To not only survive but to also grow, any business seeks to maximize what it receives for whatever product or service they sell. For that to happen for beef producers it’s never been more important for them to have a good understanding of the process it takes to get their product to consumers. Pete Scarmardo not only owns and operates a livestock auction barn, he’s also a cattle buyer.
“A lot of people always say, well do I need to sell a five weight calf or do I need to sell a seven weight calf or whatever. Usually, when you sell cattle, pounds are dollars, but there’s always some exceptions to those, too. So you just need to be more aware of what’s going on in the market.”
Scarmardo says to understand the beef industry, it’s important, even for small producers to understand what happens to a calf after they’ve picked up their check and the calf leaves the auction barn.
“So there’s a lot of the industry that people don’t know. We’re in a changing industry. It’s changed a lot in the last ten years, five years, two years, and it’s going to continue to change.”
And Scarmardo points out that any changes that occur along the way from that time the calf leaves the farm to it actually being enjoyed on a plate by consumers can affect producers.
“A lot of the marketing ways that we market cattle and the kind of cattle that we market and the product that we market is going to continue to change, with more of the branded beef product lines, the way these cattle are merchandised through the case at the retail level or through restaurants, all the way back to how the feed yards feed them, back to the people who raise the cattle, back to the people who produce the cattle, there’s still going to be lots of changes, and to get the most out of it, you have to change along with it too.”
Scarmardo says in that way, the beef industry really isn’t any different than any other.
“In any business, if you keep doing the same thing that you did last year, then you’re going to get behind. You’ve got to keep going forward. You’ve got to try to make your business keep growing or keep producing a better product because there’s too many people out there that will continue to try and make a better product. And if you don’t, then what you’ve got to sell, may not bring what you expect it to bring.”