By Madeleine Bezner
TCFA Excellence in Environmental Stewardship and Beef Quality Assurance Award Recipients
Dimmitt Feedyard, owned by Dean Cluck Feedyard Inc. and managed by Ben Fort, received the 2022 Excellence in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award for its outstanding commitment to beef quality assurance. Dimmitt Feedyard is located west of Dimmitt, Texas, in the Texas panhandle. The operation is a 50,000 head capacity feedyard that feeds both company and customer cattle.
BQA begins day one of every new hire at Dimmitt Feedyard as training is integrated into the orientation process with a video presentation conducted in both English and Spanish.
“The purpose and content are to communicate a comprehensive approach that is an expectation of each and every employee at Dimmitt Feedyard,” Ben Fort said. “Everyone takes this responsibility personally, and we take the outcomes personal as well.”
Fort explains that the people at Dimmitt Feedyard and their daily commitment to enhance consumer confidence in the beef industry is what promotes the company’s success when it comes to best BQA practices and success.
“Dimmitt Feedyard management and owners believe an excellent BQA program is intense on the front of all personnel and productions system,” Fort said. “It’s also a continual improvement effort for us.”
Transparency is a key component when any new technology or best management practices are implemented. Dimmitt Feedyard strives for “zero corrective actions needed” after any in-house audit. Everything from feed manufacturing and delivery to pen maintenance and manure removal is documented by employees using technology. Additionally, accurate and accessible health records are maintained daily and are the responsibility of trained accounting clerks and trained cattle processing and doctoring crews.
As part of Dimmitt Feedyard’s quest to cultivate a strong work environment, supervisors meet weekly on Mondays throughout the year to communicate each department’s production and BQA plans for the upcoming week, along with reporting opportunities for improvement to existing management practices.
Visit Dimmitt Feedyard on any given day and you’ll find the employees are the foundation of its BQA program.
“Our success is based upon their hard work and dedication,” Fort said. “The employees are committed and take these standards personal and strive to live above and beyond the standard.”
Beyond the employees at Dimmitt Feedyard, the management team hosts TCFA Feedyard Technician students and students from WTAMU’s Feedyard Management class throughout the year.
“These audiences allow for BQA practices to be communicated as the standard or foundation for all production decisions,” Fort said. “Dimmitt Feedyard has taken the approach to focus on communicating these BQA principles to the next generation.”
Cattle feeding is a multi-generational, resilient industry focused on responsible stewardship of both the land and the cattle that occupy it. TCFA congratulates Dumas Feedyard and Dimmitt Feedyard on their continued dedication to producing sustainable, wholesome beef for consumers worldwide.