James Davidson, Regional Sales Manager for Pro Earth Animal Health, talks about maximizing yields for cattle by minimizing trauma for the animal.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We’re going to continue to talk about agriculture today. Agriculture is a big part of the economy and it’s something, you know, I love how there are millions of ways to make money here in the United States and especially here in Texas and agriculture is certain, certainly a big part of that. And any time you have a business that has tight margins, anything you can do to improve your performance and anything you can do to improve the outcome is going to one, ensure that those tight margins hold and two, improve them a little bit. Right? And that’s what we’re talking about on this segment. I’m your host Matt Register, here as always with Jay Curry. Jay talk to me.
Jay Curry: Got to tell you Matt, that I grew up in a small town. 68 in my graduating class. We had horses all around. We had cattle all around. We had a rodeo on the weekends. I had no idea how close you have to manage this business. And we’re going to hear from James, a very interesting stories about how you can improve your whole animal life, you know, and business…
Matt Register: Yeah.
Jay Curry: And the cattle and the horses also. He’s going to be in that but I think were going to talking about cattle mostly.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what, Pro Earth Animal Health is a company here out of Texas, that has a couple of products. One for cattle and one for horses. James Davison is here. James welcome to the show sir.
James Davison: Thank you. Thank you. Glad to be here.
Matt Register: So tell us a little bit. You got a couple of products CattlActive and Zesterra. That is one for cattle, one’s for horses. But you’re able to help these ranchers improve some of their margin that is otherwise pretty, pretty snug. Right?
James Davison: Sure, sure. Yeah. Our CattlActive product is, it’s an all natural drench. That’s used orally and we like to use it at calve-ing.
Matt Register: OK.
James Davison: Also at branding and at weaning and it what it does is it counteracts the effects of acidosis that are caused by our management tools. Which is, when we tag a calf, if we catch him with a lariat rope, we’ve caused acidosis. If that cow’s had problems delivering him, that calf has acidosis. So his production from day one is going to be lower due to that acidosis.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what, we were talking during the break. And for our listeners that aren’t cattle ranchers, don’t understand that business. Bottom line is when a calf is stressed, they get acidosis. Acidosis means they’re not eating. And sometimes it can extend out a week, 10 days to where they’re not eating. And in the process or in the life cycle of that calf, you can lose 10 percent or more of your eating time. Which directly translates into lower weight, lower dollars at the sale. This product helps fix that. So if you can get the acidosis gone quickly, they get back to eating and when they’re eating, they’re gaining weight. Is that over simplistic?
James Davison: No that’s it in a nutshell. When you have loss of production days, you have less pounds to sale at the end of your calves life. And your total dollars on your investment of time and inputs is based on the amount of weight you take to the sale barn. And you put on the video and sell those calves. And each time we handle that calf and cause that acidosis, his recovery time is lack of production time. And it also, it makes those calves vulnerable to sickness, if that loss of production time is extended further out. So we want those calves back in production, nursing that cow. Or if it’s in a precondition situation, we want him eating the feed that we’re spending the money on and turning it into pounds of beef because pounds of beef is what we sell. So when we reduce that loss of production time, we affect the weaning weight of those calves by doing that.
Jay Curry: James, there’s no way that they can get out of at least three. When they’re born. Right? When their what?
James Davison: When their brand or what we call in Texas, a lot of us call it vaccinate, castrate. You castrate a bull calve, you stressed him immensely.
Jay Curry: There’s no way out of that. And then when you sell them and they go off. They go through stress of that, of being in a different environment. There’s no way you can get out of those three. Is it possible to be a fourth, something might happen.
James Davison: Yes.
Jay Curry: Say a big storm comes in and it scares the cattle.
James Davison: Yes. Exactly. You can have a stress event caused by weather. You can have a stress event caused by transportation, do to our marketing systems. All of those things that take that calf out of his environment and stress him mentally is reflected in his immune and health and his PH. Which is what our product does the best. We buffer the immune and correct the PH.
Jay Curry: So in essence, the time after that, they kind of go in a little bit of depression. They stop eating, it takes them several days to get out of it. You’re losing all of that growth. Your product shortens that and gets them right back.
James Davison: Correct. That’s, that’s, very, very accurate. We should…
Jay Curry: It could be a big impact.
James Davison: Avoid that loss of production time. Sure.
Matt Register: Well and I tell you what, you were showing me some pictures during the break. The difference in the calf that has an extra month of eating, very simply, is a visible difference in that calf. Right? It is something that, you know, directly translates, in doing a quick economics on it. You had a couple of things going on here that I find pretty fascinating. Right. One of them is you have increased weight at the sale. Right? That is direct, you know, increase revenue to the rancher. The other one is it has some effects. Now this is anecdotal. Right? You know but there are some effects of less cost of antibiotics and things like that. That is as a result of using this. So it makes a difference multiple ways, using this product versus not using it.
James Davison: Correct. The three major economic impact points that we do have is; we increase pounds of beef, we reduce antibiotic use and we also increase conversion a lot of times. Which is actually turning into pounds of beef.
Matt Register: OK.
James Davison: And so when you reduce your antibiotic use, you reduce your inputs. So that has an effect on your profit margin.
Matt Register: Sure.
James Davison: Also when you improve conversion then the actual money you’re spending on feed or supplements, that’s turning into more pounds of beef. Making that more productive.
Matt Register: More efficient. Yeah?
Jay Curry: So James, the only time that somebody wouldn’t want to do this is they just don’t get it. I mean you’re going to have the stress. You can reduce the time it takes to bounce back from that. It’s a definite impact. Why would somebody not want to do this?
James Davison: Well, what we find is educating the producer to exactly what’s happening in their management scheme at that point of time, when they are handling the cattle. We find that an effective tool. A lot of people don’t quite understand bio chemically what stress does to a calve. So when we, when we educate them, it’s a very easy sale and especially when they haul, when they market those caves and see the increased weight gain from lost…
Jay Curry: Once they see it, you got them. But they don’t know, what they don’t know. So a big part of your job is to educate them on the impact of stress and how this product can help them reduce that time and increase the pounds.
James Davison: Yes sir. That’s exactly, that’s a very accurate assessment.
Jay Curry: Great product.
Matt Register: Now in addition to the CattlActive and that’s what we’re talking about today. You have a horse version of it. Zesterra is a version that you have of this for, for horses. Correct?
James Davison: Correct. And horses are put in little, they’re a lot more stressed because we haul them. We show them and a horse has a little different stomach environment. He has an unlined stomach in the top half. In the bottom half, when we riding them, we, we using we, we splash acid up on that top half. And that’s where we get our ulcers. Our product, if you neutralize that acid, it allows that ulcer to heal itself.
Matt Register: OK.
James Davison: And it’s very cost effective.
Matt Register: So people can find you at a lot of the pro rodeo events and things like that around the state, on the horse side. On the, on the cattle side, you’re looking for, you know, basically anybody that has cattle, that runs a cow/calf operation, is somebody that needs to learn more about this product. Correct?
James Davison: Correct. And they can go to our web site, www.proearthanimalhealth.com and we have, we have means of getting in touch with representatives in their area, that can come out and give them a personal consultation based on their management’s scheme.
Matt Register: Wonderful. Well, hey, James Davison, who is with Pro Earth Animal Health, here in Texas. Thank you very much for joining us.
James Davison: Enjoyed it. Thank you all for the air time.
Matt Register: And guys, I’ll tell you what, if you have a cow/calf operation, this is something you need to learn more about. ProEarthanimalhealth.dot com. If you’re driving, don’t want to write down. I got it. Go to the web site Texasbusinessradio.com at any time, we’re going to have a link there to all these guests. Yes, thank you very much. This is interesting. You know, I find, especially tight margin businesses, anybody, anyway you can find to get an edge in it, it makes a whole lot of sense.
Jay Curry: You need to be on top of it, if you’ve got a narrow margin. You really do.
Matt Register: Absolutely. Guys, we have to go to a break. We’re just getting warmed up. We’re not done. We’re going to take a break, go pay a couple of bills. We’re going to be back right after this. You don’t even have enough time to go anywhere. You don’t even have time. We’ll be back, quicker than that. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.