Buying Cattle: What People Want in 2022

rhdRHD Blog

Every year, Ranch House Designs uses its resources to survey a wide range of cattle producers, buyers and enthusiasts. 

This year, the results show that overwhelmingly, buyers want relationships. They want to build connections, and they want to buy direct. 

With over 1000 responses in this year’s livestock marketing survey, here are some key highlights that top producers need to know: 


Get People to Your Farm & Ranch 

The survey showed that a staggering 95% of respondents want to purchase livestock in person rather than online.

And, 73% of people prefer to buy livestock via private treaty or on the farm.

Buyers are also wanting to stay closer to home when buying cattle, and 69% of shoppers said they wanted to stay local.

34% said they ideally prefer to buy from a breeder within two to six hours of their home.


Personal Connections Are The End Goal


Let’s attribute it to the pandemic, but people are craving connections. They’re craving in-person contacts, and experiences.

We think that’s why the largest number of respondents say they want to buy direct from ranchers (rather than in a sale), and they want to visit the ranch.

And, this is great news for producers, says Rachel Cutrer, CEO of Ranch House Designs, Inc.

Bringing customers to see animals in person gives the chance to build a relationship with them, and really lets the most dedicated producers really showcase their expertise, she says. 

“There is so much knowledge out there and the best breeders are willing to share with folks if you just get in your vehicle and drive and meet them, talk to them, and view their cattle,” she says.

“So much has been lost by the lack of ‘face to face” business deals, and people are craving that.”  


Marketing Tactics to Watch For Online

Though the data says people like in person, private treaty sales, let’s face it. Everyone’s selling online. 

If you’re going to sell via the internet, there are a few things you can do to get more buyer’s eyes. 

  • Survey respondents expressed a dislike for using Facebook Messenger to discuss sales. So if there is real interest, respond promptly and move the conversation to texting or calling.
  • Most respondents said they wanted to make a deal over the phone, and only 27% said they wanted to do a deal over text. 
  • Promptness is crucial! When someone contacts you about an animal, 67% expect a response within one day. 28% will wait up to two days. After that, people move on. 
  • If a buyer isn’t able to see an animal in person, most wanted a video or friend to go see the animal in person. Only 2% or respondents said they felt comfortable buying solely off a photo. 

Photos Are The Door-Opener

If in-person selling isn’t possible, be ready to pick up the phone and talk with buyers. Nearly every prospective client is going to immediately ask for a photo or video. 

Have quality photos and videos of your animals so you’re ready to respond to inquiries as prompt as possible. These can be photos taken with your cell phone camera or video.  

“Compared to 15-20 years ago, the marketing of livestock has taken giant steps forward in methods, means and being able to more complete in responding to the customers questions and needs. Listen to what your customers are saying.” Cutrer said. 



What People Are Saying

The survey always includes an open-ended section for respondents to share their thoughts. Following are some common sentiments expressed: 

  • People want to see more focus on performance data and EPDs. People are getting wise to the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of some sellers and want facts. 
  • The industry needs to get back to basics in a lot of areas, like fertility and soundness in cattle, and ethics in people. The greed-driven business model needs to be checked. 
  • Respondents felt there is a disconnect between big operations vs. small operations. 
  • Ag teachers, youth advisors, extension agents are key partners in helping young people learn about livestock. 

For two decades, Ranch House Designs has led the livestock industry in cutting edge graphic design matched with real-world strategy. We are able to deliver results for our customers because we’re well-versed and immersed in this industry.

The survey was completed by more than 400 producers, with a 60/40 male/female split. Ages ranged from 25 to 76 years old.  If you would like to be included in next year’s livestock marketing survey group, join our mailing list.


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