J.D. and Jason Anderson grew up on the family farm and feedlot on the edge of Arapahoe, Nebraska. J.D.’s passion was breeding cattle, and Jason’s passion was feeding them. As natural-born entrepreneurs, they put their heads together.
“I discovered that the calves I bought from J.D.’s bull customers out-performed the other cattle I was feeding – by a lot”, says Jason Anderson of his wake-up call on the impact of genetics. “I encouraged J.D. to raise and sell more bulls so that I could buy the calves for the feedlot.”
Based upon this simple but powerful business concept, the Anderson brothers, along with a couple other entrepreneurs, created a company known as Power Genetics (PG) nearly 20-years ago. Today, Power Genetics coordinates the marketing of top-end cattle from 44 affiliated feedyards in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
The cattle are sold on a grid, which means that average cattle won’t cut the mustard. The vast majority of cattle are fed in family-owned feedyards that risk their family fortunes to buy the cattle and feed them – which means that average feedyard performance isn’t good enough either.
Power Genetics recruited a group of Multiplier Breeders to help J.D. produce the number of bulls needed by the system. The program grew into one of the largest bull performance tests in the country, but there still weren’t enough bulls to sire the calf population needed.
To accommodate the need for growth, the bull enterprise of Power Genetics was separated from the main company in 2010 and re-named Powerline Beef Genetics.
ABS Global, America’s leading beef A.I. company, was asked to engineer the genetic improvement process and to employ it’s network of progressive customers to grow the bull supply.
ABS had the data needed to drive continual genetic improvement in the system. Real World Data™ through 15 years of progeny testing sires for real world profit provides the engine to make true advancement in profitability. Profitability is the common language across all aspects of the beef industry speaking to commercial cowmen and cattle feeders.
The ability to help grow the bull supply and simultaneously improve the quality of the bulls while increasing the predictability made ABS a perfect match. Stacked pedigrees of profit proven A.I. sires will ensure that Powerline Beef Genetics takes it to the next level. More information is available at www.absglobal.com/beef.
Power Genetics feedyards compile performance data and individual carcass data on over 200,000-hd of cattle each year. Unlike many cattle feeders who want to keep such information secret, PG shares the data with producers who supply the feeder cattle. “It’s pretty basic,” asserts George Seward, co-owner of Schramm Feedyard in Yuma, CO and one of the original founders of Power Genetics. “In order to breed better cattle, producers must know what their cattle do after they leave the ranch.”
Irrespective of success, innovators are never satisfied. PG wanted a way to channel more Powerline-sired calves into the PG feedyards. In 2007, they teamed with Jim Barta, a rancher, feeder, entrepreneur and owner of Nebraska Livestock Sales, to form Big Blue Sale Barn, an internet video auction service. The vision of Big Blue is made crystal clear by Jim Barta: “I don’t want to market average cattle. Period. I want marketing representatives who understand genetics and can find the very best cattle to offer our customers.”
Today, Big Blue Sale Barn is represented by over 40 marketing specialists covering the U.S. from Georgia to Oregon. The representatives are tied either to Power Genetics or to ABS. “If the genetics guys can’t find the good ones, I don’t know who can”, Mr. Barta concluded. With a buyer’s list topping 250, there are plenty of cattle feeders who obviously appreciate Big Blue’s vision.
In summary, Powerline Beef Genetics is part of team of innovators who believe in the power of genetics and the power of cooperation to improve profits for producers, feeders and packers — while producing beef that consumers love.
Progressive producers who want to be part of something that works are encouraged to contact us. “We’re past the theory stage”, concludes Jason Anderson. “We knowthis system works.”