Business Profile: Hoop Beef System, LLC.
Published on Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:21am
Business Profile: Hoop Beef System, LLC.
Helping Producers Increase Cattle Performance
By Steve Weisman
There is little doubt that America’s farming/ranching landscape is changing.
In many states, traditional pastureland has been broken up in response to the cry for more cropland and grain production. Yet at the same time, there has been a cry from the cattle market for more cows. The trouble is this cry comes on the heels of 34 million acres of pasture lost since 2007. Although the traditional cow-calf grazing model is still the most prevalent, what are cattle producers that don’t have access to grass land or simply can’t pay the cost of renting high-priced grassland to do? Are there options or have these producers reached a dead end? The good news is there are sound, solid options.
One of these is a semi or confined cow/calf model, and more and more producers are turning to this option. But where do you begin? Enter the Hoop Beef System, LLC (www.hoopbeef.com), which for the past 10 years has been working with producers to develop a confinement system that specifically fits each producer’s needs. Originally designed by Dr. Robert Bryant, a longtime veterinarian and cattleman near the rural northwest Iowa town of Washta, Bryant has successfully turned what he envisioned for his own family farm into the Hoop Beef System®, a system that cattle producers from Alberta to Tennessee have grown to trust.
According to Tim Bickett, System Consultant at Hoop Beef System since 2007, “All of us here are cattlemen. It is what we do and defines who we are. We are focused on our cattle and what is best for our cattle. We believe in what we sell.” At the same time, Bickett notes that with over 100 years of combined cattle experience, “We understand cattle and people. If we don’t use it, we don’t sell it!”
The term “confinement” often brings up negative thoughts about animals being crowded and unclean conditions. However, Bickett sees this as being more of a controlled environment that is clean, where the cows are out of the mud, or the snow or the rain and wind! Fresh cornstalks provide optimum bedding, exact rations are given and both cows/calves are set up to always have the same quality environment. Craig Howard, cow boss/foreman at Bieber Red Angus Ranch in Leola, SD, echoed that sentiment. “When we built our first Hoop Beef Systems at the ranch I was quite skeptical about how the system would work for housing pairs in the spring. Now after using the system to not only house pairs for the first 30 days or so post calving in the spring, but breed our heifers and wean calves into in the fall, I know they work like they said they would.”
Bickett continues, “What we can offer producers is a system that gives them flexibility, the opportunity to maximize their system and the ability to increase their bottom line. We currently have 15,000 cows/calves housed inside our systems sold to producers.” To help producers see this type of facility in person, Hoop Beef System, LLC has built an entire system at Grand Meadow Feeders, located on the Bryant family farm near Washta, Iowa to test its own products and to gain even more knowledge to share with customers. Tours are regularly hosted at Grand Meadows Feeders where visitors can witness the following:
• Five Original Hoop Beef System® buildings, each 320 feet long housing 320 head each
• Two Hoop Beef Choice system buildings, 320 feet long housing 320 head
• Working facilities and load in - load out facilities built in as part of the starting and receiving barn
• Custom designed 75 foot commodity shed
• Two hoop bale sheds 200 feet long that hold over 1000 large round corn stalk bales
This visit allows visitors the opportunity to see how an entire Hoop Beef System® works and to get an idea of how it would work at their site. In addition, data is constantly being collected on the virtues of deep-bedded cattle facilities. With a smile Bickett says, “We are helping build a cattle hotel!” By using the Hoop Beef System®, the weather variable is eliminated, and the cattle are provided a consistent environment.
The positive results include:
• No Wind Chill
• No Frozen Ground
• No Bruised Hooves
• Hair Coats Always Dry
• No Summer Sun
• Venturi Effect (Cooling Air flow with open curtains even in no wind conditions)
• No Spoiled Feed
• Feed Bunks Protected from Snow and Rain