MONTICELLO — A Monticello family is taking its cattle-producing farm into the e-commerce world — and, in the process, owning a piece of cyberspace.
The Roaches — Rick, Sharon and Richard Roach, and Courtney Dyer — are now one of 17 families taking part in selling their beef products online at betterfedbeef.com. As owners, operators and producers of beef at Rakr Farms, they also attained an ownership stake in the website by virtue of their participation.
Max Winders, one of the co-founders and an owner of BetterFed Beef, helped launch the company after retiring from a 28-year career in international agriculture.
“The Midwest has some of the absolute best beef in the entire world and our vision is to bring the most consistently flavorful and tender beef to households across America,” Winders said. “We want to accomplish this mission by connecting the best cattle producers, who are raising the best cattle, directly with consumers under the BetterFed Beef brand. More and more, consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it was grown and raised. We’re excited to be able to provide that direct connection between producers and consumers.”
The website allows consumers to shop for beef by the cut or by specially curated boxes. Once purchased, the beef is mailed directly to the customer’s home, packaged in dry ice.
Before BetterFedBeef.com launched its e-commerce storefront, team members traveled across the Midwest visiting farms and families who agreed to supply their products. Each producing family was also offered the chance to become an owner of the company.
“I’ve been working with all of these families and farms for years,” said Dr. Tom Peters, co-founder and another BetterFed Beef owner. “We were already working with them to supply their beef and we thought, ‘Why not offer them the opportunity to be part of something unique and market their beef directly to people around the country?’”
Enter the Roach family, who owns and operates Rakr Farms on North 925 West, just east of Monticello.
“It meant a lot to be approached by Peters and Winders with the chance to become an owner and supplier of beef to the company,” Rick Roach said. “They will help us get some recognition for the beef we raise and also provide us a chance to be part of the new trend of people ordering food online.”
For the Roach family, becoming an owner illustrates much more than a possible financial benefit.
“It’s a new company and their success isn’t guaranteed,” Roach said. “What is for sure, though, is the high-quality beef we work hard every day to produce will now be available to any home across the country who wants to enjoy it, and that they’re going to purchase it knowing the families behind it.”“It brings us real satisfaction knowing our beef is being enjoyed. As a cattle producer, this is everything we could ask for.”
Rakr Farms began operations in 1816 and has been continually passed down through the family. It’s currently in its fifth generation, with a sixth generation preparing to follow suit.
To find our more about the Roach family or order products from them and the 16 other Midwest-based farms, visit http://betterfedbeef.com.