24-year-old farmer sets up business, breeding farm and off-farm career
Full-time animal nutritionist at Purina Animal Nutrition and full-time farmer, Lillie Beringer hardly ever sleeps. The 24-year-old combines her two passions, preserving her family’s legacy, while educating consumers.
After returning from college in 2018 to pursue her career as an animal nutritionist at Purina Animal Nutrition, she had the surprising opportunity to purchase her grandparents’ farm – a chance she did not take to the slight. Beringer now manages nearly 500 custom-fed cattle alongside his parents and 100 cow / calf pairs.
2020 was also the year she decided to start her own business in addition to her farmer and animal nutritionist titles.
Start your niche
Beringer constantly shares his “why” of farming on his Beringer Family Farms website, as well as on social media pages. Currently, it is in the process of marketing the beef to consumers across the country.
“The gap between farmers and consumers is widening every day,” said Lillie. “Families want to know where their food comes from and I’m only one piece of the puzzle when I can share how and why I take care of our livestock.
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Beringer believes there is a positive mindset for the farm-to-fork movement. As she continues to share her farming story, she has made connections with people across the country who appreciate her explaining the why and developing her client base.
“I am delighted to continue to develop my social educational platforms; I think this is the best way to reach as many people as possible. I hope consumers can gain more confidence in where their meat comes from by simply sharing my day in the life. ”
What makes Beringer a successful animal nutritionist is the fact that she does exactly what her customers strive to do every day: raise healthy, quality livestock. In turn, she says that she shares mutual challenges and frustrations.
“At the onset of COVID-19, packers were shut down and farmers were losing a minimum of $ 300 to $ 800 per head of cattle while packers pocketed $ 1,200,” Beringer explains. “It doesn’t make sense, and I can’t really do without it because it doesn’t just happen to our family, but also to my clients.”
Beringer says the August 10 echo weather event hit her and many of her customers, hampering their operations in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The derecho is going to put a lot of people out of business,” says Beringer. “It’s hard to say, but it’s also the hard truth because so many farmers have lost everything. It’s really hard to stay positive right now and you don’t want to be all pessimistic, but it is the reality for a lot of farmers.
However, Bering still believes that after all the farmers have been treated in 2020, there are still opportunities for her and her clients.
“I started my niche as a way to think outside the box and use the COVID-19 pandemic for the greater good,” says Beringer. “The purchasing choices of consumers have changed drastically online and I think that will be a trend to stay. Local lockers have been busier than ever, and they’re ready to take that kind of long-term approach.
The legacy of her family is the main driver of the work ethic of this young farmer. Although she experienced some setbacks in 2020, she maintains a confident stance for growth in 2021.