Fink Beef Genetics
By Audrey Hambright
Fink Beef Genetics may have started small, but the use of innovative techniques combined with the will to survive on a lifestyle they love has led to a successful operation.
The family-run Angus and Charolais operation located near Randolph, Kansas, started with one cow in 1977 and has grown to market approximately 700 bulls each year.
During the initial building years, Galen Fink was working as the herdsman for the Kansas State University purebred beef unit, and his wife, Lori, was serving as a field representative for the Kansas Angus Association. In 1990, they made the decision to go on their own.
Starting with a small amount of rented acreage, which was less than ideal for expanding the herd, the Fink’s began utilizing embryo transplant in 1988. This gave them the capability to grow numbers with minimal land and no hired help.
Along with building their registered Angus herd, the Fink’s added the Charolais breed to the operation in 1999 to provide another option for customers. According to Galen, at the time it was rare for a purebred operation to have more than one breed, but that it is becoming more common today.
Creating diversity within the operation and utilizing new methods plus keeping labor costs at a minimum, are just a few ways Fink Beef Genetics has been able to grow an international customer base to which it currently market its genetics.
Another significant part of their operation is the relationships they have built with their customers. Since it is a family-run operation, Galen and Lori’s daughter Megan is playing a pivotal part as well.
“It’s easier because you’ve lived a lot of your customers lives,” Galen said. “I think you can relate to people and know what they’re going through. It keeps you a step closer to your customers.”
He also believes in having direct contact with the customer.
“There is a difference between hired help and the owner visiting with them directly,” he said.
In addition to being involved in every part of the operation, each member of the family has been a member of professional industry organizations and held several leadership roles. They are currently active in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Kansas Livestock Association as well as the national Angus and Charolais organizations, just to name a few. In 2012, they were awarded the American International Junior Charolais Association (AIJCA) “Family of the Year” and recognized as KSU Alumni Fellows in 2001. In addition to their many family accomplishments, their daughter Megan, a recent
K-State graduate, has taken on many leadership roles including past AIJCA president and Collegiate Cattlewomen secretary. She has since had the opportunity to judge several shows including a showmanship contest in Jalisco, Mexico.
Youth involvement in the industry is important to Galen and feels it should be a goal of all producers to get young people involved — and getting people involved is one part of the industry he enjoys most.
“Meeting people that really have a plan and are excited about what they’re doing is probably as much fun as anything,” he said.
Whether creating relationships with new customers or thinking of what comes next for the family operation, Fink Beef Genetics is continually striving to provide genetics worldwide to customers and improve the amounts of quality beef at people’s tables.