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Ranch Sells Steak In Vending Machines
Thanks to vending machines, consumers in Kansas City, Mo., can buy Angus beef cuts as late as 11 p.m. at Front Range Coffeehouse & Provisions in Waldo, Mo.
  Though it can be challenging to keep it and another vending machine in the Kansas City Marketplace full, it’s been a great way to direct market beef, says Tim Haer, a fifth-generation member of the family ranch, Green Grass Cattle Company.
  “Kansas City strips are the most popular,” he says, noting he monitors a card reader so when steaks and other products are low, he makes the 40-mile trip to restock.
  “My background was in software, so I knew capturing and aggregating data was important,” Haer says. Besides keeping track of stock levels, he can monitor temperature levels and remotely lock down the vending machine if necessary.
  After successfully setting up the first vending machine in February 2023, he set up the second machine in September in another location with the same business.
  “Finding the right partner is key to being successful,” he says, noting the business (Made in KC) he works with supports novel ways of marketing local Kansas City products and has 15 locations. They negotiated an in-kind trade arrangement, and the stores benefit from the meat vending machines bringing in new and repeat customers.
  Haer invested about $4,000 for each of the refurbished vending machines, and he customized them with the business logo and a business card.
  “The advertising and exposure are valuable,” he says. After a TikTok video of one of the vending machines went viral, 900,000 views on their online store resulted in sales from San Diego to Cape Cod.
  “It also provides a unique advantage to educate,” Haer says. He’s received calls from customers asking how the beef was raised.
  While it can be challenging to find time to make the trip to keep the vending machines stocked with brats, sausage, hot dogs, and steak cuts, they’ve been a positive add-on to the ranch’s Weston store and online store.
  “My biggest message is to help other farmers and ranchers to market their products and not to accept commodity prices,” Haer concludes.
  FARM SHOW Followup: Green Grass Cattle Company, 17985 State Hwy. 45 N., Weston, Mo. 64098 (ph 816-640-4009; tim@greengrasscattleco.com; www.greengrasscattleco.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6