The history of Beacon Hill Ranch dates back to 1909 and six generations later, their commitment to the cattle and land has remained the same.
Matt Boyer, Erica Boyer, Gus Boyer, McKenzie Boyer, Susan Gebhart, Roxane Mock, and Ethan Mock. Not pictured: Perry Boyer, Harlan Richard Mock.
One unique aspect is we all hold jobs off the ranch, as well as stay active within the community, all while maintaining our family ranch.
This is our fourth year providing custom beef to the general public, but we have been selling to friends and family for longer. Our favorite part is the people. We get to provide a great beef eating experience and educate them on the different cuts of meat and the process and time commitment involved in getting the beef onto their plate. It has been a really great opportunity to bridge the gap between what goes on at the ranch and what happens at their dinner table. We have an open-door policy, so consumers are more than welcome to come out and see the cattle, what they eat, and how they are handled. Consumers are interested in where their meat comes from and we are capitalizing on that.
Communication is important when there are multiple operators of the ranch. In general, smartphones have made communication and data management much simpler. We use apps to record and share cattle data for our own personal records and even for the American Hereford Association.
Another new piece of technology we utilize is a drone. We use a drone to check our pastures for calves and visualize the cattle in their natural state. We use it to monitor our boundaries while burning pasture, and our feed supplies, such as hay, which conserves fuel energy.
Recently, we have been employing technology in our marketing strategies. Instagram is our main platform, and we are using it to reach out to those beyond agriculture. Our goal is to allow people to visualize the beef products, understand their nutritional value and learn how to cook them.
Sustainability is how efficiently you can get a calf to a consumer’s dinner table. It encompasses more than just taking care of the land. Socially, you have to stay on board with your producers and consumers, and it involves a lot of economics, also. The goal is to produce the safest, most abundant and affordable food supply in the world.
Time. Based on statistics from the USDA, a farmer’s income is much lower today compared to what it used to be. This is why we all have jobs off the ranch. We have full-time jobs, are raising families, and still have to come home and tend to the ranch which is challenging. We have to be skilled at time management. To make this happen, we use what we call calendar management. We all sit down at the dining room table, pull out our calendars and start looking at when tasks need completed around the ranch. Most of the tasks are everyday business, but finding time to make them happen is hard.
“We enjoy baseball, so we attempt to make it to St. Louis every summer to attend a Drillers baseball game,” said Matt.
“For Erica and me, it’s the military. Combined, we have been in the military for 32 years. We are part of the same unit, so we have gone on the same deployments from Paris to Germany to different areas in the United States. We are great friends with the others in our unit” said Roxane.
We each have our own niches, whether that be the military or sitting on boards involving show cattle and junior organizations. Most of it involves mentorship of young people in some way, shape or form.
For us, it means we get up on the bad days, the cold days, the hot days, and before and after work to perform a selfless and thankless job, but it’s a service to our fellow mankind.
The legacy of leaving this behind for the next generation is my favorite part. There’s a work ethic and selflessness that comes with ranching. It can be a thankless job, but it teaches my kids how to serve someone other than themselves and that’s important to me.
Most of us have a different favorite cut of beef: filet, ribeye, T-bone, and flank steak. We all prefer our beef prepared medium to medium rare.
Between 6-12 months of age, cattle spend time at stocker and backgrounder farms and ranches where they graze on a variety of pastures. Here they gain weight and convert forage and grass into lean protein.