Efficiency of Cattle Operation Leaves No Room for Downtime

Forecasts & Insights – September 01, 2016

 

​Running a 130 cow-calf operation keeps Keith Barnfield constantly busy, and the one thing he can’t afford is downtime due to equipment problems. That’s why is relationship with his equipment dealer is so important.

Barnfield farms with his wife and son on their cattle farm in Teepee Creek, 25 miles northeast of Grand Prairie in Alberta, Canada, raising Simmental, Red Angus and Salers breeds. The operation totals 2,200 acres, including 1,000 acres of hay. Seeding, haying, and harvesting equipment are the machines that help keep the farm going.

“Obviously, I can’t be without my equipment and be down for even a day,” he says. “If I have a major problem, all it takes is one phone call and my dealer – Grand Prairie Kubota – will get me out of a bind. That’s how you keep a loyal customer, and I appreciate that.”

For example, Barnfield was recently baling hay when a rear bearing failed on his tractor. The dealer provided a loaner tractor that same day for use while his own machine could be repaired.

He also appreciates the preventive maintenance the dealership provides at a nominal fee, and how it periodically sends technicians to his farm to perform software updates to his equipment. “That support has really helped me to be more efficient, and I appreciate that they are proactive, instead of reactive,” he notes.

Barnfield says the dealership runs its business similar to his own cattle operation. “They operate like a family-oriented farm,” he explains. “I’m from the old school, where your word is really important. Their word is like gospel, all based on a handshake, and in today’s world, it doesn’t always work that way anymore.”

And, with an efficient operation, Barnfield can also devote time to other interests. In addition to his cattle herd, Barnfield owns a dozen horses, seven of which are provided for youth to ride at a nearby Bible camp – something he has been doing for about 35 years. “It started out with one horse,” he recalls, “and it’s just grown over the years.”

Top Photo: Keith Barnfield (right) depends on the support of his equipment dealer to keep his family cattle operation running smoothly. Pictured with him are (from left) his granddaughter Maddy, son Heath, grandson Alex and wife Judy.

Keith Barnfield’s son, Heath, makes silage bales on his family’s 130-cow-calf operation near Grand Prairie in Alberta, Canada.