Cattle Today

Cattle Today

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by: John R. Crouch
Executive Vice President, American Angus Association

American Angus Association business continues to be brisk, with registration, transfer and data-processing activity running well ahead of the same period last year. Despite drought, fires and other disturbances of nature, interest in Angus seedstock is at an all-time high.

Sale reports coming in from all areas of the country indicate strength in the market, with the exception of certain distressed regions wherein perhaps too many bulls were offered for sale, and the supply and demand lines crossed.

But, this should not come as a surprise to those of us who have been through several cattle cycles in years past. As always, when cattle prices are high, there just are not enough cattle to go around. When high prices subside a bit, strangely enough, cattle become more plentiful.

Even as this scenario plays out and we move through the cycle, those seedstock producers who have studied their lessons well and continue to focus on increased efficiency, reproduction, growth to harvest, maternal function and consumer satisfaction will be rewarded in the marketplace.

Commercial popularity

Sometimes colleagues of mine who are affiliated with other breeds ask, “Why are Angus cattle so popular commercially?” My response normally focuses on many aspects of production.

The fact is that commercial stockmen do not use Angus bulls because of any specific set of numbers that appear in expected progeny difference (EPD) blocks; neither do they use Angus because they are black in color. They use Angus because of the genetic and phenotypic response they get in the production arena.

The Angus breed is backed by a powerful database, awesome in scope and accuracy. The methodology utilized in the National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) has been proclaimed to be the very best available. The dollar value indexes ($Values) and the numbers that appear in EPD blocks simply quantify that response.

Additional support

Further, Association members have access to comprehensive programs regarding promotion and marketing that are unparalleled in our industry. The Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) program continues to set the bar for branded-beef programs and, in doing so, enables premiums to be received by producers of Angus cattle qualifying for the program.

If one checks, one will also find some 40 other branded programs that carry the Angus name. Even though these brands do not affect the market in the same manner as CAB, collectively they are a powerful force in creating demand for and building equity in Angus seedstock.

AngusSource,® a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Processed Verified Program (PVP), offers commercial users of registered and properly transferred Angus bulls a means to document age, source and genetics for their customers. Response has been overwhelming.

While providing close to $100,000 in youth scholarships next year, the Angus Foundation will direct additional support toward education through its sponsorship of Angus Boot Camps targeting new Angus breeders and commercial producers. Funding through the Angus Foundation has also been earmarked for research, which applies to not only the Angus industry, but also the entire beef industry. The benefits from these progressive programs will continue to be far-reaching in their influence on animal agriculture.

So, as we move through “greenin' up” time and approach summer, let us do so with a renewed sense of satisfaction and excitement about our future, and stay focused on providing the best possible service for our best customers — the commercial cowmen and women of America.


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