Nextgen; Bringing NextGen’s Unique Vision to Cattlemen and Consumers Alike
Published on Thu, 07/21/2022 - 10:56am
Nextgen; Bringing NextGen’s Unique Vision to Cattlemen and Consumers Alike.
Article by Maura Keller.
When Derek Thompson, his brother Damon, and their cousin Brad Lindstrom founded NextGen Cattle Company in 2015, they had one thing in mind: To create a fully integrated cattle company that covers the entire gamut of beef cattle production from seedstock and feed lots to packing plants and meat sales. And in the seven years since its inception, this Paxico Kansas-based company has made a name for itself among those within the industry by offering a leading-edge beef production model to commercial cattlemen.
As Derek Thompson explains, the company’s “field to feedlot to fork” process is something that is not only beneficial to the beef producers, but more consumers are embracing this model as they welcome the “farm to table” concep
“In the last two years we have added Nextgen Beef Company, with our packing plant in Pleasant Hope, Mo – which has grown to 400 employees and went from zero to 2500-plus head a week. It’s amazing what our team has accomplished in such a short time.” In addition, Nextgen Beef Company partners with producers who share the same values as Nextgen – namely to be sustainable socially, economically and environmentally.
Indeed, the goal of NextGen is to provide top-notch genetics to help commercial cattlemen improve their operations in the future. The company specializes in Beefmaster cattle because the breed’s high-quality maternal traits that help customers increase the longevity and sustainability of their herds.
“We’ve been able to step back and pick up genetics from a lot of the elite operations across the country,” Thompson says. “So instead of having a foundation herd that’s been around for a long time, we’ve been able to go around the country and pick and choose aspects of people’s herds that we like here and there, and put together what we feel like is a really special herd.”
As NextGen looked around for a cross-breeding option, they decided Charolais was the best choice thanks to the breed’s terminal traits.
“We think there is a perfect combination of the terminal side of the Charolais and the maternal traits of the Beefmasters,” Thompson says. “We’ve been around a lot of big ranches that utilize Charolais on top of the maternal cross and we’ve seen some amazing calves.”
Twice a year, Nexgen hosts sales specializing in Angus, Beefmaster and Charolais Genetics – one in April and one in September. “This September’s bull sale will be an amazing event,” Thompson says. “Not only will we have a live band, great food trucks and some great genetics, we will have an incredible network of ranchers from all over the country that you can share ideas and challenges with and build some great relationships.” This fall’s sale will be held September 23-24, 2022 for the Flint Hills Falls Classic Annual Production Sale at NextGen’s Paxico, Kansas location.
One producer, who runs about 250 cow/calf pairs and some yearlings on his Paxico ranch, has attended three NextGen bull sales.
“The whole group at NextGen is excited and it feels like a bull sale where the whole community of cattlemen are eager to to learn about a new breed in this area,” the cattleman says. “A lot of our neighbors have asked to come out and see the bulls in the pasture, so I think it is bringing awareness. Right now, looking at these cattle compared to our straight buds, they are 75 to 100 pounds heavier and that’s a great part of the breed.”
“One of the things I love about our production sales is that there will be ranches from Florida to Oregon and everything in between, which allows all of you to have an amazing network opportunity to talk about the challenges of today’s cattle market,” Thompson says.
As part of this year’s fall sale, Friday, September 23 will include all-day cattle viewing, as well as a producer meeting, food and entertainment aplenty. Saturday will include breakfast, the bull sale, as well as food and beverages throughout the event.
“We work hard but we also like to have fun,” Thompson says. “We create an experience at our sales. We have plenty of food and drinks, live bands, and food trucks, to name a few. We understand how hard it is for ranchers to take a couple days off to come to a sale. We create an atmosphere for them to be able to bring their families and enjoy themselves for a couple of days.”
The NextGen Beef Company partners with hundreds of production partners including family farms and ranches to provide beef to consumers who are seeking products of the highest quality. That’s why NextGen prides itself on embracing the values of animal welfare, environmental stewardship, food safety, and employee safety, all of which drive decision making at every level of the organization.
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 and Flint Hills Beef. Each product line represents the best in its class and is provided by producers who care about animal welfare and environmental stewardship.
“Quality meat at an affordable price is always important to consumers,” Thompson says. “I also believe today’s consumers are interested in knowing the story behind the meat. NextGen Beef is a platform that allows us to track the animal from the ranch directly to the consumer.”
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.
“To my knowledge NextGen Beef is the only organization that is fully integrated. We raise and buy calves off the ranch, feed them at our feed yards, process them at our packing plant and distribute them to consumers through NextGen Beef Company,” Thompson says. “Most calves are sold 5 to 6 times through this process. At Nextgen they are sold once, allowing us to track the animal creating a higher-quality product for consumers.”
NextGen also recognizes that today’s retail customers want to know how the animals are being raised and how they are being cared for. In fact, the most exciting thing for the NextGen team is to be able to connect that retail consumer to the rancher. Through the company’s new direct-to-customer program, retail customers will be able to see who raised that animal and how they were raised.
“One of the reasons we chose the name ‘NextGen’ is that not only do we want to give back, but we want to be a part of the next generation of cattle business,” Thompson says. “It’s the kids, it’s the grandkids, it’s the third, fourth, fifth generations that we are trying to bring value to. The more we get into it, the more we see the opportunity to give back to them by creating a fully integrated platform.”
As part of the company’s new direct-to-consumer program, customers can go to https://nextgenbeef.com/ and place their custom order of NextGen Beef at any time. The NextGen team hopes to have the direct-to-consumer program up and running in the next 30 days.
“The demand for local retailers and customers knowing where their meat comes from is very important to people,” Thompson says. “I’m most excited to get this program out, which will benefit the hard-working ranchers by becoming a part of our supply chain.”
To learn more about Nextgen Cattle Company, its upcoming sale and new distribution program, visit www.nextgencattle.com or call 785-560-4444.