Adams Land & Cattle LLC

Blending technology and sustainability as one of the top cattle companies in the United States
Written by: 
Aimee St. James
Produced by: 
Dana Merk-Wynne

One of the top family owned beef producers in the nation, Adams Land & Cattle LLC has been providing its customers with quality product for over 40 years. Using both an integrated process and advanced tracking technology, the family-run feedlot company has developed a strong management system that cultivates both success and sustainability.

Adams Land & Cattle LLC

Increasing quality through technology

Jerry Adams, CEO of Adams Land & Cattle, has been in the cattle industry his entire life. His father had a small feeding operation that he started in the 1950s, and after college, Jerry and three of his brothers decided to get into the farming industry. “I’ve always been involved in economic development and community,” explains Jerry. “We wanted to start growing the business and looking at new opportunities.” Jerry joined his father’s company as vice president in 1972, and officially bought ownership into the company in 1973 along with his three brothers.

By the early 2000s, the company had already begun to grow, and the brothers saw an opportunity for improvement using new technology and quality control. “Our strategic management really sets us apart,” explains Jerry. “The supply chain and procurement in this industry is very complex. We’ve been able to simplify it and mitigate risk.”

The key technology in Adams Land & Cattle’s process is electronic monitoring of its animals. The company is the only feedlot that has electronic tags on all of their animals. Through those tags, Adams Land & Cattle is able to monitor, individually manage, and sort each animal regardless of its location. With a yearly count of over 300,000 cattle, this is no small feat. “Technology, tracking and data mining are the biggest sources of change and new capabilities,” Jerry explains.

Because of its technology, the company is able to reduce variability and increase quality. With a focus on sustainability and animal well-being, Adams Land & Cattle uses a flexible production system, as well as an in-house research and development and technical services team, who are committed to pursuing and implementing industry advancements and science-based production practices. 

Family values with a global footprint

Focusing on continuous improvement, Adams Land & Cattle uses innovative technologies and employees that are passionate about improving their company’s business. “At our core, we are a family business with a passion for our neighbors, the community and the world. Our customers can trust that we care for our animals, respect our natural resources, and do everything with integrity,” Jerry says proudly.

Employing over 200 people, Adams Land & Cattle has four administrative offices, with one in Omaha, two in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and an office in Pelahatchie, Mississippi. The company has over 130,000 head of cattle in more than 100 background locations across the United States. “We buy cattle all over the U.S. and Canada,” says Jerry. “We have a quality control aspect to our process, where we check the quality of the animal the day we buy it.”

“We’re really focused on what our consumer wants and what their needs are,” Jerry says. “There is a global demand for meat and also a growing cattle population.”

As a company that values its standing in the community and industry, Adams Land & Cattle keeps ahead of its competitors by taking challenges head-on. “Challenges for us are really separated between consumer challenges and internal challenges,” Jerry explains. “Consumers have an expectation, and that expectation changes over time whereas internally, our challenge is to mitigate and manage risks, with the market and weather being our main risks.”

One of the main consumer concerns in today’s market is product safety. Adams Land & Cattle deals with this issue by using traceability on all of their animals. “We’re also working hard on reducing anti-microbial feeding,” Jerry adds. The other consumer expectation is an interest in preserving and respecting the environment. This interest is one that Adams Land & Cattle takes to heart through groundwater monitoring, air quality and mortality management, as well as on-going employee training in all of its environmental initiatives and programs.

Adams Land & Cattle is also committed to education around the treatment of animals. Jerry helps to lead the Alliance of Cattle Feeders, a group which he co-founded with a few others back in 2015. The company is also a founding member of the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and proudly maintains numerous animal well-being programs; including Beef Quality Assurance Certified feed yards and trainers.

An optimistic future

In the coming years, Jerry hopes to find new investment partners that see the opportunities in growing with Adams Land & Cattle, and share in its visions for global growth and long-term investments. “The market is so volatile, but finding long term investments that can handle that volatility is key,” Jerry explains. “The cattle cycle is a great opportunity to expand, and we’ve always expanded at this point in the cycle in the past.”

“We’re about to hit an upswing,” says Jerry. “I’m very optimistic about the future.”

Managing risk and figuring out what the consumer wants is Jerry’s focus for the next few years. “As we look at the opportunities from our increased supply, I want us to continue to be focused on managing cattle and making sure we’re doing the right thing for sustainability,” Jerry explains.

With its current animal well-being initiatives and environmental programs putting conscientious customers at ease, and a rapid expansion bolstered by efficient technological animal monitoring, Adams Land & Cattle is ensuring it will remain one of the premier cattle feeding operations in the world for years to come.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
MWI Animal Health