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Greetings from Ranch Network! We hope that you and yours enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you! Your participation in Ranch Network makes the site a valuable resource, and it couldn’t exist without your trust and participation. We wish you and your families a safe and restful holiday season and only good things in the New Year.
Earlier this month Jesse conducted an interview with BeefPoint in Brazil, and we’re republishing the highlights here for the final newsletter of the year. The interview below continues to focus on themes we have touched on throughout the year.
Beefpoint: What is the biggest challenge for the beef cattle industry in the US?
Jesse Womack: The biggest challenge to the US beef industry right now is addressing the changing domestic and global economies. Consumers, input costs, cattle inventory numbers and increasing regulations are challenging all segments of the industry. We need to be aware of the trends and adjust our business models accordingly.
BP: How can we add value to Brazilian beef in other countries?
JW: The Brazilian beef industry needs to continue to increase its efficiency and the quality of beef produced. Producers need to look at ways to access more markets and produce more beef per acre.
BP: What must be done to increase the involvement of the young in the agriculture?
JW: Producer organizations in Brazil and the rest of the world must address the age gap in agriculture. Promoting educational opportunities and innovation in the industry will attract a younger audience. Producer organizations must create a vibrant and open forum for discussion and actively try to give younger producers a voice.
BP: Nowadays, what are the biggest challenges related to people management in the beef cattle?
JW: The biggest challenge is attracting talent to the beef industry. We must be seen as an exciting place to have a career with opportunities for those willing to work and innovate. We are competing with industries that can afford to pay higher entry-level salaries. Our industry must attract labor by promoting entrepreneurial opportunities and rewarding new ideas.
BP: Which industry innovations in the last few years have been the most interesting to you?
JW: Individual animal identification will provide producers with access to higher value markets. There are many exciting technologies in individual animal ID that can reward producers with higher margins and profits.
BP: What should the industry be focused on right now?
JW: Beef cattle producers should continue to focus on genetics and efficiency gains. Our input costs continue to rise, so we must continue to become more efficient. We need to produce more beef with less water, grass, and grain to feed a growing numbers of consumers.
BP: Globally where have you seen innovation in the beef cattle industry? What does Brazil need to learn from these countries?
JW: Every beef producing country has excelled in different ways. We all have something we can learn from each other. When I travel with the Institute of Ranch Management, I learn something every time I go to another country. Beef producers need to act and feel as though we are all on the same team. There are plenty of consumers and there is a growing demand for beef. Every country must find and focus on its strengths in order to achieve greater efficiency and sustainability.
BP: What is the character of Brazilian beef cattle? What does Brazil have to teach other countries?
JW: Brazilian beef is largely grass fed Bos Indicus cattle. The Brazilian beef industry has made great strides in genetics, opening foreign markets, and sustainability. Brazilian beef producers can teach their neighbors much in these areas.
BP: Is there a beef cattle producer you admire who is already looking towards the future and making positive strides?
JW: John Carter of Alianca da Terra is a great example of a beef producer of the future. He has chosen to embrace growing trends of responsible natural resource stewardship and sustainable production. He has also been very active in promoting producer interests over shortsighted industry criticisms. He also recognizes that though producers have some different interests from other segments of the industry, we must all work together in pursuit a healthy and vibrant industry.
BP: What did you do in 2013 that brought better results?
JW: I have accepted that producers must not fight what the market desires. We must respond to market pressures in order to capture a larger percentage of each dollar spent on beef in the super market.
BP: What do you intend to do in 2014? What are your plans?
JW: I plan to continue working on better genetics and more efficient beef production on my family’s ranch. I also plan on finding alternative marketing avenues for the beef I produce in order to diversify my options and increase profits.
BP: What message would you like to give to cattle breeders in Brazil and in your country?
JW: I feel that we should all strive to be active within industry organizations as well as politically, so that governments, agribusiness corporations and environmental NGO’s do not take charge and create policies detrimental to our industry.
You can find the full text of the interview on BeefPoint’s site.
Books by Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume
A Handbook for Ranch Managers A Comprehensive Reference Manual for Managing the Working Ranch. Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s Rancher Supply aStore.
Digital media products such as Kindle can only be purchased on Amazon.com. Click Here to buy the Kendall Version on Amazon.com
To purchase an autographed copy of the book Click Here
The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s Rancher Supply aStore.
To purchase an autographed copy of the book Click Here