College of Agriculture alumna creates retail, bulk meat business

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(Photo courtesy of Sierra Day)

Sierra Day, College of Agriculture alumna, uses the word “opportunity” to describe High Prime, her new custom retail and bulk meat business.

Day was born and raised as a tenth-generation agriculturist on her family operation near Cerro Gordo, Illinois. Her family raises Angus cattle, corn and soybeans. She realized the importance of transitioning from a showman to a mentor for other youth in the industry as she gained experience over the years.

Day graduated from Kansas State with animal science and agriculture degrees in 2020, then returned to her family operation in Illinois. She is pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University online.

“Taking graduate school courses online has been the perfect fit,” Day said. “I was beginning to get tired of being an in-person student and was ready to get into the industry.”

Day competed at local, state and national levels in 4-H, FFA and National Junior Angus Association while growing up.

“If there was a youth organization, I was actively part of it,” Day said.

Day’s passion for involvement remained as she transitioned from Lake Land College to K-State. Day participated in many campus organizations, including Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and the Block and Bridle Club.

As Day advanced in her college education, her passion for the beef industry increased. She soon discovered a community to provide high-quality, nutritious and desirable beef.

Karol Fike, animal sciences and industry professor, met Day in a reproduction class during the fall 2018 semester. Fike works with career preparation, undergraduate research and internship programs.

(Photo courtesy of Sierra Day)
(Photo courtesy of Sierra Day)

“From the moment Day transferred to K-State she was forward-thinking, took advantage of opportunities, completed her work and didn’t wait for success to fall in her lap,” Fike said.

Fike said Day’s retail beef business fits well with her two degrees and allows her to put her knowledge and experience to perfect use. She was not surprised to hear of Day’s occupation.

Austin Walter, Land Lake College and Texas Tech alumnus, shares similar interests and now works alongside Day at High Prime.

Walter grew up on a fifth-generation cattle and row crop farm near Grand Ridge, Illinois.

After graduating from Land Lake College, Walters transferred to Texas Tech to study animal science. During his time at Texas Tech, he became a member of the 2019 National Champion Meat Animal Evaluation Team.

“As time progressed, I came to really enjoy meat evaluations,” Walter said. “It is incredibly unique how my experience has circled around to High Prime now.”

Day and Walter developed the idea to offer custom retail cuts, as many families cannot hold a large portion of a beef animal in their home at a time, Day said.

Day uses many communication skills she learned in the classrooms of Umberger Hall to handle social media content, marketing and branding, while Walter manages legal logistics. His position includes handling licensing, finances and coordinating with the locker and customers.

This team is proud to stand behind their homegrown business while continuing to offer high-quality, nutritious and desirable beef for those who prefer locally grown beef.

Walter said the biggest challenges the team has faced include coordinating customer needs and balancing demand based upon process date availability. Despite the difficulties they encounter, the duo remains determined go-getters and entrepreneurs.

Day and Walter are now focused on how they can educate consumers and communicate with producers. They have a goal to provide the highest quality beef at a reasonable cost.

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