We recently received some information back from readers of a particular beef industry magazine that carried one of our CRYSTALYX® “Performance is Served” advertisements. This information included candid comments from the readers on the specific advertisements. One comment, in particular, caught my eye, as the reader said that they were not interested in a “convenience product.” With all the benefits served with CRYSTALYX, I thought it was interesting that someone would say they are not interested, just because it is also convenient to use.
What does convenience mean? I found two definitions that seemed to sum it up:
- The quality of being convenient; suitability.
- Anything that saves or simplifies work, adds to one's ease or comfort, etc., as an appliance, utensil or the like.
So, as we look at the second definition, therein lies the problem with a “convenience product”: it might add “to one’s ease or comfort.” And that would certainly mean we are lazy, correct? When I was a fresh, young nutritionist out of graduate school, back in 1995, I came to work for what was then called the CRYSTALYX division of Hubbard Feeds. I was schooled by the savvy salesmen at that time, told that we did not talk about CRYSTALYX being convenient or even labor-saving. The older cattlemen of that era truly thought if those words ever crossed your lips, then you were implying that they were lazy. Roll the clock ahead 26 years, and maybe we still have a few customers that view CRYSTALYX as a convenience product, but is that such a bad thing?
Do we use many other convenience products in our daily lives?
Look at the myriad convenience functions a smartphone provides, in addition to being a mobile phone in your pocket. And has anyone ever called you lazy for having a smartphone or an iPad? I’m sure that in the first half of the 20th century, telephones were viewed as a luxury or a “convenience product.” Today, a cell phone is almost a necessity if we want to keep in touch with our children, parents and job. And yet, they are very convenient, aren’t they? Look at how much more convenient planes, trains and automobiles are than horse-drawn wagons and sailboats. It is almost like we humans capitalize on inventions initially seen as luxury or convenience products.
Let’s go back to the first part of that second definition of convenience — “Anything that saves or simplifies work.” That sounds like anything from a hammer to a 3D printer. That encompasses a lot of tools I’m not ashamed to use. Saving time and simplifying work is everything that CRYSTALYX brings to your cattle operation.
Self-fed supplements, in general, are not so much a convenience product, as they are the only product some cattlemen have time to use. We have customers with smaller herds, and many of those cattlemen have a job in town or at least off the ranch or farm. A convenience product like CRYSTALYX is about the only way they can provide a nutritional supplement to every cow or calf every day. At the other end of the spectrum, you have vast ranches where every cowboy must cover several hundred cattle. Here too, self-fed supplements like CRYSTALYX make it possible for them to provide protein and mineral supplementation to every cow every day. All the cattlemen in between those two examples seem to be pretty busy too. I once had a conversation with a ranch manager from South Texas that told me CRYSTALYX changed his life. He had previously been using a hand-fed cake or cube program on the ranch, and the delivery of that supplement took the better part of the day, every day. He had no choice but to go through that routine every day. After switching to a CRYSTALYX supplement program, he said he can now choose when and how often he wants to go out in the pasture to look over the cattle. He can now perform that task when it is convenient to him.
For operations with spring calving herds, we are fast approaching calving season. For any of those operations that also have crops to plant and harvest, it becomes much harder to take time every day to deliver a hand-fed supplement during these critical periods in cow-herd nutrition. The last trimester of gestation and the first few months of lactation, which overlay the breeding season, are the most crucial months for keeping a cow in your herd. A properly stocked set of CRYSTALYX barrels will provide supplementation for two to three weeks. Is CRYSTALYX convenient, or does it just make good sense while you are busy with something else?
Every cattleman must make their own decisions on what is best for their operation. Input costs are climbing, and good help is getting harder to find with every year. If your time is best spent driving a truck and a cake feeder to supplement your herd every day, or every other day, then so be it. But, if you could do something more constructive with that time, then perhaps your supplement needs to be more convenient (i.e., “anything that saves or simplifies work”).
With CRYSTALYX, Performance is Served™, and it is “convenient.” I don’t think we need to apologize for that any more than Apple or Samsung does. CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements are available to your herd 24/7 and are an excellent way to supply protein, vitamins, minerals and Bio-Mos® 2 at calving time. All of this, with a minimal input of time, labor, equipment and overall delivery cost.