Angus VNR: ‘No Bad Days’

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Tom Jones likes it when everything at his Kansas feedyard is in order. That’s why he drives through the yard to check on the animals in his care.

 “I just want to make sure we are taking care of the cattle needs right.  Cattle will always tell you what they need.  The problem is the business is so fast we don’t have time to stop to see what they are asking for,” Jones, of Hy-Plains Feed Yard, says.

His crew takes the extra time and steps to make sure all the feeding details are on track for success.

“The ideal cattle that would come into the feedyard would be cattle that have never had a bad day. That is part of why we have the research center going on here and part of the interaction we have with the commercial cattleman that we are working with today even our stockers and our backgrounders, we are working with them as well. So if you look at a lot of different programs that are in place today, if we make sure the vaccination program is done right, proper 65-day wean period at least minimum on the cattle,” Jones says. “We really have a great nutrition program to follow that as well. Then the cattle will come to the feedyard they will do well for us and will alleviate all the problems we have with any sickness, digestive upsets; they are easier to manage.”

They’ll grade better, too.

That takes communication with everyone from suppliers to feedyard employees. It’s important for all to embrace a low-stress mindset.

“Nothing here in the feedyard is a timed event.  We move cattle slowly, we process cattle slowly; we get asked all the time how many cattle we run through a day, and I really don’t know; not as many as everyone else. It doesn’t matter to us how the cattle are handled.  Cattle will tell you how fast they want to go,” Jones concludes. 

Their goal for all the cattle in their pens? To keep improving, besting last year’s results.


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