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Apples, Oranges, Used Cars and Beef Sales

While driving home from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday, Jackley & I shared an epiphany. No, that’s not some island drink with a little umbrella in it. It’s a sudden insight, a bolt out of the blue, the little lite bulb blinking on when an important concept pops into your head. We had been dissecting our day at the market, going over some of the questions we had been asked, and the answers we had supplied. A recurring question had been, “what do you get for a half of a beef?” to which we replied “well, this year that half a beef will cost ya about $1200 bucks.” Thus, the epiphany. That’s like asking a fruit vendor, “hey, how much are those apples and oranges?” and having the vendor reply, “well, they are $20 a box.” Or pulling into a used car lot and asking the salesman “yo, how much for a car?” There needs to be a little more information shared between buyer and seller. Just how many apples or oranges are in a box? What does a box of apples or oranges weigh? Do you want to buy a Chevette or a Corvette? Likewise, all sides of beef are not the same. Half a beef from a big yearling heifer or steer will have a finished weight of about 130 pounds. A half from one of our big 2-year-old heifers will finish at about 200 lbs. So, if both halves sell for $1200 bucks, the 130 pound half will cost you about $9.25/lb. and the 200 pound half will cost about $6.00/lb. Wow!!! Big difference! We realize that shoppers in this day and age are mostly interested in price. We just realized that we are going to have to do a better job of explaining to the folks what that price is going to get them. - George

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