A 6th Generation Cattleman beats out the drought in style
Mr. CC “Chip” Rice is a 6th generation Texas cattleman raising grass-fed red angus bulls in central Texas. He is the first cattleman in Texas to buy a FodderTech system and loves inviting his friends and neighbors over to see it. Chip is also a dentist and has learned the advantages of being an early user of new technologies. Chip currently is running between 100-120 head of cattle on close to 400 acres.
Chip first was introduced to the idea of hydroponics when he visited the EPCOT center at Disney World in Florida as a younger man. He loved the concept but recognized that it was too expensive at that time to be put into widespread use for food production. Now Chip says “With skyrocketing fuel and land prices Chip I believe hydroponically grown fodder for livestock is now affordable”. Chip also believes the livestock industry needs to think about its business differently now more than ever before in order to remain profitable.
Chip purchased a system to test sprouts on a small scale before purchasing the equipment that he needs to feed his whole herd. Chip says “it took the heifers a few days to acclimate to the new feed, but now the cows are convinced that the sprouts are ‘crack'”. Whenever he approaches the fodder shed, the heifers sprint hysterically from wherever they are to the shed. Chip says he has been feeding animals for close to 50 years and has never seen animals sprint to feed before. After just two weeks Chip called up FodderTech to proclaim that “the system is a winner!”
Chip envisions being able to increase his stocking rate by 400% on his existing land once he has sufficient fodder capacity. Avoiding the cost of buying another 1200 acres to increase his stocking rate will in and of itself pay for the system. He also believes he will be able to modify how he uses his land such as no longer needing to put up hay, but grazing the alfalfa stands instead, thus saving significant amount of time and resource. Chip sees that because the FodderTech system provides a temperature controlled growing environment, it is a tool that will allow him to take much of the future risk of drought and other weather related risks out of his operation. He sees fodder making his life much easier and his operation much more profitable.
With Texas still in the hold of the worst drought since at least the 1950’s, Chip believes many fellow ranchers in Texas can also greatly benefit from buying a FodderTech system. When he brings his neighbors over to tour his shed, Chip tells them “Get accustomed to it. You will all have one in the next few years”.
Mr. Rice is often asked how long it takes to operate the shed. Chip cheerfully replies “the FodderTech shed is a one beer system. I go in to sprout with a can and by the time I am done with my chores I finish my drink”. FodderTech is pleased to be working with a forward thinking rancher such as Chip Rice to introduce its drought busting technology to Texas and appreciate his willingness to be featured in our website.