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Beltie-Briefs Newsletter

December 15, 2020


2020 Presidents Message

Terry Willis, President, Great Lakes Belted Galloway Association

The Covid issues and its effects on our economy, personal lives, agriculture, and the cattle industry has lead me to one conclusion I think we all can agree on “2020 stinks”.  I have always said when given lemons, make lemonade.  Boy are going to have a lot of lemonade. 

The GLBGA will be having their annual planning meeting in Jan of 2021.  I would like to invite and encourage you, the GL membership, to participate.  You can do so in several ways either in person or via some electronic means of communicating. The board would like your ideas and suggestions on how the organization can better support and serve you.    Here is an opportunity for you to get involved and make a change. We offer different ways you can accomplish that.

  1. Serve on one of our committees; we are always looking for diversification and new fresh ideas and help.  Let us know your area(s) of interest and we will try to place you on that committee.
  2. Serve on the board as a director at large.  This is an appointed position and it could lead to being elected to the board.  There is no length of time commitment.  All you need to do is let us know you are interested.  We currently have openings.
  3. Serve on the board as an elected director.  We elect 3 board members each year for a 3 year term.   Again, if you are interested let us know and we will add you to the list of candidates which we elect usually at our annual field day.

Feel free to respond via email to: with your thoughts or willingness to participate.  Or you can call or email any of the GL board members via their contact information on the Great Lakes website:

My family: Terry, Julie, Steve, Chris, Cody, and Macy would like to wish you a safe and happy holidays.

Beef Tips

4 Steps for direct-to consumer Marketing from Progressive Cattle

The more you think you don’t like marketing, the more you need a plan. The beef industry has seen a marked increase in interest surrounding direct-to-consumer marketing in recent months. This can partly be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent slowdowns in the packing plants that had a lot of feeders and cow-calf producers worried. Another factor spurring the increasing interest is the growth of consumer demand for a story to go with the products they’re buying. A growing segment of beef consumers are more interested in buying locally sourced products, with some
restaurants and retailers also pursuing this trend.

For beef producers interested in selling beef directly to their customers, a sound and well thought out marketing plan is critical. Beef marketing consultant Matt LeRoux told attendees of Penn State’s virtual Beef Cattle Short Course, “The more you think you don't like marketing, the more you need a plan.” Having a marketing plan helps to focus energy and effort where it will be the most effective. “We don't want [marketing] taking up too much of our time, so actually planning and having strategy will make the time that we spend pay off better and ultimately reduce the amount of labor we have to put into marketing.”

Those who plan on directly marketing beef need to pay attention to what the consumer really wants. Even though beef remains the same, there are numerous ways to market it to consumers. Determining the best way to market beef in your area for your operation is key to carving out a solid customer base.

LeRoux outlined four steps for developing a direct to consumer marketing plan. “What I'm talking about is this idea of sitting down at your kitchen table with your marketing team, which is probably you and your spouse, or maybe your kids, and just spending some time talking through these components of the plan,” he said. “It would be nice if it was a written plan, but it doesn't have to be. The idea is to invest some energy.”

Step 1: Develop a strategy

Think about each purchasing choice that consumers make when they have to buy food and why they would be making that choice. Asking those questions can help improve your understanding of the consumer and help pick a target customer, like one who values things like shopping locally or how their beef is raised. “Think about a customer's needs, motivations, desires and buying habits,” he said. “These are the motivations that are driving their purchase; in this case, even driving why they would go to the farmers market or call a local farm.” After a target customer is chosen, focus your marketing and production activities on meeting the needs of that type of customer.

Also, formulate a target sentence to clearly define your purpose. Fill in the italic portions to reflect your operation’s business strategy: “Our farm claims/product(s) for target customers who activity/demographic/behavior.” A strategy sentence like this will help you and your team create a caricature of your target customers and why they would buy your product, which will help inform your marketing decisions.

Step 2: Conduct market research

Use market research to determine the feasibility of some strategies and figure out sales projections, demand, trends and competition. “Market research helps us market our products to those who already value them,” LeRoux explained. Market research techniques don’t necessarily have to include diving into databases of survey data; it can be as simple as reading online articles about current market trends and being tuned into social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to see what consumers are saying about local food and about meals they’re preparing at home.

Also, once you find out where these consumers are, where they shop and how to reach them with your message, you can craft a description of your product that will most resonate with them. “If we identify that our target customer really wants to support the local economy or local agriculture, then we're going to have a message about how we raise our own animals and that they're born on the farm and that we use a local processor,” he said, explaining that a product description like that tells the consumer, “When you buy
from us, it means that your money stays within the community.”

Step 3: Determine objectives

Carry out your marketing plan with specific and measurable objectives. Some should be sales-based, like, “Market X pounds or X dollars per month or per week through a certain channel (i.e., farmers market or roadside stand).” Other objectives should be focused on reaching consumers. Some examples include goals to reach a certain number of likes for your Facebook page, or if your target consumer would respond to direct mail, set an objective to send out a certain number of postcards by a certain date. Set a marketing budget to help focus your marketing efforts where they will be most effective.

Also, remember to make sure these objectives work with your production schedule. If you know when animals will be ready to process and you can figure out how many animals you need to market each month, it makes good business sense to build objectives around moving animals through the different channels that you want to use in the right time frame.

Step 4: Communicate with your team

Whether you have a team of employees or if it’s simply you and your family at the kitchen table developing a marketing plan, constant communication among your marketing team is key to ensuring your beef sells well. Working toward a shared end goal and brainstorming together throughout the marketing process can result in the most innovative and efficient solutions to marketing challenges and help create the most effective marketing plan for your operation.

Carrie Veselka, Editor, Progressive Cattle

Retrieved from:



Scott Lohmann, Sperry , IA 

Scott Lohmann, a native to Sperry, Iowa, lives on the same farm that he was born and raised on. Together with his wife, Kim, and daughters Ashley and Jennifer, he operates a small crop and cow-calf operation, along with their sheep and horses. Hiland Oaks was started by Scott’s father, Larry Lohmann. Originally, Hiland Oaks was known as a Quarter Horse farm and the Lohmann’s even ran a western store.  In 1993, Scott’s dad was killed in a farming accident. This sudden change in life led to many life decisions.  Scott, his sister (who was living in Texas) and Kim were left to run the western store and manage the daily operations on the farm.  Scott’s sister ended up taking many of the family’s brood mares with her to Texas and Scott and Kim remained on the farm to manage the remaining quarter horse herd and western store.  As time went on Scott and Kim made the very tough decision to close the western store and focus on creating a life together. Shortly after Scott married his wife, they purchased their first two crossbred cows. Their first daughter, Ashley, quickly made the herd grow as she started showing bottle calves in Pre 4-H. In 2010, Scott and his family purchased their first Belted Galloway bull after extensive research into the breed. The first calves out of Goose Creek Boxcar had them loving the breed and their Beltie herd has continued to grow since. Scott enjoys taking his family to local and regional Beltie shows and helping promote the breed in their community.




Herd this at the fence...

Test your Beltie knowledge with this Beltie Crossword:

Answer can be found below our "A word from the Bookworm" section. 

...It's What's for Dinner

Taco Soup
Serves: 5-7
1 lb ground beef                                                                              1 pt. sour cream
¼ cup onion                                                                                    1 lb Velveeta cheese sliced
1 (15oz) can pinto beans                                                                2 c. water
1 small can petite diced tomatoes                                                ½ tsp garlic powder
1 can chili without beans                                                               ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 can refried beans
Brown ground beef and onion together.  Drain grease (if not using Beltie beef).  Put all ingredients in crock pot for 2 hours on high.  Stir throughout the cooking to make sure cheese melts.  Serve with tortilla chips.  

If you are interested in learning more about grazing and grazing management, an excellent periodical is the Stockman Grass Farmer. Subscriptions for this are paid, but you can try an issue for free. 

A word from the Bookworm...

What's on the Web

Forage Ideas and Calving Season Preparations

We found this article on bale grazing from Progressive Forage. Bale grazing returns nutrients to the field and so much more beyond labor reduction. 

Bale grazing – more than just a labor saver

As we prepare for the upcoming calving season, it is the perfect time to take inventory on our supplies and organize the supplies. This article from Iowa State University lays out the important tools and supplies that are important to have on hand for calving season.

Iowa Beef Center | Iowa State University | Beef Quality Assurance Sessions

Beltie Crossword

How did you do?

Answers: 1. Polled  2. Dystocia  3. Flehmen  4. Heifer  5. Niacin  6. Forages  7. Black  8. Scotland  9. Double  10 Belt  11. Three  12. Beltie  13. Lean  14. Steer  15. Nine




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Great Lakes Belted Galloway Association · 5418 Yale Bridge Rd · Rockton, IL 61072-9504 · USA