“We don’t own any cattle,” Bradbury said. “We buy beef from producers that meets our specifications, then brand it and sell it.”

Bradbury said consumers want to know where their food, including beef, comes from, how it is raised and what it has been fed. Currently, the company is processing approximately 48 head a week in Nebraska, then shipping to a plant in Dallas where primal cuts are made and packaged with the Nolan Ryan brand.

Ground beef, rib-eye steaks, tenderloin filets and chuck roasts are the main cuts marketed by Kroger. The beef is marketed in about 80 stores and demand has been steady, Bradbury said.

He said Kroger eventually would like to have the grass-fed line of beef in all of its stores, but “our biggest problem is supply.”

That encouraged attendees who were looking to go back home with new ideas to implement into their operations, they said.

“The discussions of nutrition were really interesting, particularly as the cattle mature and their needs change,” Muncer said. “Value-adding is critical in this aspect of the business and you have to adjust your production methods accordingly.”