Iowa Farm Bureau award winner says do your homework before launching a direct-to-consumer business

By Filed Under: Beef, Iowa, Livestock, News

The winner of Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Grow Your Future” Award encourages beef producers exploring direct-to-consumer opportunities to first research what they’d be getting into.

Lillie Beringer of Cascade in east-central Iowa sells 21-day, dry-aged Angus cuts from tomahawk steaks and sirloins to meat bundles.

“I guess some people think that it looks easy based on what I show, but it is a huge can of worms to open. And you have to really decide like ‘am I going to go for it or am I not?’ Because like I’ve told people, you can’t just kind of do shipping.”

She says a lot of overhead is necessary to get started.

“You have to have a lot of freezer space in order to have enough room for all individual cuts, your boxes and liners to get the bulk deal or the biggest discount as far as selling with that. You have to order in bulk pallet quantities, you know 500 to 750 boxes and liners at a time.”

Beringer says she’ll use the $7,500 cash prize for winning the award to purchase a walk-in cooler to store more of her product.

The Grow Your Future Award promotes young agriculturalists, ages 18-35, with a niche market, agritourism, ag services or specialty business.