis, two of the most important factors are nutrition and cooperation. Nutrition According to the Applied Animal Nutrition text, for normal growth of 1.6 pounds of gain per day, a 400-pound bull or heifer calf requires dry matter intake of 12.17 pounds per day that contains about 11.7 percent protein and 53 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN). As the animal grows, that rate of consumption should gradually increase, gaining about 250 pounds between weaning (205 days of age) and yearling (365 days of age). The ultimate goal would be fullblood and high-percentage Moderator cattle with excellent muscle development and market-acceptable levels of con dition. However, at many of our consign ment sales we see cattle that sell below the average price by as much as $1,000 per head because they lack proper nutrition. Generally speaking, the top-selling calves in the $2,500- $6,000 price range are in good body condition, reflecting proper nutrition. Those selling at the lower end of aver age are generally not in ideal condi tion, reflecting a nutritional deficiency. Many Aberdeen producers think that, because these cattle do well on grass, you don’t have to concern for quality Aberdeen breeding stock if we work together – breeders helping breeders. There is a virtually unlimited market

yourself with nutrition. That is not true! There are times when your grass does not contain enough nutri tion (protein, TDN and minerals) to support the excellent growth and de velopment that buyers are seeking. This is especially true during calves’ growth phase (5-16 months of age). You can supplement your sale cattle with a number of feedstuffs to sup port their nutritional requirements. Contact your local feed representa tive or a successful breeder whose calves generally top the market for advice and suggestions. Cooperation That brings me to the next part of the equation – breeders helping breeders. This breed is small when you compare its footprint to other breeds. That said, it has the most potential for growth in improving ef ficient beef cattle production of any breed in America. Unbiased data proves that one cross of Aberdeen genetics can increase pounds of beef per acre over any other breed.

To get this message across, we have to unify, help each other and cooperate. The spirit of cooperation at the recent Aberdeen Supreme Sale was evidence of that with many, many examples of breeders helping breed ers. It was fun to see and very edu cational to the inexperienced as well. This spirit of breeders helping breed ers should be our theme for 2019. There is a virtually unlimited mar ket for quality Aberdeen breeding stock if we work together – breeders helping breeders. TL

PAUL MOYA TO SPEAK AT AAA ANNUAL MEETING THE AMERICAN ABERDEEN ASSOCIATION is excited to announce that Paul Moya will be the keynote speaker for the 2019 Annual Meeting. Global business strategy expert Paul Moya is best known for his role as CEO of Millennial Labs – a full service consultancy serving the world’s leading public and private sector clients across the Americas, Asia and Europe. Over the last decade, his discoveries have impacted leaders and helped to increase profit ability at some of the most well-respected organizations in the world, ranging from Syngenta and PayPal to Acura Motors and the U.S. Department of Defense. Nicknamed “The Harvard Cowboy” by clients and friends, Paul blends Har vard strategy with cowboy practicality to present viable solutions that deliver quantifiable results. His research takes insight from psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics and plain old fashioned “cowboy wisdom” to turn big data and predictive analytics into no-fluff solutions and lasting economic and organizational change. Paul is a fourth-generation agriculturalist who grew up in New Mexico on his family’s alfalfa farm, learning that roots in agriculture are a tremendous foundation for success and opportunity. He is a former National FFA president and Harvard Student Government Association president, and today serves as a mentor and trusted advisor for national and international leaders in business, education and government. Join us Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, as Paul speaks at the 2019 AAA Annual Meet ing. His presentation is titled “Forces of the Future: Preparing American Agricul ture for the Next 100 Years.” Paul has impacted leaders from many of the biggest, most admired organiza tions on earth, and we are excited to see the positive impact he will have on AAA and its members. TL


Meet the Rancher Continued from page 8

In the past, the family tried to break into the locker-beef segment and saw that was where Aberdeen cattle truly shined, but unfortunately, they discovered they lacked the man power to do the job justice. “The beef is a finer-textured meat thereby being very tasteful and very tender,” Jerry says. “It’s a great prod uct.” The Adamsons found that because of their easy fleshing ability, the Aberdeen-cross cattle could easily be grass or grain finished. Although, in their part of the world, most people

are accustomed to the flavor of grain finished beef. “What we found is that people want something tender and a smaller por tion size, and they want consistency and they want to know where it came from,” Todd says. “There is a huge market for those four things, and these cattle fit that as well as anything out there.” But with a limited crew to calve out 1,350 cows, put in up to 500 embry os a year and put up more than 4,000 bales a year, all while continuing to do the necessary cow work, which they

do on horseback, creating a niche market out of the Aberdeen-cross cattle will have to wait. As profit margins get slimmer by the year, Todd says the family looks to diversify and become more efficient. For now, the Aberdeen-cross cattle fit well into that formula. “We’ve never been prejudiced to ward any one breed,” Jerry says. “We think a lot of breeds are good, but we are definitely of the opinion, and it is well documented that with [cross breeding], whether it be cattle or hogs or flowers or vegetables, nobody can argue with hybrid vigor.” TL

The Ledger Subscription Program A ll AAA members receive The Ledger as part of their mem bership. However, non-mem bers may want to receive the Subscriptions to the quarterly magazine can be purchased for

$20 for each subscription, or five or more subscriptions for $17 each. To subscribe, simply go to www.ameri subscriptions to fill out the purchase form. All subscriptions will be billed upon receipt of the form. TL

magazine, or a member may want to give a subscription to a non-member, which is why subscriptions to The Ledger are now available!

A subscription to The Ledger would make a great holiday gift or appreciation gift to bull and female buyers!


Aberdeen Supreme Sale Nov. 3, 2018  Gallatin, Mo.

flower Ranch; the cow was sold to Curtis Ohlde, Easton Kan., for $3,250, and the calf was sold to Cross Key Farm, Choctaw, Okla., and 7C Aberdeen Cattle Company, Stillwa ter Okla., for $3,500. The high-selling lot, Lot 1, 7C Cajun Queen, an Aber deen Plus heifer-calf pair, was consigned by 7C Aberdeen Cattle Co., and was sold to Carriage Hill Farm, Syracuse, Neb., for $4,000. The high-selling lot, Lot 3A, SCC Tootsie’s Surprise 91F, an open fullblood heifer, was consigned by Shetler Cattle Co., Dickinson, N.D., and was sold to Madalyn Gabel, La fayette, Colo., for $4,000. The sale was well attended by friendly, cooperative con signers and buyers who pulled together to make a good sale and fun weekend. The offering was very high quality and bidding was very competitive on the top lots. Semen and embryos sold particularly well. There were 68 regis tered buyers, with successful buyers from 17 states. TL

SALE AVERAGES 1 Fullblood Bull

$17,500 $1,950 $2,286 $2,080


Moderator Bulls

35 Fullblood Females 37 Moderator Females

18 Embryos


19 Units of Semen $505 The Aberdeen Supreme Sale manager and auctioneer was Auction Effertz, Ltd. The high-selling lot, Lot 81, FCC SFR Legacy 2E, a full blood bull, was consigned by Fanning Cattle Co., Harrods burg, Ky., and Sunflower Ranch, Ramah, Colo., and was sold to S Bar 5 Farms, Wagoner, Okla., for $17,500. The high-selling lot, Lot 13, FCC Happy, a fullblood bull calf pair, was consigned by Fanning Cattle Co., and Sun

WINTER 2019 | 11

Branding the Aberdeen Breed Marketing Efforts Target Additional Sector of the Beef Industry

BY AGTOWN TECHNOLOGIES, GREELEY, COLO. I magine this: a swoosh, a golden “M” or a green mermaid. These companies are so well branded that they immediately conjure up images of sneakers, a Big Mac or cof fee. Nike, McDonald’s and Starbucks have spent years of hard work and countless dollars to create a positive experience, a recognizable brand and products that are staples in our every day lives. The key to their success is the positive experience you have with each purchase. This distinct brand recognition didn’t happen overnight. It’s a result of a well-executed, all encompassing marketing effort. In the fall of 2017, the American Aberdeen Association (AAA) tagged full-fledged marketing firm AgTown Technologies of Greeley, Colo., to tackle the Aberdeen breed’s branding efforts. With 19 years of experience, AgTown specializes in agriculture and has worked with clients ranging from small breeders to large ag businesses from across the country. The firm designs logos, builds websites and creates print materials, but also has a large technology arm that can create customized programs and applica tions. AgTown was chosen by AAA because of the staff’s firsthand knowl edge of the commercial and purebred segments of the beef industry. To get started, AgTown staff, AAA leadership and Aberdeen breeders

met to brainstorm and estab lish immediate priorities, as well as long-range goals for the breed. At the meeting’s end, the group decided to continue to zero in on its niche mar ket of smaller herds, but also develop strategies to grow the breed by targeting the commer cial cattle industry. A rebrand was sought to reignite interest for the original Aberdeen cattle brought to America for their moderate frame and efficiency. AgTown co-owner Tonya Pérez says this meeting jumpstarted her team with a strategic plan to address the priorities established in the roundtable discussions. First up, a new look was needed. “When we started the rebranding, we developed an all-encompassing logo that has longevity to represent the breed across multiple facets of the cattle business,” Pérez says. “We wanted something that gave the breed a new professional and polished identity.” The September 2017 World Cattle men’s Cow Efficiency Congress in North Dakota provided an important opportunity to showcase the breed. AgTown staff recorded every session to capture the impressive data pre sented at the event.

“The World Cow Efficiency Con gress was worth every dime spent,” Pérez says. “These videos are price less because it’s third-party spokes people talking about the cattle vs. breeders talking about themselves. The videos contain factual data from researchers and professors outside the breed.” Along with the video shoot in North Dakota, AgTown set out on several photo and video shoots to capture imagery of the breed. “These images are worth a thou sand words,” Pérez says. “Without good images, it was really hard to promote and market the breed to the full extent.” With these assets collected, the team developed five promotional vid eos that have been spotlighted on the AAA website, Facebook and YouTube. The videos have touched a larger, dif ferent audience than traditional print methods, and have ignited conversa tion about the Aberdeen breed out side of the current breeders’ realm. With 15,000-45,000 views in just the first few days posted, the videos have provided the breed the most ex posure of anything done so far. Pérez Continued on page 14 


12TH ANNUAL Houston International American Aberdeen Show



FEBRUARY 25 • Check-In


• Show off cattle and get ready for show



• American Aberdeen Show • Prospect Steer Show



Southern Aberdeen Breeders Association

See details at SABA website:

Deadline for Entries January 5, 2019


WINTER 2019 | 13

Branding the Breed Continued from page 12

T T Be responsive! Like, comment and share Aberdeen Facebook posts. T T Share AAA videos, images and brochures on your personal social media. T T Always be positive with your messaging on social media or printed materials. T T Download the brochures and print to pass out at local and state ag meetings or mail to potential customers. You can access all brochures, logos and advertisements by visiting Navigate to “Member Resources” and scroll down to “Marketing Materials.” T T Download the ad to use in your sale catalog or local ag publications. T T S hare the videos and brochure information in direct mail or e-newsletters to your client base. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MARKET THE BREED?

says these are huge numbers for any small breed. “Video is king right now,” she says. “Because of social media, we live in a world where people don’t like to read. They would rather be told. People want instant information without put ting in any effort.” The videos work hand-in-hand with social media. Pérez chose Facebook as a starting point for social media efforts since it’s the most widely used platform used by the selected target market. Breeders can follow by searching for “American Aberdeen Association” in the Facebook search bar. Social media will be a continued focus as it can be accessed 365 days at every hour of the day. Promotional pieces were added to build on the videos’ messaging and to help breeders market to their buyer base while expanding into new mar kets. One brochure specifically targets commercial cattlemen – highlighting the breed’s efficiency on grass. “The Aberdeen breed is the only breed in the world that can downsize a commercial herd in one breeding season,” Pérez explains. “We felt it was important to focus on that breed attribute. Efficiency was central to the overall messaging this year.” Another brochure targets cattlemen with small acreages. At its core is the value of what Aberdeen cattle can do in a smaller, 35-acre scenario. The third piece is a FAQ to help breeders have the correct terminology and an swers to combat common questions faced when taking the breed to the mainstream market. This piece covers questions about size, carcasses and breed traits. All of the brochures are posted on . Print quality versions allow you to take the brochure to a local printer and print your own. A version is available for printing on your home computer, while a website version can be emailed to other cattlemen. Another printed material developed is a “Bigger Checks” advertisement that has been published in select publications. See the sidebar for how you can use this asset in your own promotional efforts. “At the end of the day, we have created a campaign precisely targeted for specific industries that Aberdeen cattle thrive in,” Pérez says.

“We hope to have equipped Aber deen breeders with the assets needed to begin to market and expand the breed outside their current circle,” Pérez says. “Breeders must be the legs of the breed. The association can equip breeders with the assets, but breeders will need to be the voice to the masses.” An Emphasis at State Levels Because fewer cattlemen are read ing traditional print publications these days, veteran marketer Dean Pike has hit the road this fall with the new look of the breed at his fingertips. He will be setting up an Aberdeen booth at the largest fall trade shows for state cattlemen’s associations, attend ing shows in Missouri, Tennessee, Wyoming and Kansas. This will allow Pike to have one-on-one conversa tions at locations where commercial cattlemen are gathered. As time

progresses, Pérez plans to continue broadening attendance at these types of events. What does the future hold for Ag Town’s efforts to promote the breed? Pérez says this has been the gathering year, capturing the research, photos, video and information to jumpstart market expansion. She says the as sociation now has materials in place that are well written, well designed and backed by research. Pérez has goals to rebrand the website, expand the breed’s social media presence, grow the trade show campaign and feature additional ads in targeted publications. She says a key will be getting the right people in the right places to talk about the breed’s advantages. “With the assets that we now have in play, you could say that the legs are under us, we can now start to run.” TL



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To place an ad in The Ledger, contact Sales Representative: DEAN PIKE (303) 810-7605 •

SPRING ISSUE ADVERTISING DEADLINE Reserve your ad by Feb. 1, 2019!

WINTER 2019 | 15

Aberdeen Has a Seat at the Restaurant Table The Aberdeen breed is leveraging its characteristics to leave a lasting impact on the average consumer eating experience.

F ood trends come and go, and consumer fads fade in and out. But when it comes to America’s all-time favorite, steak remains a staple cuisine. How a chef prepares steak may in fluence the consumer’s overall eating experience, but there are also other key factors taken into consideration as well. For example, the size of the steak served is an underappreciated trait that many consumers have to consider. Chefs must now worry about how thick to cut a steak, for fear of leaving it too thin. A thinner steak is much more difficult to prepare from a done ness perspective and will often result in it being overdone. As ribeyes become larger due to the increase in the average carcass size, most chefs are forced to cut steaks thinner to maintain the stan dard serving size. That’s where the Aberdeen breed has staked its claim. The Aberdeen breed is known for moderate-framed, high-quality cattle that produce an end product with a pleasant and satis fying eating experience. The Eating Experience Karl Hoppe, a fourth-generation rancher, North Dakota State Univer sity livestock Extension specialist and co-coordinator of North Dakota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, understands firsthand what it takes to produce a steak from pasture to plate. BY KATE HAGANS, FREELANCE WRITER The Aberdeen breed is known for moderate framed, high-quality cattle that produce an end product with a pleasant and satisfying eating experience. He recently encountered an un forgettable eating experience at the Lucky’s 13 Pub in Black Hills, S.D. So good, it kept him coming back.

industry where I don’t get paid a premium for small ribeyes, but yet the chef said he was paying more to get this product,” Hoppe says. Evaluating the Consumer Eating Experience The beef eating experience is an area of intense interest among researchers at universities. One of them, Travis O’Quinn, Ph.D., Kansas State University, is exploring con sumer trends related to overall beef palatability. Overall beef palatability can be attributed to three primary traits – tenderness, juiciness and flavor. O’Quinn’s recent study looked at how each characteristic contributes to the overall beef eating experience and evaluated the risk of total palatability failure due to the unacceptable level of one or more of these traits. Data from 11 previously conducted studies representing a wide range of treatments and levels of eating qual ity, including more than 1,500 beef samples and 1,800 consumers, were compiled and analyzed for this study. Consumers were then given a beef sample to evaluate as acceptable or Continued on page 19 

“It was a Saturday night, and we or dered the prime rib, and it was one of the best eating experiences I’ve ever had,” Hoppe says. “A month later, we stopped by the same restaurant, and I requested to speak to the chef.” Hoppe waited patiently. “You could just see the awful look on the waiter’s face as if I was about to complain or something,” Hoppe recalls. “I soon explained to the head chef that I was a cattle producer and just wanted to let him know how good the steak was that I had the last time I was there.” The chef began to open up to Hoppe, discussing his nightly food preparation process for consumers. “I wanted to know how he was able to cut his steaks so thick,” Hoppe says. Considering the average thickness for a steakhouse steak is around one inch, the inch-and-a-half thick steak made for a very unusual steakhouse eating experience. “When I buy loins, I request them to be under 15 pounds so I can cut them thicker,” the chef responded. Consequently, the chef is forced to pay a premium to get these types of ribeyes. “It’s interesting because there seems to be a disconnect in our


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Restaurant Table Continued from page 16

Maddock’s findings indicated that small-framed steers tend to have higher marbling scores. Despite this, the industry has been moving toward heavier and larger framed cattle, which are represented in the ribeye sizes. As the average fed steers have gotten heavier, their ribeyes have become larger. Aberdeens have avoided this even tuality by staying true to a moderate cow size, resulting in a smaller ribeye with increased opportunity for en hanced marbling. “Aberdeen Angus cattle have small er ribeyes because they are smaller sized cattle,” Hoppe says. “They are highly marbled because of genetics and feeding.” Branding for the Future If consumer demand shifts from large plates and oversized portions, restaurants will follow suit with smaller and thicker steaks. The poten tial for Aberdeen cattle to take a step forward in the industry is assured in their pursuit of producing the perfect eating experience. The first U.S. Aberdeen breeder, Neil Effertz from North Dakota, knows there is a chair at the restaurant table for the Aberdeen breed. “Consumers like moderate portion size steaks cut thick,” Effertz says. “Steaks cut at least an inch thick are very marketable, and a 1,500-pound

steer isn’t able to produce an ap propriate portion size for the average consumer.” Effertz also understands beef pack ers make the most financial gain by the number of pounds moved out the door on any given day. “In some ways, the packers are disconnected from the high-end con sumer because there’s a discount to smaller-framed cattle,” Effertz says. “This identifies an opportunity for the development of a branded Aberdeen beef program.” Aberdeen beef’s consistent and unique taste, texture and tenderness in a thick, yet moderate portion size, coupled with the breed’s ability to DNA verify the genetic source of each cut of beef could create a great op portunity. “We have a unique advantage over everyone else in the beef industry,” Effertz says. Moving Forward Consumers will continue to be come more educated about how beef is best prepared, and thinner steaks that fill up the plate likely have no place among modern consumers. The Aberdeen breed has a unique position with consumers demanding a higher-quality eating experience with their smaller frame and ability to marble. TL

unacceptable for beef flavor, juiciness and tenderness. Results indicated the relative contribution of tenderness, juiciness and flavor to overall beef palatability and ranked them by con sumer preference. The percentage of steak samples rated acceptable for each palatability trait increased as the quality grade increased. In overall palatability, flavor ranked as the most influential factor, followed by tenderness and then juici ness.

Photo courtesy Black Leg Ranch, McKenzie, N.D.

Yet, if a sample had any of the three traits ranked unacceptable, overall palatability suffered. This suggests that no one characteristic is most important, and all three must be acceptable for a pleasant eating experience. Aberdeen Carcass Traits Aberdeen cattle have been known to have high-quality carcasses, but this trait was recently explored in further detail by researchers at North Dakota State University. Robert Maddock, Ph.D., North Da kota State University, recently studied the impact of production scheme and frame size on carcass traits. Maddock and other researchers before him concluded that smaller framed cattle tend to have lighter carcasses, smaller ribeyes, increased fat and a more significant amount of marbling, all of which contribute to higher USDA Quality Grades. USDA Quality Grades utilize a scor ing method of intramuscular fat in the ribeye to assign grades – Prime, Choice, Select and Standard.

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I can’t believe how quickly the 2019 National Western Stock Show (NWSS) is creeping up on us. Before we know it, we will be “In The Yards” getting to see all of our Stock Show friends. As the NWSS approaches, the American Junior Aber deen Associa

the lookout for more information as we get closer to Janu ary. Wow. You are not going to want to miss this! The Coffey Family at 7C Aberdeen Cattle Company is donating a half blood daughter of the great MRG Peter. This Aberdeen Plus heifer will be auctioned off to raise funds for the AJAA during the 2019 NWSS.

A huge thank you to the Coffey family for their support of the ju nior program. Stay tuned on how to help support the juniors with this awesome fundraiser. Make sure you are in Denver to bid on this beautiful female. Don’t miss coffee and dough nuts with the juniors on the morning of Jan. 24, 2019 (time and place to be announced). Come get yourself a cup of joe, a doughnut and visit with the direc tors about the AJAA while the 7C

tion (AJAA) is working diligently to prepare for the fundraising events taking place during the NWSS. We will once again host an auction during the national banquet. This auction serves as the main fundraiser to fund the 2019 Aberdeen Junior National Show. The auction is always a blast and the juniors appreci ate all those who donate and/ or support us at the auction. We have had some pretty cool auc tion items in the past, including many lots of semen from great Aberdeen bulls, a hog hunt on the Chain Ranch in Oklahoma and even a beyond-the-backdrop photo shoot at the NWSS. Be on

donation heifer is on display. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! We are looking for ward to seeing you in Denver! God bless. TL

LEFT: The Coffey family at 7C Aberdeen Cattle Company donated a halfblood daughter of the great MRG Peter, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for the AJAA during the 2019 NWSS.


Join Aberdeen breeders from across the country for the 2019 National Aberdeen events at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colo. The three-day event will host dynamic shows, educational meetings and great cattle, speakers and friends. TUESDAY, JAN. 22 8 a.m. All Aberdeen cattle in place WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23 1 p.m. National Aberdeen Junior Showmanship – Stockyards Arena 2:30 p.m. National Aberdeen Junior Show – Stockyards Arena THURSDAY, JAN. 24 11 a.m. National Aberdeen Pre-Sale Social Hour 1 p.m. National Aberdeen Sale – Livestock Center Auction Arena 7 p.m. SATURDAY, JAN. 26 8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. SUNDAY, JAN. 27 Noon All Aberdeen cattle off NWSS grounds National Aberdeen Female and Bull Pen Show – Stockyards Arena National Aberdeen Bull Show – Stockyards Arena HEADQUARTERS HOTEL The Embassy Suites Hotel – Stapleton 4444 North Havana St., Denver, CO 80239 (303) 375-0400 $137 plus tax per night until the group is

Annual AAA Banquet – Embassy Suites Hotel. Tickets for this buffet-style meal are available on the AAA website. The AJAA Auction will follow. National Aberdeen Female Show – Stockyards Arena Aberdeen Breeder’s Reception and AAA Annual Meeting – Embassy Suites Hotel

FRIDAY, JAN. 25 9 a.m.

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