Partners in Progress

Published on Wed, 05/31/2023 - 11:47am

Partners in Progress.

 By Maura Keller.

 When two companies recognize their own strong successes in an industry, and share a common goal, it makes sense for them to collaborate to get the job done. That’s exactly what NextGen Cattle Company and ABS have done – joined forces to provide a unique line of cattle that will bring the industry to the next level.

NextGen Cattle Company was founded in 2015 and is owned by Derek Thompson, Damon Thompson, and their cousin Brad Lindstrom. Together, they created a company that was reflective of the next generation of cattle producers who wanted to do things differently from previous generations. Today, NextGen covers all facets of the beef industry, offering a streamlined simplified process for producers.

Not long before NextGen was created, Wisconsin-based ABS Global, created NuEra Genetics in 2014 to introduce a distinctive new era of ABS beef genetic improvement. NuEra Genetics provides differentiated and tailored beef genetics that offer unique genetic solutions.

In August 2022, NextGen and ABS established a working relationship that entail NextGen using its successful distribution model for the ABS bulls that come out of their research and development facility in Wisconsin. NextGen and ABS’ partnership means producers now have access to ABS’ unique line of cattle that offers unmatched growth, extreme feed efficiency and tremendous carcass qualities. As these bulls become available, NextGen works with ABS and their reps to place these bulls in commercial cattle operations.  

According to Jared Wareham, ABS NuEra Business Development North America, the NextGen and ABS teams began cultivating the relationship in August of last year. 

“The chemistry and alignment between teams was very strong from the start,” Wareham says. “We sensed right away that the opportunity to create something successful and different was in front of us. It wasn’t hard to see and feel the complementarity. NextGen brought forth a breadth of experience and a significant footprint in many commercial spaces, like cattle feeding and backgrounding. Furthermore, ABS has been a leader and pioneer in beef genetic improvement for over 80 years.”

Both NextGen and ABS realized that each team shared a similar vision and recognition of their role in the beef space. As Wareham explains, the team at NextGen has done a tremendous job creating a strong customer-centric business. 

“ABS could flourish in our space as a genetic improvement pioneer driving hard to help customers of partners, like NextGen, carve out more profit and protect their ranching legacy for the next generation,” says Wareham. In fact, that’s was excited Wareham and the rest of the ABS team about the partnership with NextGen – namely, the mindset and “mojo” between and within each team.

“Everyone involved in the relationship has a deep, unique understanding of the beef industry.  Yet, none of us are fixed, or tethered to more traditional models of beef production,” Wareham says. “This factor really helped us to think big and add that critical element of synergy to relationship.”

Derek Thompson highlights that NextGen is a forward-thinking progressive company that believes the cattle industry can’t do things the way previous generations of cattle producers did it, hence the name.  

“When ABS approached us with the concepts and ideas around where they are heading with this genetic line, as a company it caught our attention,” Thompson says. “As we spoke to them more, we realized that as a seed stock producer we would never be able to catch up with what they are doing from a genetic standpoint. ABS’ genetic technology and expertise is so far advanced as to what we could do as a small company.”

A Refined Selection
Within the cattle industry, you will often hear the words “efficient” and “sustainable” bandied about and the NextGen team believes people are making progress in both areas. That said, Thompson also believes it’s extremely hard for people to show or quantify what they have done in this space.  

“With ABS, we believe they are decades ahead of their competition with the data and research to back it,” Thompson says. “We believe together we can do something others haven’t done and actually quantify and show the cattlemen how they benefit and participate in these efforts.”  

As part of NextGen and ABS’ partnership, the goal is, quite simply, to offer a solid opportunity to help people. As Wareham explains, simplicity is key within today’s cattle industry, and together NextGen and ABS are striving to help producers simplify their operations.

“If a cattleman or women purchases all the ranch’s replacement females annually, the use of a highly focused terminal breeding program becomes more relevant,” Wareham says. “The same can be said for areas of the county challenged by environmental conditions that require a ‘special’ type of cow to thrive.

The focus is on enhanced profitability through the strategic use of genetics that have been designed to grow, grow efficiently, and grade.”

Indeed, the decades of genetics that ABS has developed to produce these animals in impressive, as is the technology behind these efforts.

“In addition, once the animals hit the ground, their culling process is unparalleled. For these bulls to make it through the rigorous tests and culling criteria you know they have done something right,” Thompson says. “Starting with 600+ bulls each year and only having the top 1 to 5% go to be herd sires was eye opening to us. As a seed stock business, we take pride in our culling process but if we applied their process we would be out of business overnight. This just shows the type of quality they are sending out on a limited basis.”  

Together, NextGen and ABS have recognized their aligned vision is in helping people and guiding them through the oncoming challenges that the industry is expected to face, such as the cost of production and the increasing level of accountability.  

“We talk often about how we can use technology and advanced animal breeding to solve these pain points,” Wareham says. “Keeping families focused on producing high-quality beef and raising the next generation ranchers falls right inside our wheelhouse.”

What excites Nextgen the most about this newly established partnership with ABS is the opportunity to connect hard-working ranchers and cattle producers directly to the newest genetics and technology on the market.

“Then, more importantly, showing them how to apply it and reap the benefits of doing so,” Thompson says. “We believe they oftentimes get forgotten in this space and this is our way of bringing them to the forefront.”

NextGen wants to help not only their current customers but the industry, as a whole, to improve. Thompson, along with the rest of the NextGen team, believe the best way to do that is to bring ranchers and cattle producers new technology and show them the results on their own cattle.

“Some of the best cattle producers in the country haven’t ever seen how their cattle actually perform. We think the quickest way to have them improve is to bring them new ideas from industry leaders like ABS and show them how it actually works in their herd,” Thompson says. “With this said, it goes back to transparency, being a partner and being on the same team.”

NextGen expects to sell 300 bulls in 2023, with eventual sales goals exceeding 10 times that amount each year.

“Having this many bulls out in production will give us the opportunity to create a supply chain that we believe that will be unmatched and that’s where we start moving the needle,” Thompson says. “This gets back to getting the rancher involved and showing them how they can be a bigger part of changing and improving the cattle industry.”

To learn more about NextGen/ABS NuEra visit: