After the military and a variety of jobs, Tyler Beaver finds his place in the cattle industry
People outside of agriculture often view the cattle business through stereotypes when, in fact, the business is comprised of several components with no two operations the same.
This is especially true of Tyler and Nikki Beaver from the Wedington community in Fayetteville, Ark. While stereotypes depict cow/calf operations with babies greedily feeding while mommas graze, the Beavers have only a small LimFlex cow/calf operation, with the bulk of their income made from Tyler order buying and brokering cattle in partnership with Daniel Webb.
After graduation, Tyler attended college for three years in pre-med studying biochemistry.
“I worked in an emergency room while going to school and discovered medicine was not as good a fit as I thought,” Tyler said.
Tyler then enlisted in the Air Force and served six years in various positions, including security forces and training for tactical air control.
Next, he worked with his father Danny Beaver in graduation supply sales, focusing on items such as caps and gowns. Tyler, however, was restless and felt unfulfilled. He had always cherished his childhood experiences with grandfather Dean Mabray, who was a peanut, watermelon and cattle farmer. Tyler finally realized he wanted to build a life around the cattle that had so intrigued him as a child.
Meanwhile, Tyler, while on military leave, reconnected with another childhood friend Nikki Griffin, who became his wife less than two years later.
Like Tyler, Nikki always loved cattle and she now helps Tyler on their ranch, including selling hats emblazoned with the clever name of their cattle company: Beaf Cattle Company.
Nikki graduated with a degree from the University of Arkansas. She AI and preg checks on the side. She is especially fond of the LimFlex cattle, thus their small registered cow/calf operation which is comprised of two mommas, several calves with one heifer that may be retained and two bulls, one of which is currently rented out for breeding.
“These cattle are not-for-profit,” Tyler said. “Nikki loves them, but they are high dollar and hard to sell because selling registered cattle is difficult unless your name is well known in the industry.”
Tyler decided he could order buy for a living and made a call to Fredin Brothers, a very substantial cattle brokerage firm. He talked with one of the owners and found the firm didn’t have a representative in the area. Tyler encouraged them to hire him by explaining that they had nothing to lose by giving him a shot. They did and his new career began.
While Tyler worked as a ranch hand/manager for a neighbor who had 300 head of LimFlex in 2015, Tyler decided his best career opportunity was in brokering cattle by private treaty in partnership with Daniel, as well as continuing with Fredin Brothers. This career choice fit, and Tyler has order bought up to 20,000 head annually since then.
The process begins with Tyler purchasing from ranches or attending auctions where he selects cattle that are subsequently grouped, sometimes according to specific requirements in terms of color and/or size. These larger lots are then sold, often according to those specific requirements. Tyler and Daniel sell eight to 10 lots a year, with Tyler attending 10 to 15 sales to accumulate the numbers sufficient to organize into lots.
“Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that it is easier to sell a good-looking cow for more money than a poor-looking one for less profit,” Tyler said.
Tyler and Nikki have accumulated 100 acres in different locations with another 50 near their home which is on small acreage. The registered LimFlex are kept on 15 acres in Tontitown, Ark., with the shorter-term animals on both Tyler’s and Daniel’s land.
The grassland is mostly fescue and Bermuda with some clovers. It is fertilized with chicken litter when the grass density level lowers and seldom requires weed control because the pastures are so well-established. While most of the cattle are grass and hay fed, the mommas are always grained with a 12 to 13 percent ration, while feeder steers are grained when needed with the same ration top dressed with probiotics to help ease the transition from milk to grain.
In terms of the future, Tyler wants to continue to expand his partnership to perhaps a full-time operation. In addition, he and Nikki are looking forward to raising their sons Wyatt and Luke in an agricultural lifestyle, hoping to foster the same love of land and animals that they have and perhaps to have them compete in the show ring, but only if they have an interest.
In the short-term, and Tyler and Nikki are anticipating teaching the boys to ride horses and enjoy four-wheeler rides with their father while he cares for the cattle.
“When I take Wyatt out with me to feed the cattle, Wyatt always calms down when he is out of sorts even as young as he is,” Tyler said. “He loves being out there and is never in a hurry to go back home.”