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Rebuilding America: Wheat State Cattle Co. goes public in Pratt County

Gale Rose
Dodge City Daily Globe
Josie Fox and daughters Layne, 1, and Bryleigh, 7, stand beside their cattle that make up the Wheat State Cattle Co., a new business the family started with husband and father Nick to bring in some extra income in a poor cattle market and provide beef for family and friends.

Some divine inspiration and a weak cattle market have inspired Nick and Josie Fox in Pratt County to start producing beef for not just their family but for their neighbors as well.

It may have had something to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, too.

Josie Fox said their new business, Wheat State Cattle Co., started around the end of March and is based out of their home in the Coats area.

The family was already producing beef for themselves, but the industry was looking sad and they were looking for another avenue for revenue. Fox said she felt she was getting some divine inspiration on what the family needed to do.

“God was telling me, ‘You need to start this business. You need to sell beef,’ ” Fox said.

The coronavirus also played a part in this new business venture. The family, like everyone else, was in lockdown and the virus was causing the food supply chain to break down.

The pair got together and discussed the situation and decided it was a good idea. They formed an LLC and started advertising their business on social media through Facebook and a web site. This was a unique challenge for Fox. She had never run a business like this and it was a challenge to figure out what they needed to do. Fox didn’t grow up on a farm, so there was much to learn and she is still learning. Nick is also excited. He takes care of the business side of the operation.

“I’m excited to learn. I want to jump out there and make the business run,” Fox said. “We’re excited to get the business up and running and see where it goes. We’re still trying to figure it all out. We hope we do it right.”

They started out small and waited to see what people wanted. This was right before people started showing serious concerns about meat supply, Fox said.

News got around, and since then, the business has taken off. Ground beef, rib eyes, filets, chuck or arm roast and brisket have become their top sellers.

“People needed beef, and I was glad we started,” Fox said.

They can also provide a quarter, half or full beef if the customer wants that much, Fox said.

Customers fill out an order form and it is given to the Kiowa Locker that process the beef.

This has become a long term project for the family. They want to give the customer a better quality produce than the customer can get from a chain store. The beef is all grass fed and grain finished. Their beef is all home grown, and that’s important to customers.

“We want people to know where the beef comes from and that it is quality beef,” Fox said.

Their herd is 50 cows that produce 50 calves which are Black Angus and Gelbvieh crosses.

Wheat State has received positive feed back from family and friends about their new business. People are eager to get their beef.

“I feel blessed that people are waiting already,” Fox said.

This is truly a family project. Bryleigh Fox, 7, helps her dad feed and do anything she can. She tells people about the beef. Their 1-year-old daughter Layne, loves the “moos.”