Angus — The Business Breed


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Adam Conover Adam Conover

Association Perspective

A recipe for success.

I always enjoy having the opportunity to put some thoughts on paper, and I wanted to take the time to convey an analogy of one of the most frequent conversation topics I have with breeders. That is, “How can I merchandize my cattle for the most money?”


For the sake of this article, I like to use the analogy of something most can relate to, a good piece of beef. What makes a steak taste great? Of course, there are an endless number of options for seasonings, salts, peppers and marinades. Cooking methods add another layer of flavors to the eating experience whether grilled, broiled, fried or set to simmer in a crockpot all day. What about aging? It changes the taste profile in a number of ways, too. All of these methods are certainly important, and I think it is safe to say each of us has a certain combination that suits us best.


Relating this back to merchandizing Angus cattle, all of these preparations are comparable to the numerous tools offered by the American Angus Association and progressive science. Whether it be performance data, pedigree information, expected progeny differences (EPDs), the new era of genomics, or the long-standing tradition of phenotypic evaluation, the Angus breed is fortunate to have more tools accessible for breeders than any other breed in modern times.


Like seasonings, peppers and marinades are used to make that piece of beef fit your cravings, multiple tools can be used to fit the craving of your breeding program and your customers. The American Angus Association’s leadership has historically taken a tremendous amount of pride in embracing science and new technology to offer the members of this great association. It is a passion of mine to help individuals discover what preparation is best for their piece of beef.


All that being said, the one key discussion point that has not been addressed yet is, “What is the key ingredient to that great piece of beef?” Probably to no one’s surprise, it’s the beef and all of the tireless details that go into producing a high-quality base ingredient. It is the years of genetic selection and the countless hours of management that it takes to see a baby calf all the way to a harvesting facility.


The meat of what it takes to successfully merchandize cattle is the breeder himself or herself. Embrace the tools that best provide the right preparation of your cattle for your customers and always keep in mind that the breeder is the meat, the main ingredient.


How can a breeder enhance the main ingredient? Be involved. The most successful merchandizers I am involved with do not segment themselves from any portion of the industry or their community. More specifically, I encourage breeders to get involved with local and state Angus activities, as well as general community activities.


Embrace the opportunity to exhibit cattle, serve on committees and be a positive influence on your local community. There certainly is no exact recipe of activities for a person to get involved in. Do what fits, but be involved.


When you gather your ingredients, take a deep breath and enjoy the experience. After all, it is a blessing to be in the Angus business. Best wishes in your cooking endeavor.


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Editor’s Note: Regional Manager Adam Conover covers Region 5, including the states of Iowa and Missouri. Click here to find the regional manager for your state.













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