– Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County
To say the least, suggesting it’s been a wild ride on the path to profitability in the cow-calf sector during this decade is an understatement. Beginning in 2009-10 cattlemen saw the most dramatic increase in cattle prices ever, to the point where we experienced historic highs in 2014-15. As would be expected, consumers experienced historic high beef prices in the meat case at this same time.
What might not have been expected was that while these lower beef supplies were causing historically high retail prices, demand for premium priced branded beef continued to climb at the meat case. In fact, it was during this time of record retail prices that for the first time domestic sales volume of Prime grade and Branded beef exceeded those of Select grade beef. Since 2014 sales of Prime grade beef has increased nearly 40% in the U.S. while Select beef sales have decreased nearly 20%.
As the U.S. economy continues its recovery, it’s nothing short of remarkable the demand for higher valued quality beef has continued to climb through it all. As further example of the consumer’s steadily increasing demand for premium priced branded beef, Certified Angus Beef LLC experienced its 10th consecutive year of record sales of its signature Certified Angus Beef ® brand.
Management decisions made on the farm a decade or more ago that included improved genetics and attention to detail have positioned many in the industry to capture the benefits of consumers who are today demanding quality beef, and are willing to pay for it. Recognizing that this demand is not only real, but growing; it begs us to ask ourselves if we’re properly positioned now to capture the benefits that come along with this growing trend. In fact, as herd expansion may be continuing in parts of Ohio, now may be the perfect time make adjustments that might be necessary to take full advantage of these growing opportunities.
Regardless your place within the beef cattle industry, if your goal remains being on the leading edge of growing consumer demands, then you don’t want to miss the conclusion to the 2017 Ohio Beef School webinar series on February 28, 2017. Dr. Justin Sexten, Supply Development Director for Certified Angus Beef, will be featured discussing “Meeting consumer demand: Perspective from the feed yard to the consumer.” He will challenge the audience to consider questions such as: How do feeder, packer, grocer and restaurateur demands influence the decisions the cow-calf manager makes? ; Does an end-user focused cow herd work on the farm? ; What opportunities exist to capture value added processes?
As in the past, the webinar on the 28th will be broadcast live beginning at 7 p.m. from host locations throughout Ohio as well as one in West Virginia. For more information about attending at any of the remote location sites, contact one of the individuals listed below. Don’t miss an opportunity to explore further how the relationships between the three primary sectors of the beef industry in Ohio – cow-calf, backgrounding/stocker, and feedlot – can work together to profitably produce high quality beef for today’s growing consumer demands.
Live webinar host sites include:
Carroll County OSU Extension office
613 North High Street, Carrollton, OH
Contact Sandy Smith (330-627-4310) for details
* Pre-registration is required. Contact the Carroll Co. Extension Office to register
Logan County Cattleman’s Association
Benjamin Logan High School, Room 503, 6609 State Rt. 47 E, Bellefontaine OH
Contact Bob Stoll (937-935-7505) for details
Jones Run Farm Club, 3602 Jones Run Road, Lumberport, WV
Contact: Phil Osborne, Phone: 304-783-4592 or Greg Marshall, Phone: 304-783-4868
Also, find the Ohio host counties highlighted in blue below.