Ranger Cattle: Finding home on the farm
A job in agriculture offers a therapeutic and meaningful career for those coming out of the military.
On a 3,000 acre ranch just outside of Austin, sits Ranger Cattle. Home to some of the most luxurious beef in the state of Texas.
“Here at Ranger Cattle we focus on everything from conception to consumption,” Josh Eilers states. “We do everything from breeding the cattle all the way through delivering the beef to consumers at home, our restaurant, hotel chains, things like that.”
Josh Eilers is the Ranger in Ranger cattle, literally. He graduated from the world-famous U.S. Army Ranger course, one of the toughest leadership-focused training courses in the U.S. military.
“I spent five years in the 1st Ranger Battalion and I worked my way up through the ranks, and then eventually taking over my own team and becoming a Sergeant and a leader in the Rangers,” he says.
During this time, he honored his leadership techniques by leading his team of Rangers on hundreds of special operation missions involving high-value targets throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You’re surrounded by the most incredible people you can imagine and some of the most fierce fighters and some of the most loyal guys you’ll ever meet,” he states. “So, definitely when I took over Ranger Cattle and I started building this operation, one of the things I was constantly focused on-- how do you build a really, really good team?”
He brought those leadership skills to his cattle business. He says that he knew the importance of surrounding himself with good people and knowing that to survive in this industry, you must constantly improve and grow.
“At the end of the day, consumer wants better meat quality. Anyone can go to a grocery store and buy prime, but can you get ultra-prime? Can you get stuff some good that they don’t even grade for it in the United States because that’s what we’re really trying to get at,” he explains. “We’re trying to create a product that is up here, just to outperform the commercial industry that is down here.”
Ranger Cattle specializes in producing some of the highest-quality, full-blood Wagyu genetics in the world. They have been instrumental in the implementation of numerous modern techniques, increasing artificial breeding reproductive rates as well as scientifically backed data collection of individual genetic development. But, the end game is always to have the best quality meat on the market, not just quantity.
Eilers also implemented innovative ways to get the beef to consumers. Especially when restaurants were shut down because of the pandemic, he had to get creative. So, he took the phrase farm-to-table and flipped it. He decided he would invite visitors to the farm for everything from drive-in movies to tastings because he knew if they tasted the meat, they would buy it.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. With his military training and education, he is now making it his mission to further the progress of modern livestock operations and the quality of the Wagyu herd-- one animal at a time.