Elbert-Douglas County Beef Symposium gives valuable insight to producers | TheFencePost.com

Elbert-Douglas County Beef Symposium gives valuable insight to producers

Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Staff Reporter

Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur, Colo., hosted the Elbert/Douglas county beef symposium on November 5th.

For many cattle producers, education is the key to staying ahead of the market, and planning for the future year. For producers in Elbert and Douglas counties, the beef cattle symposium held at the Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur, Colo., on Nov. 5, allowed them to do just that.

The day-long event featured speakers from Pfizer Animal Heath, Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator Travis Hoffman, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb. Booths from various area vendors including feed companies, tag companies and the Colorado Department of Agriculture also allowed participants to browse new products and information.

Robb’s presentation focused on the present and future outlook of the beef industry, and served to help producers create a plan for their operations for the coming year.

“I wanted to help producers as they are planning ahead. We have record high cattle prices, and producers are making important economic conditions,” Robb said.

His information was broken down into four main parts, and then he used this information to talk about management. First, he talked about the over U.S. economy, and the impact that has had on the beef industry.

“The overall U.S. economy is still rather stagnant, and is struggling to move higher. Consumer demand for beef, as an economist would measure it, is rebounding, but is still below the levels we had before the recession. The export markets have been very strong, so that is a positive aspect and is a demand driver,” he said.

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He then talked about the other fundamental change that the beef industry has faced, and that is the high cost of feed. Robb said, “We typically think of it as affecting the feedlot, but it affects everyone. It affects the cost of gain for everyone.”

He continued, “Forage, or pasture and hay, is now much more valuable than it used to be. Cow/calf producers need to manage their resources much more carefully now. It may get a little bit better, but it’s not going to come back down to levels it was before because the new demand for ethanol and world demand for products.”

The next part of his presentation talked about the competition between the different meats. “Feedstuff costs on the chicken side are causing a downsize in the U.S. flock. Moving forward, there will be less competition from chicken. Consumers have also moved away from the higher priced beef cuts, and higher priced restaurants,” Robb said.

The fourth part of the presentation focused on the major game changer the beef industry has faced this year, and this was the drought.

He said, “Twenty-five percent of the nation’s beef cow herds are in the drought areas, and a big portion of the beef cows have been affected. There has been some growth in the north, but we have seen some decline in the South and the Midwest as well. The U.S. cowherd will continue to shrink, however. Going into this year we thought it would be stabilizing, but it wasn’t. This provides an opportunity for others outside of the drought zone to have good prices and grow the herd.”

Robb then used all the information to discuss how this will affect the management issues that producers will face in the coming year.

“We can’t sit back once a year and plan anymore, because costs are so high. We don’t necessarily need to change it, but we need to evaluate the alternatives and options more than once a year. The operations that are constantly aware and looking out ahead will see some opportunities in the future,” he said.

He continued, “Producers need to be positioning their operations. Higher feed costs mean the value of gain on grass has gone up. They should be building their cowherd, selling replacements to other operations, and utilizing feed sources better if they can. There can always be shocks, but we still need to plan. Build the cowherd, carry animals longer, weaning animal correct, and it will pay off. The economics of taking an animal to heavier weights on pasture if you have it is much more attractive. Putting weight in the feedlot is less attractive.”

Robb then talked about the opportunities that producers have, especially in the Colorado area. “We have very low interest rates by historic standards, so if someone needs to borrow money or do long term financing adjustments on their ranch, now is the time,” he said.

He also talked about the replacement heifer market, due to the sell off of cows this year. “The replacement animal market will go much higher once the drought ends in the South, and we will see surprising higher markets. We need to focus on lower cost systems to raise replacements. Someone needs to be looking ahead and developing a pool of heifers. If you have forage, now is the time. There are low cost ways to do it, and they will be worth good money,” he said.

To sum up his presentation, Robb really emphasized the importance of planning ahead. He said, “There are lots of moving parts in this market. Those that planned ahead will benefit in this economic environment.”

Hoffman, the coordinator for the BQA program, taught producers about the program, and the importance that it plays in the marketing of beef. According to Hoffman, “Beef Quality Assurance is the fundamental concept of total quality management focusing on building beef demand. BQA is the culmination of efforts of everyone involved in the beef supply chain to ensure beef safety, quality, and consistency.” 

The mission of BQA is to “maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the industry’s attention on beef quality through the use of science, research, and educational initiatives.”

One of the main points that Hoffman makes is about the importance of being proactive, and speaking out on behalf of the beef industry. “Pro-active cattlemen and women should become BQA certified as it allows our industry a stronger voice to tell our story to our consuming public that farmers and ranchers actively work as stewards of both animals and the land in the production of America’s tastiest, and healthiest protein:  BEEF.”

The symposium was hosted at Spruce Mountain Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Larkspur, Colo. Andrew Maupin, cattle sales manager, enjoyed hosting the symposium. “Events like these get the gears going for these producers. It gets them to think about it, and to tell their story,” he said.

He continued, “These producers are following correct procedures, their practices are right, and they are passionate about it. The marketplace isn’t getting any easier, and this allows producers to see what they can do.”

The event drew around 75 people, and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Livestock Association also helped with the event.

For many cattle producers, education is the key to staying ahead of the market, and planning for the future year. For producers in Elbert and Douglas counties, the beef cattle symposium held at the Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur, Colo., on Nov. 5, allowed them to do just that.

The day-long event featured speakers from Pfizer Animal Heath, Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator Travis Hoffman, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb. Booths from various area vendors including feed companies, tag companies and the Colorado Department of Agriculture also allowed participants to browse new products and information.

Robb’s presentation focused on the present and future outlook of the beef industry, and served to help producers create a plan for their operations for the coming year.

“I wanted to help producers as they are planning ahead. We have record high cattle prices, and producers are making important economic conditions,” Robb said.

His information was broken down into four main parts, and then he used this information to talk about management. First, he talked about the over U.S. economy, and the impact that has had on the beef industry.

“The overall U.S. economy is still rather stagnant, and is struggling to move higher. Consumer demand for beef, as an economist would measure it, is rebounding, but is still below the levels we had before the recession. The export markets have been very strong, so that is a positive aspect and is a demand driver,” he said.

He then talked about the other fundamental change that the beef industry has faced, and that is the high cost of feed. Robb said, “We typically think of it as affecting the feedlot, but it affects everyone. It affects the cost of gain for everyone.”

He continued, “Forage, or pasture and hay, is now much more valuable than it used to be. Cow/calf producers need to manage their resources much more carefully now. It may get a little bit better, but it’s not going to come back down to levels it was before because the new demand for ethanol and world demand for products.”

The next part of his presentation talked about the competition between the different meats. “Feedstuff costs on the chicken side are causing a downsize in the U.S. flock. Moving forward, there will be less competition from chicken. Consumers have also moved away from the higher priced beef cuts, and higher priced restaurants,” Robb said.

The fourth part of the presentation focused on the major game changer the beef industry has faced this year, and this was the drought.

He said, “Twenty-five percent of the nation’s beef cow herds are in the drought areas, and a big portion of the beef cows have been affected. There has been some growth in the north, but we have seen some decline in the South and the Midwest as well. The U.S. cowherd will continue to shrink, however. Going into this year we thought it would be stabilizing, but it wasn’t. This provides an opportunity for others outside of the drought zone to have good prices and grow the herd.”

Robb then used all the information to discuss how this will affect the management issues that producers will face in the coming year.

“We can’t sit back once a year and plan anymore, because costs are so high. We don’t necessarily need to change it, but we need to evaluate the alternatives and options more than once a year. The operations that are constantly aware and looking out ahead will see some opportunities in the future,” he said.

He continued, “Producers need to be positioning their operations. Higher feed costs mean the value of gain on grass has gone up. They should be building their cowherd, selling replacements to other operations, and utilizing feed sources better if they can. There can always be shocks, but we still need to plan. Build the cowherd, carry animals longer, weaning animal correct, and it will pay off. The economics of taking an animal to heavier weights on pasture if you have it is much more attractive. Putting weight in the feedlot is less attractive.”

Robb then talked about the opportunities that producers have, especially in the Colorado area. “We have very low interest rates by historic standards, so if someone needs to borrow money or do long term financing adjustments on their ranch, now is the time,” he said.

He also talked about the replacement heifer market, due to the sell off of cows this year. “The replacement animal market will go much higher once the drought ends in the South, and we will see surprising higher markets. We need to focus on lower cost systems to raise replacements. Someone needs to be looking ahead and developing a pool of heifers. If you have forage, now is the time. There are low cost ways to do it, and they will be worth good money,” he said.

To sum up his presentation, Robb really emphasized the importance of planning ahead. He said, “There are lots of moving parts in this market. Those that planned ahead will benefit in this economic environment.”

Hoffman, the coordinator for the BQA program, taught producers about the program, and the importance that it plays in the marketing of beef. According to Hoffman, “Beef Quality Assurance is the fundamental concept of total quality management focusing on building beef demand. BQA is the culmination of efforts of everyone involved in the beef supply chain to ensure beef safety, quality, and consistency.” 

The mission of BQA is to “maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the industry’s attention on beef quality through the use of science, research, and educational initiatives.”

One of the main points that Hoffman makes is about the importance of being proactive, and speaking out on behalf of the beef industry. “Pro-active cattlemen and women should become BQA certified as it allows our industry a stronger voice to tell our story to our consuming public that farmers and ranchers actively work as stewards of both animals and the land in the production of America’s tastiest, and healthiest protein:  BEEF.”

The symposium was hosted at Spruce Mountain Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Larkspur, Colo. Andrew Maupin, cattle sales manager, enjoyed hosting the symposium. “Events like these get the gears going for these producers. It gets them to think about it, and to tell their story,” he said.

He continued, “These producers are following correct procedures, their practices are right, and they are passionate about it. The marketplace isn’t getting any easier, and this allows producers to see what they can do.”

The event drew around 75 people, and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Livestock Association also helped with the event.

For many cattle producers, education is the key to staying ahead of the market, and planning for the future year. For producers in Elbert and Douglas counties, the beef cattle symposium held at the Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur, Colo., on Nov. 5, allowed them to do just that.

The day-long event featured speakers from Pfizer Animal Heath, Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator Travis Hoffman, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb. Booths from various area vendors including feed companies, tag companies and the Colorado Department of Agriculture also allowed participants to browse new products and information.

Robb’s presentation focused on the present and future outlook of the beef industry, and served to help producers create a plan for their operations for the coming year.

“I wanted to help producers as they are planning ahead. We have record high cattle prices, and producers are making important economic conditions,” Robb said.

His information was broken down into four main parts, and then he used this information to talk about management. First, he talked about the over U.S. economy, and the impact that has had on the beef industry.

“The overall U.S. economy is still rather stagnant, and is struggling to move higher. Consumer demand for beef, as an economist would measure it, is rebounding, but is still below the levels we had before the recession. The export markets have been very strong, so that is a positive aspect and is a demand driver,” he said.

He then talked about the other fundamental change that the beef industry has faced, and that is the high cost of feed. Robb said, “We typically think of it as affecting the feedlot, but it affects everyone. It affects the cost of gain for everyone.”

He continued, “Forage, or pasture and hay, is now much more valuable than it used to be. Cow/calf producers need to manage their resources much more carefully now. It may get a little bit better, but it’s not going to come back down to levels it was before because the new demand for ethanol and world demand for products.”

The next part of his presentation talked about the competition between the different meats. “Feedstuff costs on the chicken side are causing a downsize in the U.S. flock. Moving forward, there will be less competition from chicken. Consumers have also moved away from the higher priced beef cuts, and higher priced restaurants,” Robb said.

The fourth part of the presentation focused on the major game changer the beef industry has faced this year, and this was the drought.

He said, “Twenty-five percent of the nation’s beef cow herds are in the drought areas, and a big portion of the beef cows have been affected. There has been some growth in the north, but we have seen some decline in the South and the Midwest as well. The U.S. cowherd will continue to shrink, however. Going into this year we thought it would be stabilizing, but it wasn’t. This provides an opportunity for others outside of the drought zone to have good prices and grow the herd.”

Robb then used all the information to discuss how this will affect the management issues that producers will face in the coming year.

“We can’t sit back once a year and plan anymore, because costs are so high. We don’t necessarily need to change it, but we need to evaluate the alternatives and options more than once a year. The operations that are constantly aware and looking out ahead will see some opportunities in the future,” he said.

He continued, “Producers need to be positioning their operations. Higher feed costs mean the value of gain on grass has gone up. They should be building their cowherd, selling replacements to other operations, and utilizing feed sources better if they can. There can always be shocks, but we still need to plan. Build the cowherd, carry animals longer, weaning animal correct, and it will pay off. The economics of taking an animal to heavier weights on pasture if you have it is much more attractive. Putting weight in the feedlot is less attractive.”

Robb then talked about the opportunities that producers have, especially in the Colorado area. “We have very low interest rates by historic standards, so if someone needs to borrow money or do long term financing adjustments on their ranch, now is the time,” he said.

He also talked about the replacement heifer market, due to the sell off of cows this year. “The replacement animal market will go much higher once the drought ends in the South, and we will see surprising higher markets. We need to focus on lower cost systems to raise replacements. Someone needs to be looking ahead and developing a pool of heifers. If you have forage, now is the time. There are low cost ways to do it, and they will be worth good money,” he said.

To sum up his presentation, Robb really emphasized the importance of planning ahead. He said, “There are lots of moving parts in this market. Those that planned ahead will benefit in this economic environment.”

Hoffman, the coordinator for the BQA program, taught producers about the program, and the importance that it plays in the marketing of beef. According to Hoffman, “Beef Quality Assurance is the fundamental concept of total quality management focusing on building beef demand. BQA is the culmination of efforts of everyone involved in the beef supply chain to ensure beef safety, quality, and consistency.” 

The mission of BQA is to “maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the industry’s attention on beef quality through the use of science, research, and educational initiatives.”

One of the main points that Hoffman makes is about the importance of being proactive, and speaking out on behalf of the beef industry. “Pro-active cattlemen and women should become BQA certified as it allows our industry a stronger voice to tell our story to our consuming public that farmers and ranchers actively work as stewards of both animals and the land in the production of America’s tastiest, and healthiest protein:  BEEF.”

The symposium was hosted at Spruce Mountain Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Larkspur, Colo. Andrew Maupin, cattle sales manager, enjoyed hosting the symposium. “Events like these get the gears going for these producers. It gets them to think about it, and to tell their story,” he said.

He continued, “These producers are following correct procedures, their practices are right, and they are passionate about it. The marketplace isn’t getting any easier, and this allows producers to see what they can do.”

The event drew around 75 people, and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Livestock Association also helped with the event.