Archive for Jeff Stephens

TAG – You are it! How and Why TAG Dairy Sales Are Successful

There has been growing popularity in TAG Sales and for good reason. TAG Sales offer benefits to breeders, buyers and sale management. While there are many similarities to traditional sales, there are also many ways that TAG Sales work much better. To get a better understanding read the following article about why TAG Sales are growing so quickly in popularity.

What Makes a TAG Sale Special

At first glance, a TAG Sale may look just like a traditional sale since the cattle are all clipped and trained, but, in reality, there are some major differences. The following are some of the key advantages of a TAG Sale:

  • TAG sales are typically 1 week long compared to an auction that lasts 2-3 hours
    The longer time frame gives both the seller and the buyer a chance to talk and potential buyers are able to gain confidence in their choice. Instead of having to make split second decisions as you are forced to in a traditional auction situation.
  • Buyer does not have to sell if they don’t want to
    I am sure there have been many times breeders have bought back their animal after a public auction (adding a new name to the pedigree temporarily) and even more times when breeders wish they had, TAG Sales give the breeders a chance to think about the offered price and make sure they are comfortable with it before agreeing to the sale. Frank Donkers of Fradon Farms points out “Being able to communicate with the buyer throughout the process is a huge plus.”
  • Expert Advice
    Many times at an auction when you are trying to decide if that heifer is good, great, or not for you, you are all alone. As Jeff Stephens who has run many successful TAG Sales points out, the sales staff can help you by guiding you through the pros and cons. While this may sound like a great opportunity for them to push the sales, many of these individuals know that, giving the correct advice, even if it costs them the sale, is far better than the wrong advice that tarnishes their name. These individuals are asked to work these sales for good reason. They have built a strong name that breeders know they can trust. They are not going to risk it for a quick buck.
  • Diamond in the rough
    While many of us have run the roads, hoping to find that diamond in the rough, show calf, or next great 2 year old. It is not as easy as it sounds. TAG Sales give a group of breeders an opportunity to get their cattle all in one place and have them washed, clipped, and trained to show them off to the best of their potential. This not only helps maximize the sale price but also helps build buyer confidence. As Barclay Phoenix, of Hanover Hill Sales and Marketing, points out “The worst case scenario is that for a couple of hundred bucks you get your heifer washed, show clipped and trained,” If that is the worst that happens, it is still a great deal.
Taste of Ontario - Lineup

Taste of Ontario - Lineup

What Makes a TAG Sale Successful

Running a TAG sale can be a little different as well. While it takes all the same marketing and promotion, Jeff Stephens, of Stephens Genetics,  points out the following key things to remember:

  • It Starts with a Great Line-Up
    It’s important that you try to get some animals that will attract all markets. Whether it’s genomics, local or state caliber show cattle, 4-H projects it’s important to have a strong lineup that can drive attention from many markets.
  • A Great Crew is a Must
    From the crew that is fitting the cattle to the sales staff, it’s important to get the best. Since a TAG sale is designed to help build breeder confidence, make sure that you have a crew that is well respected and well connected. As Frank Donkers has learned, “Surround yourself with hard working people. That will make your sale a success.”
  • Schedule it around an event
    In order to have a successful sale, it’s very important to make sure you have a draw in your area that will bring breeders. This can be a major show, meeting, bus tour, or even another auction. Many times two auctions in the same area at relatively the same time are great for both.
  • A Happy Crowd is a Buying Crowd
    Stephens points out that it’s critical to make sure that you provide the best hospitality possible. A crowd that is comfortable, relaxed, and feeling good is far more likely to spend top dollar than those who are afraid to even talk to the other attendees. Dairy breeders are very social so make sure your TAG Sale is as well.
  • Price them to Sell
    No one likes dealing with breeders who want twice as much as an animal is worth. This is where great sales management can help. They can advise you regarding the going price in the market and help you get a realistic understanding of what you can get for your animal.
Fradon Select Tag Sale

Fradon Select Tag Sale

The Bullvine Bottom Line

TAG Sales offer breeders a great opportunity to move some cattle as well as build their name. As Frank Donkers points out, “We have learned not to be afraid to take a chance and do something that you haven’t done before. Don’t be afraid to promote your herd in a different way. Make sure that you have confident and positive advice on how to run a TAG Sale. (which we had with Jeff Stephens). His experience with managing TAG Sales was invaluable to the success that our event obtained.”

It takes a team to make a TAG Sale a success. Assemble the best team you can and your sale if sure to be a profitable!

Check out our upcoming events tab for the next TAG sale near you.


Not sure how much to spend on that great 2 year old?
Want to make sure you are investing your money wisely?
Download our Dairy Cow Investment Calculator



Send this to a friend