Episode 33: Where's the Beef...Chain?
Updated: Sep 11
In this episode, I'm speaking with Steven Lupien the founder and CEO of BeefChain along with being an adjunct professor at University of Wyoming College of Business where he teaches how to apply Blockchain technologies to complex business problems. Listen in as we are diving into the agriculture industry (specifically the business of beef) and how blockchain can enable, empower, and ultimately save US cattle ranches. It's a fascinating conversation that shows that even technology innovation can have a material impact on a thousands of year old tradition.
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In this Episode
00:01:54 Who is Steven? (https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-c-lupien/) 00:03:27 Inserting cheesy 80s pop culture references..(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where%27s_the_beef%3F) 00:05:05 The struggle of US ranchers. "Ranchers have had enough" (https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/07/challenges-faced-by-cattle-ranchers.html) 00:05:52 What is BeefChain? (https://beefchain.com) 00:08:25 Mike summarizes the benefits 00:11:55 The importance of traceability in the agriculture supply chain (http://www.sustainabilityoutlook.in/content/food-and-agri-business-set-undergo-unprecedented-transformation) 00:15:16 The Campstool Ranch (https://beefchain.com/ranches/campstool-ranch/) 00:25:02 How technology accelerate business 00:28:20 Business dynamics of the beef industry 00:30:32 Where blockchain helps (https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjaminpirus/2019/04/25/beefchain-receives-first-usda-certification-for-a-blockchain-company/#b93267e76079) 00:37:53 Why Wyoming is an innovation powerhouse ( https://www.jacksonholechamber.com/blog/wyoming-poised-to-become-a-leader-in-blockchain-innovation/) 00:40:57 Politicians can all agree on blockchain 00:41:53 Wyoming Blockchain Task Force (https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/blockchain-task-force-members-optimistic-about-technology-s-future/article_6d632b12-d66a-5238-87b7-fd1d0b325132.html) 00:55:06 Building in "business" backward compatibility for solutions 00:58:52 Advantages of establishing your business in Wyoming 01:00:25 Romanticizing blockchain
About the BeefChain
During 2017, 11,400 Wyoming ranches generated $1.1 billion in cattle sales. The state has approximately 2.1 million cows and most family-owned ranches carry permanent herds composed of 90% brood cows, 5% bulls, and 5% dry cows. If we conservatively estimate that two-thirds of all brood cows produce calves, this leads to a potential market of 600,000 calves.
BeefChainTM has already partnered with six multi-generational Wyoming ranches and tagged nearly 1,600 calves.
These “first-in-the-world” blockchain calves, totaling over 500,000 lbs of high quality Wyoming Certified Beef, will be ready for delivery in early fall of 2019.
BeefChain creates a model for the rancher that accomplishes two objectives. The first is to bring technology to therancher in order to enhance traceability and prove humane handling. BeefChain’s RFID tags and other IoT device supload unique cow/calf information to the blockchain to establish immutable, auditable provenance to better capture the free range, grass-fed premium.
The second is to create an end-to-end supply chain solution we call “Rancher to Retail” through BeefChain invest-ment in feedlot and processing operations. These operations will allow BeefChain to offer exclusive, long-term relationships with buyers across the globe.
Wyoming beef producers are world-renowned for their high standards and best-in-class product but rarely receive the premium they deserve for their commitment to quality. BeefChain’s mission is to create a new “rancher-centric” supply chain utilizing blockchain technology to recapture the value now realized by third-party feedlots and processors.
By enabling unique animal identification and ensuring origin, Beefchain allows the rancher to receive premium pricing for premium beef and provides consumers with greater confidence in the meat they consume.
About Steven Lupien
Accomplished executive possessing over 30 years of cross-functional leadership experience in industry-diverse public, private, and NFP organizations, spanning high technology, consumer packaged goods, and business services. An innovative strategist with proven success leading teams that drive revenue, increasing market share, launch new products, as well as develop and build brands. Record of conceptualizing and communicating vision, fostering consensus among team members, and motivating overall organization for attainment of mission and goals.
Members of American Certified Brands, LLC, owner of the BeefChain trademark, in 2019 voted to promote Steven C. Lupien to become its new President. Mr. Lupien, a co-founder, was previously chief operating officer. He brings more than 10 years of experience in the food industry, including leading the Specialty Foods Division of IMS, Ltd/Land-O-Lakes Specialty Foods.