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Visionaries | May/June 2022

by Cheryl Kepes

Photos courtesy Cattle Visions

Fulfilling a mission to support independent cattle producers.

Twenty years ago, two cattlemen envisioned a business where purebred cattle producers had access to the best bulls in the country. The idea led Carl Newbrough and Lance Ellsworth to found Cattle Visions, a semen distribution company located in Clark, Mo. From its inception, the company has worked to help independent cattle producers reach their operational goals.

Cattle Visions’ Foundation

The duo built the business based on relationships and customer service. What began with a handful of clients quickly grew to a much larger operation. “The philosophy has been to be a primary leader in supporting beef producers’ genetic needs, catering to the most popular breeds’ purebred producing herds and show cattle outfits, which overflows into the commercial industry,” Lance Ellsworth stated.

Cattle Visions is a nationwide provider of bull semen, AI supplies, AI training, and AI breeding services. It also offers a custom collection facility. In 2006, Jared Royer, purchased Carl Newbrough’s share of the business. “I think foundationally Carl’s passion was to keep the beef industry in the cattle producers’ hands,” Jared Royer said.

Cattle Visions continues with that same philosophy today. “Our vision is to sustain what we’ve worked so hard to create and build,” Lance said. “We’ll try to improve and streamline any way we can.”

Growing Genetic Services

The company’s primary revenue stream stems from its semen sales. Cattle Visions maintains a sales force of more than 300 representatives across the country. In addition, it offers online semen sales. Cattle Visions provides access to semen on more than a thousand bulls. The company operates by its motto: Helping Beef Producers Succeed with Artificial Insemination.

One way the company is investing in independent cattle producers is through hosting AI schools. Cattle producers come from all over the country to attend the AI training.

Jared coordinates and leads as many as 12 AI schools each year. “AI is a vital skill any producer can successfully learn to implement in their program, resulting in improved reproductive management and genetic progress. It’s always encouraging to receive many pictures of AI calves from producers that attend our class,” Jared explained. “Our goal is to train as many independent producers as possible to AI their own cattle.”

Other expansions to the business included the construction of a bull barn. The new facility provides Cattle Visions’ customers a place to bring their bulls for custom collection.

Focus on Customer Service

Cattle Visions serves a wide variety of customers throughout the country. Its customer base consists of purebred ranchers as well as producers looking to raise top quality sale and show cattle. “But the commercial industry is growing at a rapid pace too for those looking to provide elite carcass genetics for value-based marketing of their progeny and any other niche markets that arise,” Lance explained.

In addition, Cattle Visions assists bull owners who are raising genetics that they would like to market to the rest of the cattle industry. No producer’s operation is too small or too large to do business with Cattle Visions. The company does not focus on ownership or exclusive marketing rights on specific genetics. Cattle Visions’ clients are allowed to market their genetics through all the outlets they want to access. “We are just an option for our customers to help them reach more people and get their genetics in more producers’ hands” Jared said.

The company works with bull owners and producers wanting to use genetics from elite bulls. “We are trying to be the conduit between those two customers, so that it is as seamless and easy as possible for folks to profit from the genetics they are raising and also to have the accessibility to genetics to meet their operational goals,” Jared said.

Cattle Visions works to cater to its customers’ needs and wants from a product and consulting perspective. This is a foundation the company has established from its beginnings. Cattle Visions owners consider the company a pioneer in the semen marketing technology world due to the company’s online contributions. Cattle Visions also moved quickly to incorporate blogs, vlogs, and social media as the technology became available.

Finding Balance

Running such a large scale, multifaceted operation takes a dedicated staff. “We give special thanks to all the teams that help make this ship float; from the genetic investors, the sales force, the computer programmers, and any other spoke to the wheel that fosters the growth and spirit of Cattle Visons,” Lance said.

Faith and work ethic keep the business going and growing. However, the fast-paced growth can take a toll on Cattle Visions’ workforce. Lance recognizes this and encourages everyone in the cattle industry to take care of their mental and physical health. “We’ve always run a pretty “lean” ship and depended on tremendous effort from our staff, which at times compromises some mental health issues,” Lance shared. “Most farmers and ranchers can relate, but I just wanted to make sure that stresses of life apply to all in different ways, and it’s okay to recognize those issues.”

Cattle Visions’ owners say they are grateful for the company’s success. They enjoy giving back to the cattle industry through sponsoring regional and national events and supporting youth involved in agriculture. “We know that the young people who are being developed in this industry are tomorrow’s leaders and they require support,” Lance added.

Investing in Producers’ Success

As the team at Cattle Visions moves forward at a record pace, the company remains steadfast in the founding principles of the business – protecting and supporting the independent beef producer. “The reason I get up every morning and what drives me in the business, is trying to figure out how we can best support the family farm, the independent beef producer to keep those people competitive and keep them in business, because without them our business won’t continue,” Jared shared.

The team works to develop new services that will help cattle producers reach their goals. The drive to make sure independent cattle producers have a voice and have success keeps Cattle Visions striving to innovate and improve. Cattle Visions measures its success by the success of its customers. Just as in the years prior, Cattle Visions will continue to keep the cattle producer’s long term, future success in mind.

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