Dale Moore began his career in Scott City, Kan., after earning a degree in Farm and Ranch Management, although Dale says his real degree was his “on-the-job training with old-timers.” Immediately after finishing his program at a small junior college in Missouri, Dale began washing water tanks at a
10,000-head feedlot. After years of hard work and determination, Dale secured a managing position at a small yard in Missouri, prior to moving to Oklahoma. That small yard grew from 500-head to 3,000-head in just a year.
In November of 2000, Dale made a trip to Gage, Okla., to look at what is now Cattleman's Choice Feedyard, Inc. The yard was covered with weeds, but Dale saw potential. By December 2000, Dale, his wife, Mary, and a few short-term investors had purchased the 200-acre feedyard. The feedyard consisted of 15 pens, a vintage John Deere "mixer wagon," a small room on the second story of a plywood barn that they made into an office. The first day they arrived, they had to purchase corn and hay from a neighboring yard, a pump and a tank of molasses to begin feeding the 680-head of cattle that they moved to the feedyard. Mary managed the books from the small room above the cattle barn, where she has maintained a presence for the last 15 years. However, she has upgraded from the small room above the barn to the current office building. CCFI grew quicker than they could have imagined. By 2004, they were a 6,500-head feed yard and had become Certified Angus Beef licensed.
In 2008, they won the Certified Angus Beef Feedyard of the Year award. They have been recognized annually by winning the Red Angus Association's "GridMaster” award. They also were awarded C.A.B’s National Carcass Challenge for their high percentages of cattle qualifying for C.A.B.
Along with Certified Angus Beef, Dale also began working with Micro Beef and Alltech. Dale worked with
Micro Beef on the technology side, improving the efficiency of the yard. Alltech was introduced to him by longtime friend, Dave Pfenninger. They worked on ways to improve the health and performance of the cattle. Now Dale and several of his customers continue to work with AllTech starting at the ranch level.
As of 2015, CCFI is entirely owned by Dale and Mary and holds an average of 7,500 head and is a non-hormonal, natural based feedyard, with more than 80 perfect being retained ownership customers. Currently, they sell beef to all major packers, who then distribute to Whole Foods, Chipotle and many top-end steak houses throughout the world. Dale attributes their success to the company’s dedication to providing customers with satisfaction. Dale assists his customers by helping with their risk management through hedging and marketing with the packer. Dale has no limit to the help he will give his customers. Rain, snow, weekends and holidays, he is there to give them the assistance they need.
In his "free time," Dale has given tours to farmers and businessmen from Japan and Brazil at CCFI and plans to host a group from Uruguay this summer. He enjoys educating them on US beef production, from the cow-calf, to the feeding sector. He has attended seminars in Europe where he gained knowledge on other country’s beef production. Recently he spoke at the Alltech International Conference about beef production, the current trends and how he got to where he is today. He enjoys working with his wife on their personal operation and makes sure to answer the infinite number of questions from his daughters about when they should buy or sell their investments.
Dale has a story that should inspire all. Dale attributes his success, not to his degree, but to his hands-on training he has gained through the years. With support from family, friends and investors, he created a successful feedyard, virtually from the ground up. His selflessness with his customers and dedication to excellence has made Cattleman’s Choice Feedyard what it is today and is why it will continue to grow!