Local beef producers become owners of national beef e-commerce company

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2021

With a mission to bring quality, approachably priced beef to families across the United States, BetterFed Beef launched its e-commerce platform, creating the ability for consumers across the country to purchase Midwest-raised beef, according to a press release. The e-commerce website, BetterFedBeef.com, allows consumers to shop for beef by the cut or by specially curated boxes.  Once purchased, the beef is mailed directly to the customer’s home, packaged in dry ice. The online shopping experience is one that’s familiar, as the company designed and launched its site amidst the growing popularity of direct-to-consumer food and grocery platforms like InstaCart.com, UberEats and DoorDash.

After exploring the website for a few moments, though, you’ll recognize something vastly different from popular food-based platforms you may have used. At the very top of every website page, the visitor will notice the word and button labeled “producers.” Once clicked, a page opens, introducing the online shopper to 17 families. Each of these families are owners and operators of a beef farm and produce the beef being sold on the e-commerce website. In addition to raising the cattle and producing the beef, these families are also owners of BetterFed Beef.

Max Winders, one of the co-founders and an owner of BetterFed Beef helped launch the company after retiring from a 28-year career in international agriculture, a career that brought him to 59 of the world’s countries.

“The Midwest has some of the absolute best beef in the entire world and our vision is to bring the most consistently flavorful and tender beef to households across America,” Winders said. “We want to accomplish this mission by connecting the best cattle producers, who are raising the best cattle, directly with consumers under the BetterFed Beef brand. More and more, consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it was grown and raised. We’re excited to be able to provide that direct connection between producers and consumers.”

Before BetterFeedBeef.com launched its e-commerce storefront, team members traveled across the Midwest visiting farms and families who agreed to supply BetterFedBeef.com’s products. Each producing family was offered the chance to become much more than a supplier; they were offered the opportunity to become an owner of the company.

“I’ve been working with all of these families and farms for years,” said Dr. Tom Peters, co-founder and another BetterFed Beef owner. “We were already working with them to supply their incredible beef and we thought, ‘why not offer them the opportunity to be part of something unique and market their incredible beef directly to people around the country?’”

Amongst the families and farms supplying beef as producer-owners is the Chicos family, located outside of New Richland.

“It meant a lot to be approached by Dr. Tom Peters and Max Winders with the chance to become owners,” said Matt Chicos, a beef producer of Chicos Family Farms. “BetterFed Beef helps us as producers get recognition for our superior beef and also helps us stay competitive as technology continues to change our industry in many ways, including folks migrating to purchasing their food online. Beyond that, it’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of something that’s evolving at a rapid pace.”

The Chicos family is one of only 17 families who chose to become producer-owners of the company. For the Chicos family, becoming an owner illustrates much more than a possible financial benefit.

“BetterFedBeef.com is a new company and their success isn’t guaranteed,” said Jim Chicos, another beef producer and owner of Chicos Family Farms. “What is for sure, though, is the high-quality beef we work hard every day to produce will now be available to any home across the country who wants to enjoy it, and that they’re going to purchase it knowing the families behind it.”

“It brings us real satisfaction knowing our beef is being enjoyed,” che said. “As a cattle producer, this is everything we could ask for.”