Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2003


Published for the Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVIII December 9, 10, and 11, 2003, Mitchell, Nebraska.


Many ranchers are trying to direct market beef, including ranchers in western Colorado. Our experience with these ranchers and others is outlined in this presentation. There are many valid reasons to use direct marketing. One specifically is to supplement ranch income. Of course, there are also reasons not to direct market beef. Examples include: increased liability, low economic returns initially, and very time consuming.

Four main items should be addressed before you begin a direct marketing beef program:
1) You must have a niche that will differentiate your beef products.
2) Prepare a well-written business plan that actually forecasts a profit.
3) Form a business entity (separate from the ranch) in order to minimize liability.
4) Know the capabilities and limitations of your products’ processing, packaging and distribution.