Farms dot the landscape outside of Versailles, Ohio, in Darke County, alongthe western border of the state. Among those operations is Goettemoeller StockFarms, owned and operated by Gary,Pam and Chris Goettemoeller, centering around their 800-head ofcattle.
To finish with a load of cattle that performs at a level the Goettemoellers want, they start with quality feeder cattle with good backgrounding from day one. They purchase feeder cattle typicallyprivately, out of West Virginia,Virginia, Kentucky or southern Ohio, from people Gary has worked withfor years. Because of their feeding program, Goetemoellers focus theoperation on native breeds, which respond well to it.
Usuallythey buy yearlings, feeders at 600 lbs. – 750 lbs.And they prefer to feed heifers. “They do well onour ration, which is based on corn silage andbyproducts like corn syrup out of ethanol plants,” Gary says. It’s a roughage and byproduct type of mix, with theirown mineral recipe. Homemade is best, after all.
Primarily to feed the cattle herd, the family raises corn,soybeans, wheat and hay on 600 acres. Most of this goes into the herd, but he markets some of it. In late May, Goetemoellers plant soybeans and corn,which they make silage with in the fall. After that, they plantcover crops, with radishes planted into wheat. Using that crop duo, in the spring, they make wheatlage. The wet bales from that they wrap, and it helpscontrol feed costs.
When the calves arrive on the farm, nutritionally, the Goettemoellers startthem on the wheatlage bales. Herdhealth involves the basics, too,meaning the stock farm employs afull vaccination program, startingwith what the calves are due for whenthey’re brought onto the farm. It’s no surprise, then, with that care and attention day-in and day-out, when the cattlefinish at about 1,300 lbs., each head has likely achieved its personal best.With the detailed look at all the cattle production factors, Goetemoeller StockFarms earns all the profit they bring home.
So for marketing, Goettemoellers rely entirely on Nexus Ag Marketing for their cattle.“We market all our cattle through National Farmers, and I work a lot with PatLampert,” Gary says. Lampert is National Farmers director of livestock. “He does a great job with marketing. I can call Pat and get updated on thecattle markets in five minutes. I talk to Pat weekly,” Gary says. The cattle generally go to JBS in Pennsylvania or Cargill, also in the Keystone State.
From time to time,Nexus also markets the Goetemoellers’cattle into Greater Omaha, when contract specifications work out in favor of thefarm. “Pat Lampert and the Nexus staff are instrumental in the bid process and determining where the cattle go,” Gary says. They consider the operation’spercent of primes and other grades on a load and it helps when the cattle go to the plant.
The family relies on contract, Freedom Hedge and cash sales, although they don’t tie themselves to a specific percentage of each tactic every year. They do what works with market activity and their situation.“I’ve worked with Pat sincehe came to the organization.He knows how certain cattleand quality grades willperform better at certainplants.
In cash sales, he’s ableto negotiate a couple extra bucks for you, and he negotiates grade discounts soyou’re not hit by them,” Gary says. Working with Nexus also helps the family operation, because of its relationship with processors. “If packers know they’re going to be short on cattle on Monday, they’ll call Nexus, then staff will negotiate prices on your cattle, gain a sale and help the packer, too,” Gary says.
Assisting the processors when they’re short cattle, encourages them to keep coming back for cattle marketed through Nexus. “Agriculture is a very unique industry with a tremendousamount of risk from weather, the markets, politics and other things. There are a lot of variables that control prices that the industry is faced with,” Gary says.“Farmers can’t control some risks. We do have some control over the markets if we get together. We do have the ability to do some of that.”
“National Farmers is one of the few organizations working for farmers first. At many co-ops, farmers concerns may not be their first concern, and the staff truly works for us,” Gary says. Lampert has high praise for the Goettemoellers, as well. “This is an excellent farm, with cattle we market for Goettemoeller Stock Farms being right at the topin performance with other operations,” Lampert says.
“They know how to source cattle, care for them and work together as a family, and I’m happy to work with Gary and them.”Gary said for someone new to the type of risk management and marketing that Nexus provides, he would tell them to get in touch with someone like the Nexus staff. “They need someone to explain the programs out there, help with amarketing plan and figuring costs and thinking about a combination ofcontracts, and Freedom Hedges, depending on your comfort level with that.”
“Gary and Chrisare loyal Nexus customers, Lampert said.” They have hadpackers visit their farm, but the Goetomoellers appreciate the service and prices Nexus offers them.“It’s difficult to predict markets. They move so quickly; we need help withthat. The whisper of a China sale moves the market, the whisper, not even anactual sale,” Gary says. “We’re out here in rural America, so it’s important for usto have somebody like National Farmers in the game for us.”
“Pam is a key component to the farm,” Gary says. “Marrying her was the bestdecision I ever made by far.” She helps around the operation and handlesfarmstead maintenance, keeping the place looking its best. “Pam was not raisedon a farm, but she adapted well to it,” Gary says about his wife of 27 years. She also works full-time in furniture sales. Their daughter, Katelyn, is completing work toward her master’s degree in health administration at the University of Cincinnati, and her family appreciates her passion for the health field.
For Chris, it’s the farm. “I wanted Chris to makehis own decision. I didn’t want to push him intothat,” Gary says. Chris has an associate’s degree in agricultural business, and a natural interest in livestock and cattle. The young producer owns a 50-cow brood herd, and sells show calves, or club calves, and breeding stock. Chris also does embryo work.
“He startedshowing cattle as a youth at the county fair, and that sparked the interest in livestock breeds,” Gary explains. Gary’s father is the late Bill Goetemoeller, a longtime national director. His mother, Doris, has been enjoying retirement, and volunteering for NationalFarmers. So, agriculture and National Farmers are both legacy and heritage for the family.
Nexus Marketing 877.207.1051
P.O. Box 1767
Ames, Iowa 50010-1767