Angus Convention 2018

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With land and labor two of the industry’s most limiting resources, working with cooperator herds is vital to Thomas Angus Ranch’s expansion, said Rob Thomas. - Photo by Shelby Mettlen, Angus Media

Building a Brand

By Shelby Mettlen   |   Angus Media

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 6, 2016) — “What we sell at Thomas Angus Ranch is probably pretty similar to what Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) sells, and that is primarily a brand,” said Rob Thomas of Thomas Angus Ranch in Baker City, Ore. Thomas spoke to an audience at the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., during a breakout session for the convention’s Angus University.

“We have certain expectations that we expect our cattle to meet,” he continued. “When we build a brand, we try to raise the level so high that it’s tough to get through so when we put something out there, those cattle will do the job, they’ll exceed expectations and keep that brand level where it’s at.”

Thomas briefed listeners on the importance and process of building a brand in the cattle industry. Developing a brand that customers recognize is key, he said.

“That’s what we try to present: Cattle that work, cattle that perform for all segments of the industry,” he said. “That’s our brand.”

Look for a niche, Thomas encouraged. Decide what works for you, whether it be show cattle, performance cattle or data-driven cattle for a designated end point. Thomas Angus Ranch found its niche in building repeatable genetics.

“Over the years, we’ve seen trends in cattle, but also trends in performance,” he explained. “We try to find those trends and capitalize on the way the industry is going.”

To do that, producers must utilize and adapt to technology in both genetics and economics. Thomas said big changes are on the horizon for the cattle industry, including what he believes will be more consolidation among the commercial and seedstock segments of the industry.

“You’ll see more integration between the segments,” he predicted, adding that the industry continues to see more innovation. “As long as we’re willing to accept those things we have more potential to become more and more competitive with other proteins.”

Thomas Angus Ranch will continue to grow its cooperator base, Thomas said. With land and labor two of the industry’s most limiting resources, working with cooperator herds is vital to Thomas Angus Ranch’s expansion.

To recap, Thomas encouraged producers to build a brand, find their niche, adapt to evolving technology, collaborate with other producers and market their products.

“One of the things we have is a vision of where the industry is going, and we need to maybe provide a unified vision to our cooperators,” he said.

View the PowerPoint for this presentation. Listen to the complete presentation.

Thomas’s presentation was one of the Angus University Workshops sponsored by Merck Animal Health Nov. 6 at the 2016 Angus Convention. For additional coverage of the Angus Convention, tune in to The Angus Report on RFD-TV the week of Nov. 21 and watch for coverage in the Angus Journal and the Angus Beef Bulletin. Summaries, speaker presentations, photos, videos and much more can be found online at

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