Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Erichsen.
Steven, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My wife and I moved to Weatherford, Texas in 2012. We originally moved to the area to get more involved in the Cutting Horse Industry.
We bought a small ranch outside of town totally ‘sight unseen.’ Surprisingly enough the ranch has been a perfect fit for what we were looking for.
Other than pictures, the first time we say the place was when we arrived with the moving van, 4 horses, 3 cats, and 1 dog. We now have 6 horses (two in training), 8 cats, 5 dogs, 17 head of Wagyu cattle, and 3 donkeys.
We currently have two cutting horses in training with Milum Cutting Horses in Brock. A 5-year-old named Metallic Sam I Am, and the great veteran A Cat Be Nimble. We have been blessed to have some great horses in a great program.
I spent my career in the high-tech industry and traveled extensively. I retired in 2015 and wanted to spend more time on the ranch. I have always been interested in cattle and the diversity of breeds. I wanted to add cattle to my ranch but didn’t want to buy and sell for the meat industry per se. I wanted to do something unique and the more I looked into the various breeds I kept coming back to Wagyu as the best fit for what we wanted to get involved with.
For those that don’t know, Wagyu is the Japanese word for ‘Japanese Cow.’ Wagyu have been a Japanese national treasure and until recently not available for export. As a result, the breed is new and small in the US but growing. There are different area names of Wagyu in Japan but the most notable from Kobe and known as Kobe Beef.
Wagyu beef is a specialty product which has very high demands for its quality and consistency.
At the Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company, we specialize in the breeding end of the industry.
Our focus is to use the top Wagyu genetics in the world to breed and raise cattle that will be sold or leased to other ranchers who are increasing their herds while increasing the quality of their product.
The Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company will always keep its herd small so we can continue to focus on breeding and delivering the best possible breeding cattle possible.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Like many small businesses some of the road has been smooth and some has not. The biggest challenge has been educating people on what Wagyu cattle are about and why they should use this breed to cross breed with. The Texas Wagyu Association and the American Wagyu Association have been helpful with information on ‘Why Wagyu,’ the health benefits of Wagyu, and industry resources for example. The American Wagyu Association has also been tremendously helpful with respect to genetics. This has been one of the key ways we are making the Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company Wagyu herd unique and a quality advantage in the market place.
Since the Wagyu herd and business is a small niche market a lot of breeders don’t see how it fits with their business models. Once they take that first step and see the profitability in this high-end product they become convinced. The business moves on one discussion at a time.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company story. Tell us more about the business.
At the Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company, we are extremely proud of the quality of Wagyu cattle we have bred and have for sale and lease.
Our attention to using the best Wagyu genetics available to enhance our operation has made a huge difference. We are proud that our operation has remained small so we can pay close personal attention to what we are doing to continually improve the quality of our Wagyu cattle.
Our customers have come to expect this. This is our uniqueness and what sets us apart from others in the industry.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is an interesting concept. I believe you make your own luck by always trying to be in the right place at the right time so you can take advantage of situations that come your way. Our move Texas is a perfect example of this. We had been talking about moving for a while and had looked into Idaho, Arizona, and Texas. Because we went to the 2011 National Cutting Horse Superstakes and met a realtor everything lined up. We made an offer on the ranch, sold our place in Oregon in two weeks, and moved within 30 days. All of this was luck.
We apply the same principles in our cattle business. We are always looking for better ways to market our products and keeping up on the latest trends in the industry.
- Address: Black Dog Ranch and Cattle Company, LLC
5757 New Authon Road,
Weatherford, TX 76088
- Website: www.erichsenblackdogranch.com
- Phone: 817-458-9006
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erichsenblackdogranch1