For Paul Genho of the King Ranch, being a successful genetic provider means creating opportunities for customers.

Located at Kingsville, TX, the King Ranch offers those opportunities to south Texas producers in the form of their Santa Gertrudis and Santa Cruz cattle.

In addition, the King Ranch has a stocker program, operates a custom feedlot with a 20,000-head capacity and offers quarter horses for sale. "These are all opportunities we provide to our customers," he says.

Presently, the operation includes around 1,000 registered Santa Gertrudis and 24,000 Santa Cruz cows. The Santa Cruz composite is composed of 12 Santa Gertrudis, 14 Red Angus and 14 Gelbvieh and was developed about 10 years ago as a means of matching the cow to the environment, Genho says.

But it wasn't just a match to the climatic environment they were after, he says. "Beef's decreasing market share is also part of the environment.

"One of the real issues in the economic environment is that we're competing with highly integrated pork and poultry. Their inefficiencies are very low," Genho says. "We need to bring those efficiencies to our industries so we can compete."

Genho recognizes alliances as an important way to do that. "We have to bring enough cattle into marketing groups to compete with pork and poultry," he says. "By gathering groups of uniform, efficiently managed cattle, seedstock producers and livestock marketers will have opportunities to regain market share."