The time between Christmas and the New Year is a special time of the year. All the festivities surrounding Christmas are still being celebrated and the preparation for the end of the year or the New Year, however you view it, is fully at hand. It’s normally a time for families to get together and often reminisce about the past year(s).
I took some time this holiday season and combed through an old issue of The Rural Farmer Magazine from the late 1940’s that was saved from an old farmhouse on a relative’s property. It was fascinating to see what was being written about and what was being advertised. One that struck me the most was an advertisement for Vise Grips as a new and innovative tool that was becoming popular. Well today, most everyone, whether a farm/ranch operation or not, has a pair or more of one of the handiest tools yet.
This all made me think of where we’ve come in our industry regarding beef cattle production; everything from genetics to animal husbandry to nutrition. The improvements made did not occur by accident, they took time, hard work and yes, many failures. Our business within the industry hasn’t been any different. Technology can accelerate the rate of change and the number of changes.
For nearly 40 years, the CRYSTALYX® supplement brand has made many improvements, making it what it is today. Just looking at the past year I decided to comment on some pretty significant observations or events in 2015. These will no doubt continue to shape our future in 2016 and beyond.
1. The WeatherAll® BioBarrel®
It’s been nearly two years now since the WeatherAll® technology has been included with the BioBarrel®. This improvement drew more attention to the overall concept of the features of the BioBarrel® and the use is ever increasing. Sales in 2015 increased by more than 30%. More CRYSTALYX® dealerships are promoting the BioBarrel®, if not for the producers’ convenience but for their own too. Many ranchers I talk to say they will only now use the BioBarrel® because of how it helps overall management. We can brag about how well CRYSTALYX® performs from a nutritional standpoint but the packaging options available only make a good thing work better.
2. Addition of Alltech technology
Our new ownership has opened many exciting doors for us. Alltech has many proprietary ingredients of mineral and yeast compounds that fit well into CRYSTALYX® as a delivery vehicle to livestock. We are taking advantage of these technologies to make CRYSTALYX® even better and to discover new applications. These changes came primarily in the 2nd half of 2015, much of which has been written about on our blog. Moving ahead, with limitations in the use of antibiotics, etc…, these technologies will become more important. It’s nice to know that we will be on the leading edge of making these work and our customers should be confident.
3. Ever increasing use of CRYSTALYX® Premium products and success therein.
Just as the WeatherAll® BioBarrel® has grown, our sales of the CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up® line keep growing; more than a 50% increase in 2015 vs 2014. It’s good to see this because if we just kept offering more of the same year after year, we’d probably be selling less of the same. Our overall growth has been with the higher valued products. Producers have demanded this as their customers continue to demand more value in their end product – Beef. I believe this trend will continue for us and our customers. Like the old adage says, “If you are not improving you are going backwards.” One of our core values is to “continuously improve.” If you haven’t considered incorporating any of the Breed Up products into your CRYSTALYX® program, now is a good time. Many of them center on calving and breeding seasons which are upcoming.
Thanks again to all readers of our blog and customers of CRYSTALYX®. 2015 was a remarkable year in many ways as we saw record highs for beef prices and volatility as well. We experienced a change in ownership and other changes. Still, at the end of the year, our focus is on making good things better for the future!