Producing Excellence shares compelling stories of American farmers and ranchers, both newcomers to agriculture and producers who span generations. Their stories are as diverse as agriculture itself, so we’ve created several ways for you to navigate:
Shawn and Shane Tiffany
Tiffany Cattle Ranch
Type of Operation: Feed yard
Size of Operation: 15,000 head
Years in Business: 4
Farm Credit Partner: Frontier Farm Credit
Years Working with Farm Credit: 4
Passing down the family farm is a long-held tradition in rural America, but sometimes this traditional approach needs a little creativity to make it work.
Shane and Shawn Tiffany grew up around Black Diamond Feeders, where their father worked as an assistant manager for 14 years. After graduating college, both were working full-time jobs in the cattle industry when they received an unexpected offer. It seems that Black Diamond Feeders owner Doug Laue was ready to pass along his operation and wanted it to remain family-owned, but didn’t have any takers in his own family. He turned to the Tiffany brothers, who couldn’t pass on the chance to run their own beef production business.
“This opportunity presented itself for a family business where we could come back home and work together,” explains Shawn. “It fit our families and it fit our skill sets.” And, Shane adds, “All the pieces were in place and we felt fortunate to be able to take advantage of that.”
Today, the 15,000-head capacity custom feed yard, now named Tiffany Cattle Company, is growing and finishing cattle from across the Midwest. The Tiffany brothers focus on identifying and tailoring the best marketing and risk management strategies for their customers. Whether it’s through U.S. Premium Beef, Naturewell, major packers via the cash trade, or any of a number of value-added programs, the Tiffany Cattle Company's goal is to identify and pursue the market that offers the best opportunity to maximize profitability for individual situations.
“It’s all about generating the most dollars possible for each set of cattle,” says Shane, adding that, in today’s highly volatile world of agricultural commodities, risk management is another priority.
The Tiffanys are committed to working with cow-calf operators to generate above-average prices from above-average cattle. That includes making the most of age and source verification as well as providing performance and carcass information to aid customers in their genetic decision-making. Educating beef producers about retained ownership opportunities ranks high among their goals, and having two of them running the operation allows more time to explore profit possibilities for customers.