Just a few miles south of Broken Bow on any given morning, one will see a small fleet of feed trucks serving a nutritious breakfast ration to cattle lined up at the bunks, a crew of pen checkers on their horses checking on the health and well-being of each animal, heavy equipment operators driving large pieces of equipment to clean each pen to ensure the comfort of the cattle, and many other teams each doing their part to feed the world high quality, safe, sustainable beef.
‘We feed the world high quality, safe and sustainable beef’ is the mission at Adams Land and Cattle, where over 170 employees each have a role in contributing to that mission.
Feeding cattle, and thus feeding consumers has been something that the Adams family has been passionate about since the mid 1950s when Russ and Angenette Adams began backgrounding cattle. Over the years, Adams has become one of the top family owned beef producers in the nation, by providing its customers with quality product for over 40 years.
Utilizing a variety of best production practices as well as advanced tracking technology, the family-run feedlot has developed a strong management system that cultivates both success and sustainability.
Bill and Jerry Adams have been leading their family business since they returned to Broken Bow, early in their careers, but over the past few years, they decided it was time to put a succession plan in place for the company.
This plan was announced in February, when Abram Babcock was announced as President of Adams.
“Bill and I have enjoyed having Abram work beside us to lead the company,” Jerry Adams, owner and CEO, said. “Abram’s ability to understand the business coupled with his growth in leadership and strong partnership with owners and the other vice presidents, gives us the confidence that we can continue to lead this company successfully.”
Abram relocated back to Broken Bow earlier this year, and he has been working since then in his role to ensure that the company continues its rich roots of feeding cattle.
“Jerry and Bill gave me the opportunity to work alongside them in running the business. It is a very humbling opportunity and has been a great partnership. They have a tremendous wealth of knowledge, and it has been a great experience to learn and lead alongside them,” Abram said.
Abram has had a passion for agriculture and for the livestock industry since growing up on a farm in northeast Colorado. He attended Colorado State University majoring in Agricultural Business and Animal Science. He then went on to study at Kansas State University and received a M.S. in Agricultural Economics. Following graduation, Abram moved to Chicago and worked for Aon Re., doing risk analysis on crop insurance portfolios. After a short stint in Chicago, Abram returned to Kansas State and received his PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology where he utilized historical feedlot data to quantify the economic impacts of Bovine Respiratory Disease.
Abram has been with Adams Land and Cattle since 2010 and he and his wife Elizabeth reside in Broken Bow with their two children.
Continuing the company’s focus on continuous improvement, Adams uses innovative technologies and is proud to have employees who are passionate about improving their company’s business.
“At our core, we are a family business with a passion for our community, our neighbors, and our consumers. Consumers can trust that we care for our animals, respect our natural resources, and work with strong integrity in feeding the cattle to ensure that the beef they are feeding their families is safe and high quality,” Abram said.
As we see a global demand for meat, Adams is focused on listening to what the consumers want and what their needs are. One of the main consumer concerns in today’s market is product safety. Adams deals with this issue by using trace ability on all of their animals from the time they are purchased. Adams Land and Cattle also employs on staff Veterinarian and Nutritionist to support their animal welfare culture dedicated to practicing the health and well-being of their animals.
The other consumer expectation is an interest in preserving and respecting the environment. This interest is one that Adams Land & Cattle takes to heart through groundwater monitoring, air quality and mortality management, as well as on-going employee training in all of its environmental initiatives and programs.
In addition to balancing consumer wants and needs, the beef industry has also gone through volatile market conditions. Adams Land and Cattle has seen the beef industry go through extreme market conditions, after the market reached a low in 2016 of $98/cwt, the beef industry experienced a nice rally in the first part of this year, when it returned to $145/cwt. “As an industry that is highly impacted by the changing markets, exports will be critical to the beef sector going forward,” explained Abram.
Managing risk and figuring out what the consumer wants is the focus of ownership and leadership at Adams for the next few years. Abram said it has become critical to educate consumers and working with them and responding to their concerns and needs.
“We want the consumers to feel confident that the beef industry is doing the right thing for the animals, for the environment, and for the consumers. Now is a great time for us to tell our story, we need to do a better job explaining to the consumer what we do, why we do it, and educate them on the best practices and safeguards that we have in place to ensure the safety and quality of their beef,” Abram explains.
With its current animal well-being initiatives and environmental programs, Adams Land and Cattle is confident that they will continue to be able to support their mission of feeding the world high quality, safe and sustainable beef.
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