Rio Nutrition: Doing What’s Best for the Beef Business
Published on Thu, 05/03/2018 - 9:20am
Rio Nutrition: Doing What’s Best for the Beef Business
By Steve Weisman
Doing what’s best for the beef business. Trevor Greenfield, founder and owner of Rio Nutrition, says, “I am one of America’s family businesses, the businesses that make America what it is. Yes, I am in the business to help ranchers by providing them with the best and most affordable lick tubs in the business. BUT as a business owner, I realize that for a rancher to make the decision to use product A or B, he is going to make the decision that makes the most business sense for him…and as a business owner, I am on the same page.”
Greenfield knows there are lots of options out there and it often comes down to how comfortable a rancher is with the product options and how much he trusts the company and the people he will be working with. Their decision must be a good, sound business decision that will, in turn, positively impact their business and their bottom line. With this background in mind, Greenfield shares a smile and a slight chuckle and says, “To those reading this article, please excuse this lengthy preamble to what I really want to talk about, BUT there is a reason…and that reason has to do with more than just products. At Rio Nutrition, we don’t look at just selling livestock supplements, lick tubs and minerals as the end game. Instead, I look at the end game and ask the question: What are we in this for? What are we trying to get done? What needle are we trying to help the rancher move? And the answer we typically find is that folks are just looking to increase the profitability of their ranch. Simple.
How do you do this? What measurable makes the greatest impact on the rancher’s profitability? According to Greenfield, the answer they hear year in and year out is breed up rates or fertility. He says, “Nutritionally speaking, when we talk to ranchers, we ask the question what will give us the highest possible chance of reproductive success? The answer is 100 percent protected trace minerals – copper, zinc, manganese. Why 100 percent protected? Because this gives it the highest chance of getting through the rumen into the small intestine and hence into the bloodstream. Getting key reproductive trace minerals into the blood stream not only makes sense, but it is totally predictive of reproductive performance.”
Greenfield continues, “At this point, we are looking at the end game, the desired result, the objective…reverse engineering, if you will, to ensure that the product positively influences the results.”
Products to achieve these results: Fertiliti Series
So we’ve identified that impacting reproductive performance is the desired objective. So at this point, let’s look at the fertiliti series designed with the end in mind. It is a range of lick tubs that are engineered around giving each cow the highest probability of reproductive success. Ingredients in the series include 100% protected trace minerals, the added Flaxpac omega 3 and the high concentration of all vitamins and minerals. This is coupled with a low rate of consumption. Greenfield says, “To sum up in simple terms, these are important ingredients that will positively move the needle for your breeding performance this year…all at a price point that commercial cattlemen and the ‘mom and pop’ ranch can afford. Sure, it fits into the purebred programs, the embryo-transfer programs... It does all of that, while the cost fits the budget of every commercial cattleman across the country.”
What ranchers find different about Rio
Greenfield explains, “When ranchers reach out to us for help let’s say during breeding season, the Rio team handles things differently than many others in the business.” With a smile, Greenfield compares the team to that of a doctor. ”Only we don’t get paid the same,” he says with a laugh. With that, Greenfield shares his analogy.
“When you go to a doctor, with a severe pain in your side, the doctor doesn’t simply toss you a bottle of pills that says take morning and night for two weeks…and you wouldn’t trust him if he did! The doctor will weigh you, measure, check your blood pressure, poke and prod from head to foot to get a true understanding of what is going on. Then, and only then can he make a sound recommendation on a course of medication or therapy. And you know what, at Rio, we’re really no different. Our job is to understand the rancher’s challenges, issues, pain-points, what’s ‘cooking’…and then what they are trying to get done. Once we have a picture of what’s going on, then can we make a sound recommendation based on what the rancher has shared with us.”
It is at this point that customers begin to realize that Rio Nutrition is not in the game of just peddling tubs or minerals. Greenfield asserts, “Rather, we are in the business of fixing problems, finding solutions and partnering with the ranchers to help them make more money out of their existing resources, their existing cow herd, their existing land base.”
A rancher in St. Johns, Arizona, who was both intrigued and skeptical about the Rio program, took 350 cows of his 2000 cow herd and gave Riomax a try. The results he got justified his intrigue, while dealing a death blow to his skepticism. Here are the results in short. His conception rates went from 82% up to 93% while his weaning weights went from 480LB to 565LB. To really sweeten the pie, his costs were $15 per cow lower than the other cows not on the Rio program. And another rancher, close to Decker, Montana who runs 1200 cows, saw his conception rates go from a historical average of 88% up to 94%, with his calves weaning at 638LBS, 48LBS heavier than his historical average! Then there was a rancher from Jenner, Alberta that showed that his conception rates on 530 head (of which 440 were heifers) went from 87% up to 96%. Lastly (we can only say so much in one article) a South Dakota rancher running 550 cows in the Eureka area described to us what he found: He said in the first year on the Rio barrels he saw his conception rates jump by 5%, and he declared triumphantly, with 25-30 extra calves running around, who wouldn’t take an extra $30,000?These are the results that drive us as a company because we know how big of an impact this is having on the profitability of each ranch. Ranchers don’t see Riomax as an expense, but rather an investment. For more field trails please do visit www.rionutrition.net.
It’s about the right NOW
Even though each season of the year offers challenges for the rancher, Rio Nutrition is concerned about the right NOW, for the rancher and his herd. Greenfield says, “Our focus is the right now; it is our prime responsibility. Breeding season is on, the stakes are high. This is the chance and opportunity to shape the very profitability of the ranch for this year – and beyond.”
Here are some of the key areas we are impacting:
• Improving overall breedingperformance
• Getting more caught in first cycle
• Working with AI conception
• Helping bull performance
• Fetal pro gramming and fetaldevelopment
Then with nicer weather comes the issue of dealing with horn flies, a pest that causes billions of dollars of damage and loss to the cattle industry each year. The horn fly can cause up to 50 pounds of weight loss during the pasture season as well as reducing milk yield and quality from those cows. The good news is that Rio Nutrition has recently launched a summer formula, which includes Altosid I.G.R. (Insect Growth Regulator). Talk about cost-efficient. For around 5¢ per head per day, I.G.R. can be included in Rio’s top of the line breeding formulas. Once the Altosid goes through the cow’s system and into the manure, it kills the fly in the larvae stage, cutting the life cycle of the fly.
Ease of getting Rio products
This question often comes up, how do I get Rio Products? According to Greenfield, “We have worked to make this easy. Ranchers can grab their phone, give us a shout, (1-888-714-5781) get straight onto one of our beef team, and have a discussion around what your challenges may be and what you are trying to get done. They will work with you to help you make the right decision – for you! Alternatively, go to our website www.rionutrition.net and take a couple minutes to fill out a form on the home page, and we’ll have one of the beef team give you a courtesy call. Then if it looks like it is what you want, and the price is right for you, we process the order and the product is shipped directly to the ranch. No dealers. No freight charges. No fuss.”
Greenfield, almost bouncing with passion and deep excitement about the way his company helps ranchers, rubs his eyes, and says calmly, “I just want to help people get the results they are looking for…help them get to their end game. It may be year-around, or it could be strategically in a certain time of year that we can help out. It’s not about tubs, it’s not even so much about business…it’s just something exhilarating about helping ranchers become more profitable…maybe that’s unusual, but that’s what drives me…and I would personally invite the readers of this article to reach out and see if Rio can do you some good, too.”