Selling more than just cattle

On 2,500 acres of serene Missouri farmland near Mexico, Missouri, sits one of the top cattle operations in the country — Sydenstricker Genetics, or SydGen.

Established in 1952 by Ralph E. Sydenstricker as a traditional angus cattle farm, SydGen is now a leader in the industry, selling not just cattle, but genetics.

The farm welcomes roughly 800 calves each year with around 500-550 of those calves being sold in one big sale held annually in November.

“Roughly 60 to 70 percent of our yearly income is generated in one day,” said the farm’s manager Ben Eggers. “That day is our annual production sale, where we sell over 500 head of breeding stock.”

According to Eggers, November’s annual sale is one of the operations primary focuses. This sale specifically allows the public to see the fall-born bulls and January born bulls being offered for sale plus a variety of their own female cows and embryos too.

During the spring, the farm also hosts another annual sale. Their Spring Influence Sale is where SydGen sells February born bulls as well as multiple consignments from other SydGen customers.

The name was changed to Sydenstricker Genetics (SydGen) in 2001 to better represent their increase of beef quality through genetics.

The company produces soybeans, wheat, and corn on 25 percent of their land in rotation with the remaining 75 percent being used for pasture and hay. Sydenstricker Genetics not only manages the livestock and genetics but also markets the crops they produce at their annual production sale held in November.

Income undoubtedly matters when it comes to managing a successful business like SydGen, but so does making sure the customers and public are happy about what is coming out of their pastures.

“Since 1988, we have continually tried to increase the meat quality and value of our cattle through the genetic evaluation of carcass traits,” Eggers said.

According to the Sydenstricker Genetics website, SydGen has successfully kept up with all of the new technology available through their artificial insemination part of the breeding operation. Artificial insemination can help tremendously for any beef producer in order to get the beef to the quality grading standards of prime, choice, and select.

“If cattle don’t have the genetics to grade prime, it doesn’t matter how well or long you feed them they won’t grade prime,” said Mike Kasten, program director of Quality Beef by the Numbers. “If cattle do have the genetics to grade prime they still must be fed and cared for properly.”

Kasten’s program focuses on helping producers use new technologies like fixed time artificial insemination, EPD select, DNA and production records from conception to carcass so they can create and maintain more profit and value on the same resources.

ORIgen, is a bull breeding service formed by Sydenstricker Genetics along with five other shareholders located in Montana on their state-of-the-art bull housing, collection, and distribution facility. This network allows breeders to take advantage of the vast marketing opportunities available relating to artificial insemination while still giving them full control over their own bulls.

Lee Ann Sydenstricker, who handles the majority of public relations for SydGen and Sydenstricker Implement said the farm promotes semen sales across the country through ORIgen, in addition to printing their own semen directory. Most of the print advertising for SydGen appears in the Angus Journal, Angus Traits, and Missouri Beef Cattlemen publications. In addition, Lee Ann said they host events at the Sydenstricker Genetics farm to allow customers to see “Certified Angus Beef” on the farm.

According to Kasten, Sydenstricker Genetics is a cattle business that cares about the well-being of their animals in addition to making sure their stock contains the right genetics to yield grade prime meat.

“Sydenstrickers is one of the top cattle operations in the country and they have placed a lot of emphasis on carcass quality,” Kasten said.

If you are interested in attending an upcoming sale, farm manager of 32 years, Ben Eggers encourages you to stop by their annual fall sale, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. on their farm in Mexico, Mo. For more information visit


Kellianne Mitchell

About the Author Kellianne Mitchell

My name is Kellianne Mitchell (pronounced Kelly-Ann). I’m from Troy, Missouri, and I am a freshman science and agricultural journalism student at Mizzou. Back at home, I live with my mom, dad, younger brother and my chocolate lab, Lizzy. I’m also that girl who will never grow out of that horse-crazy stage. I’ve been riding horses since I was about 3 years old and have done just about anything and everything, but now I currently own my one horse, Josey, and barrel race. I hope to some day work for an agricultural company or publication so I can continue to promote agriculture through writing, marketing and other means of public relations. I’m excited to be a part of Mizzou’s CAFNR and writing for Corner Post because I can finally get the chances and opportunities to share and spread the word about agriculture and it’s many, many benefits to the world.