You cannot manage what you cannot measure - the simple principle of the Decatur Beef Alliance which aims to get progressive producers out of the commodity business and into the value-added beef business.

Since 1971 Decatur County Feedyard, just north of Oberlin, Kan., has been in the commercial feeding business under the leadership of owner Warren Weibert. The feedyard has a one-time capacity of 40,000 and is turned over about 1.75 times a year. The focus is on retained ownership customers and improving long-term profitability through information.

Decatur County Feedyard began sorting cattle by ultrasound in 1987, and was the first commercial feedlot to sort cattle with a video scanner.

In 1994 the Decatur Beef Alliance was established and the facility invested in Micro Beef Technologies' ACCU-TRAC Electronic Cattle Management System as part of a Total Quality Management approach to beef production.

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