Cattle Today

Cattle Today



A comprehensive study to prioritize management and economic issues for commercial beef cow-calf producers made its debut in Nashville, Tenn. In fulfilling the mission to provide programs and services that will aid commercial cattle producers to achieve profitability, the American Angus AssociationSM commissioned an independent, in-depth study to provide a blueprint for prioritizing profit drivers in today's cattle operations.

The results of this study were released at the 2007 National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show, Jan. 31-Feb. 3 in Nashville, Tenn. Priorities First: Identifying Management Priorities in the Commercial Cow-Calf Business, by Tom Field, Ph.D., Fort Collins, Colo., includes the responses of more than 200 successful producers and industry specialists from diverse geographic locations. The study is an unbiased report representing 130 cow-calf producers and 87 industry specialists, which included nutritionists, veterinarians, marketing professionals, and reproduction specialists.

Recognizing that the changing environment in the beef industry presents a challenge for cattle producers to remain successful, Priorities First is another step toward an educational initiative with the key purpose of providing objective, useful information to all beef producers. Dr. Field presented results from the study during the NCBA Producer Education committee meeting Friday, Feb 2. Printed copies of Priorities First are available by contacting the American Angus Association or by downloading the document from

After hearing the Priorities First presentation at NCBA, Joe Davis, a cattle producer from Westminster, S.C., said the report is what industry needs. “I've had cattle for 30 years, but I've only been in the cattle business for about five years. If I had focused on the priorities in the order that this document proposes, I would have avoided some very costly mistakes that I made. Specifically, the biggest and most costly mistakes I made were in herd nutrition, the ‘Priority No. 1' area.”

The survey summarizes the results of 15 key production priorities, such as herd nutrition, pasture and range management, genetics, herd health, and marketing. A detailed evaluation of these categories is explained in depth in the 28-page report.

Priorities First, sponsored by the American Angus Association, is the foundational component to a multi-year project designed to lead the beef industry forward. Through continued education and provided services, the American Angus Association will support the beef industry as a formidable protein competitor and keep beef as the preferred “center of the plate” solution for consumers around the world.

The American Angus Association with headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., provides services and programs to more than 34,000 members and thousands of commercial producers who use Angus genetics. For more information log on to or call 816-383-5100.


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