David Trowbridge. Gary and Lane Darnall. Dale Moore. Scott Keeling.

Just stating those names brings up a deep sense of admiration among our team. They’re only a handful of the dozens of CAB-licensed feedlots we work closely with. They’re some of the most focused guys we know. They join Terry Beller on that list of some of the hardest working people we know, too.

Some of them were born into the cattle business. Others say they accidentally fell into the career. It doesn’t matter to us how they got there, we’re just glad they did.

These are the guys (and gals) who manage all those daily decisions we talked about yesterday.

David Trowbridge, manager at Gregory Feedlots

David Trowbridge started working at Gregory Feedlots near Tabor, Iowa, right out of college. He’s seen the business do a 180 since he got into it. His team has gone from providing service for almost entirely outside investors to now spending the majority of their time working directly with ranchers.

“They want to know how their cattle have done, how their genetic program is working. We’re trying to learn what they’re producing so we can work together to make it better,” David says.

That’s a common philosophy we hear from these fantastic feeders.

“My customers get a range of data back and I like to tell them that we can provide you with anything that you can provide us with,” Dale says. “No matter who they buy their bulls from they need to figure out what kind of a bull they need and based on our carcass data they get to evaluate that and see what they need.”

Feedlots often get run though the mud, by activists and media groups for certain, but also by cow-calf producers who think they’re only interested in cheating them out of a fair profit. Maybe there are a few who still take what they can get at the expense of everybody else, but I’ve never met them.

When these souls carve time out their busy days to “drive the yard” with me, they’re not talking about how they can cheat a rancher by a few pennies per hunderedweight. They’re talking about building demand so everybody can cash in. They’re talking about keeping cattle healthy, reducing stress and making every single animal a success.

They’re also talking about, “How can we make more of them quality for Certified Angus Beef?”

Why? Well, why don’t I let one of them tell you in his own words:

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,


PS—Do you know why we’re on this gate-to-plate journey? Check out “30 days on a Prairie Farm” for the whole scoop.

Beef’s a Trip Archives:

Day 1: Starting at day one

Day 2: Who are these people?

Day 3: Stockholders

Day 4: The cowherd’s purpose

Day 5: Deciding to care

Day 6: Quality focus doesn’t have to skip the middleman

Day 7: Stocking for quality

Day 8: SOLD!

Day 9: What have you done today?

Day 10: Working together to make ‘em better

Day 11: Keep on truckin’

Day 12: Packers want quality

Day 13: The target

Day 14: Packers up close & personal

Day 15: It’s not all about the beef

Day 16: Further processors

Day 17: From here to there–and a lot more

Day 18: He’s on your team

Day 19: Beyond prices, grocery stores uncovered

Day 20: Getting quality in the carts