Angus — The Business Breed

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Capturing Value
of Genetics, Management

Panelists Richard Meadows and Sam Hands share experiences in adding value to their calf crops.

Two cow-calf producers shared their perspectives on “capturing value” for calves during a Cattlemen’s College® session at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Making remarks were Richard Meadows of Alabama-based Meadows Creek Farm and Sam Hands of Kansas-based Triangle H Grain & Cattle Co.

Meadows shared how his family operation has grown into a seedstock and commercial entity over the past three decades by working with others and looking for opportunities to add value. What began as a small herd from 4-H show animals has now evolved into working with cooperator herds and marketing 150-170 2-year-old Angus and Charolais bulls via three annual sales. Read more.

Satisfying Hunger for Food Verification

Industry partner shares perspective on capturing value of genetics and management.

Leann Saunders shared her perspectives on “capturing value” within the industry during a Cattlemen’s College® session in Nashville, Tenn. Saunders is president of Where Food Comes From Inc., which is a leading provider of certification and verification services to the food industry.

Saunders and her husband, John, have been working in the area of livestock identification, traceability and food industry verification for 21 years. Where Food Comes From brings together their two former companies, IMI Global and Sterling Solutions, as well as the entities of International Certification Services Inc. and Validus Validation Services LLC.

Saunders prefaced her remarks by highlighting the ever-changing consumer dynamic. She noted that in 1984 consumers were focused on taste, convenience, nutrition, variety and price. Today, in 2017, they still are concerned with all of those things, but now also consider what Saunders dubs “credence attributes.” These include consideration for the environment, sustainability, animal welfare and worker care, as well as production practices. Read more.

Livestock Marketing Council Meets in Nashville

Price discovery, market transparency addressed.

Composed primarily of auction market managers and order buyers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Livestock Marketing Council met Feb. 2 during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. NCBA leadership and staff were present to update Council members regarding some key livestock marketing issues.

Nebraska cattleman and NCBA president-elect Craig Uden explained how cattlemen serving on the NCBA/CME Working Group had responded to concern over cattle market volatility; the increased difficulty with which effective risk management strategies are implemented; and a potential link between these issues and electronic, high-frequency trading of futures contracts. Read more.

Live Cattle Marketing Update

Committee addresses price discovery, market restrictions.

Market volatility, a shrinking cash market for fed cattle and an insufficiency of tools for price discovery are concerns for cattlemen and all were discussed by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) members attending the Live Cattle Marketing Committee meeting during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The Feb. 3 meeting also introduced a change of committee leadership, with Wall, S.D., cattleman Myron Williams serving as the new chairman, backed by Nebraska cattle feeder Steve Sunderman as vice chairman.

Committee members first heard a report by NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall regarding the so-called Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule, which was put forward by former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Read more.

Ginette Gottswiller

The Source

Calving season.

Some producers are finishing up calving season while others are just beginning, or maybe you calve in the fall. Here are a few tips to think about before that first calf hits the ground. A little prep work can help reduce calving-season stress.

  1. 1. Nutrition is a year-round concern. Two- and 3-year-old bred heifers need to be in good condition prior to calving. They are still growing themselves. They may not eat as much 50-60 days prior to calving because of decreased capacity. If the weather is cold, it can really take their condition down fast. Read more.

Building Blocks for Risk Management

Create a plan and stay the course.

How do you define risk management? That was the question Tony Drake with the CME Group posed to attendees at a Learning Lounge educational session during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 3.

Drake, who has spent more than three decades on the trading floor — and 22 of those years with Cargill — says a simple definition he has used through the years to define risk management is essentially having a plan in place “so you are able to sleep at night.” Read more.

In The Cattle Markets

Strong trade numbers and good technicals.

The market fundamentals news released the second week of March was excellent for all the meat production sectors. The USDA released meat and poultry trade data last week for the month of January. The main conclusion from the information is that exports were stronger and imports were weaker. This is in the face of a continuing strong dollar. The U.S. dollar did not strengthen appreciably in January, but did rally to two-year highs during the last half of 2016. This is likely when the export sales occurred. The relatively low meat prices — as opposed to any dollar incentive — are creating export opportunities and limited economic incentive to import.

During the month of January, U.S. beef export tonnage was up 21% year-over-year. Beef exports are rather seasonal and usually peak in July. However, last year exports strengthened almost every month and finished the year well above those of the summer. This year started very strong compared to prior January but not to December. The seasonal pattern appears to be returning. Read more.

Angus Calendar

To view the Angus Calendar, a comprehensive list of Angus sales, click here.