Neogen® Igenity® Genomics | Oak Barn Beef Testimonial

April 10, 2019

A look at how one of Neogen's customers uses genomics in their operation.

Video Transcript


Sydni: Hello and welcome. I'm Sydni and I'm with Neogen and today we are here talking with Hanna Esch of Oak Barn Beef.

Hanna, can you tell us a little bit about your operation?

Hannah: Oak Barn Beef is a company that sells meat directly to consumers so it's my family's company, but I've really taken on the beef sector part of it. So, it actually came about when a third grader from a rural community told me that eggs come from cows because they're next to the milk in the grocery store. I realized that there is a huge disconnect between consumers and producers and with that I also saw a huge opportunity there to put a face to the farmer. So, that's how we started selling beef directly to people to really tell our family's story and help the image of agriculture improve.

Sydni: Now where is your beef processed and who do you sell to?

Hannah: Right now we sell beef directly to consumers we range in packages of 30 pound packages to whole beefs and we get the meat processed in Diller at the Diller Locker in Diller, Nebraska so it's quite a bit of a drive from Unadilla, Nebraska but we actually dry-aged all of our beef for 21 days as well so they they put that really extra care into that so we can end up with the best product.

Sydni: Can you talk a little bit about what it's like to be a part of the retail beef industry?

Hannah: The retail beef side of the industry is a whole different sector of the agricultural industry I've learned. So, it's really understanding what the consumers want there and how to get them the best products and I believe we've taken those extra steps to get them the best products with those.

Sydni: And when did you start DNA testing?

Hannah: We started DNA testing many years ago just to really choose those cows that had the best tenderness genes and those other traits that we really need with our beef company. Is DNA testing a part of your routine production system? Yes, DNA testing a huge part of our operations. So before we select the cattle that will transition into that feed based diet rather than just out on the pasture, we genetically test all of those cattle just select for the tenderness gene providing the intramuscular fat which helps us provide the best product for our customers.

Sydni: How does DNA profiling fit into your marketing goals?

Hannah: DNA profiling has been extremely helpful in selecting the cattle that will give us the best me at the endpoint. So those tenderness genes I was really a trait that we rely on heavily because that makes a huge difference in the end product as long with the intramuscular fat which really helps us spread out the cattle so normally in feedlots they want them really closely together and all set out at the same time but we would like our cattle to be a few weeks in between so when those knowing the intramuscular fat in their rate with those helps us choose which ones would to feed out to finish properly so that we can keep that meat flowing.

The Neogen DNA profiling has really helped our operation when we're marketing as well because it helps us explain that we are taking the extra steps to provide the best product possible. And, so, by explaining that we select our cattle off of a genomic test with the identity profiling tool it helps the consumers really know that we are taking every aspect to to provide them what they want to feed their family.

Sydni: What kinds of results have you seen from your selection practices?

Hannah: There has been a huge difference between the steers set rate at 9 on tenderness versus the steers set rate at 3 on tenderness. And I strongly believe that. So we have selected the steers with those higher grades to help keep satisfied customers.

The advice I would give to other producers considering adapting the Neogen DNA profiling into their operation is to definitely try it. So whether it's just selecting replacement heifers to go back into the herd or they do have a beef company and want to provide their customers with the best product, there's no hurt in trying it and it's made a huge difference in our operation.

Sydni: And where can people go to find information about Oak Barn Beef?

Hannah: Oak Barn Beef can mostly be located on social media, with Facebook and Instagram, or our website at, but we are also in some local breweries and restaurants so you can find us there and you can always ask your chef to look up Oak Barn Beef and get us into your restaurant.



Category: Customer Testimonials, Beef, Igenity® Profiles