A Growing Enterprise
Published on Thu, 05/20/2021 - 9:23am
A Growing Enterprise.
By Maura Keller.
Imagine partnering with a full integrated cattle company that covers the entire gamut of beef cattle production—from seedstock to feed lot to packing plant, and finally to meat sales. Enter NextGen Cattle Company, a Paxico, Kansas-based entity that is changing the face of today’s beef production model.
NextGen Cattle Company was founded in 2015 and is owned by Derek Thompson, Damon Thompson, and their cousin Brad Lindstrom, all of whom had the vision to create a company that was reflective of the next generation of cattlemen and cattlewomen who wanted to do things differently from previous generations. The three founders, who had been around cattle all of their lives, envisioned establishing a cattle company that covers all facets of the beef industry, offering a streamlined simplified process for producers. Originally the three founders started with a passion to establish a seed stock operation, but realized by creating a fully integrated company, NextGen Cattle Company could serve commercial cattlemen in a myriad of ways.
As Derek Thompson explains, today NextGen is a fully integrated company, from start to finish. So what does this mean? Quite simply the company boasts everything from a seedstock operation to meat packing to final meat sales embracing the “field to feedlot to fork” concept that today’s retail consumers are embracing.
“We have a seedstock operation, with a two bull sales a year where we will sell 700 head of cattle a year, with the goal of selling over 1,000 next year,” Derek Thompson says. “We also own a 50,000 finishing feed yard in southwest Kansas and a 15,000 head grow yard/finishing yard for our new packing plant. We also have a buy-back program so anyone who uses our genetics on the seedstock side we are going to buy their calves back. This buy-back program has also led us into our meat company.”
The company’s Riverbend feed yard is located in southwest Kansas and is a 50,000 head custom beef finishing facility and currently is in power growth mode, with expansion to additional head count and an upgrade to a state of the art feed mill. In addition to Riverbend, NextGen’s Allen feed yard serves as a starter, grow and finishing yard with a current capacity of 15,000 head.
NextGen’s packing plant, called Missouri Prime Beef Packers is located in Pleasant Hope, Missouri and is a 500-head-a-day facility that co-owners Derek Thompson and Stacy Davies obtained last year. The facility recently underwent a complete remodel and restructuring based on five key components including food safety, animal and environmental wellness, product traceability, product versatility and team member prosperity.
“Our job at NextGen is essentially to procure the cattle for the packing plant and subsequent meat company. We utilize our genetics, feed the cattle, get them procured and then line them up for the packing plant in order to sell the product,” Thompson says. “Our partner, Stacy Davies has been a rancher and involved in retail meat sales for 30 years. He and his team lead the sales side. We are really excited about the opportunities that will result from the packing plant as it will open up a lot of avenues.”
The company’s NextGen Beef Company arm partners with hundreds of production partners including family farms and ranches to provide quality beef to consumers who are seeking the highest quality beef. Values of animal welfare, environmental stewardship, food safety, and employee safety drive decision making at every level. As a result of this team effort with its production partners, NextGen Beef Company provides a variety of high-quality beef brand products including Show Me Beef, Flint Hills Beef, Blackstone Wagyu, Grass Valley and Kansas Ranch. Each product line represents the best in its class and is provided by producers who care about animal welfare and environmental stewardship.
As Thompson explains, the company’s vision is to bring cattle producers and retail consumers closer together in order to create production processes that align with consumers’ visions for their chosen beef products.
“Oftentimes people drive by farms and ranches and see cattle and are unfazed. But I think the COVID pandemic allowed people to step back when meat was taken away from them,” Thompson says. “It brought more respect to the agriculture community and to people raising cattle. During the pandemic, a lot of consumers also got exposed to different experiences surrounding the agriculture industry, with many finding meat from local ranchers. Today’s retail customer wants to know how the animals are being raised and how they are being cared for. The most exciting thing for us to be able to connect that retail consumer to the rancher. Through our programs, retail customers will be able to see who raised that animal, how they were raised. We are trying to raise that bar in the industry.”
The outpouring of support the “next generation rancher” concept has been overwhelming for the NextGen Cattle Company team.
“There is continued pressure on cow/calf producers to find the best way to market the calf crop and pick up any premiums or benefits of doing so, we feel being a part of a program like this can bring real value to the producers,” Thompson says. “The feedback has been tremendous. We have over 100 ranches on board with what we are doing. It’s a really exciting adventure.”
To learn more about Nextgen Cattle Company, visit www.nextgencattle.com or call 785-560-4444.