Beef Feedlot Producer Meeting Features National Policies

Beth Doran,  ISU Extension Beef Field Specialist, Northwest


 The first case of BSE in the U.S. still impacts the beef industry. Trade with Japan and Canada has not yet been restored. Now, more than ever, there is increased concern about beef quality assurance and the ability to track individual animals throughout the food chain. This supports the adoption of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and a renewed emphasis in beef quality assurance. Education about source verification and beef quality assurance is central to NAIS and COOL. However, producers also need information on how to position themselves with these policies.


 ISU Extension partnered with the Sioux County Cattlemen's Association and the Lyon County Cattlemen's Association to co-sponsor a beef feedlot meeting on January 11, 2005 at the Corporate Centre in Sioux Center, IA. Seven pharmaceutical companies and Farm Credit Services of America helped finance the meeting. A total of 97 producers and agri-business staff from 11 Iowa counties, South Dakota and Minnesota attended the meeting. The program featured the following: * The Cattle Market Situation and Outlook - Michael Murphy, Cattle Fax * Livestock Risk Protection - Ken Tietje, Farm Credit Services * National Animal Identification System and Country of Origin Labeling - Evan Vermeer, Iowa Cattlemen's Association * Anti-Trust and Trade Practice Policy - Doug O'Brien, Drake Agricultural Law Center * New Market Reporting Service - Evan Vermeer, Iowa Cattlemen's Association A feedlot meeting evaluation was administered to participants. Response rate was 49.5 percent.


  Conservative calculations indicated that this meeting had a total economic impact of $72,850 to the feedlot producers. One-hundred percent of the surveyed producers indicated that they better understood changes in U.S. cattle markets due to Japanese and Canadian trade. When asked what marketing strategies they intended to implement, they cited implementing price protection via livestock risk protection insurance, marketing before March, hedging fed cattle and checking into the Market Reporting Service. Over 94% of the producers had an increased knowledge of what they or their clients must do in the National Animal Identification System, and two producers summed it up with "It's the future!" and "Need to do it to stay in business."  Changes sited included starting to tag calves at birth, setting up an ID system and talking to the cow-calf man. Approximately 85% of the producers were more aware of how packer concentration and anti-trust policies affect trade. While one producer cited frustration, "Informative - but don't think we'll ever get any help!", others were pro-active in watching the results of current pending lawsuits and what they could do. Overall, this program indicates that producers are becoming pro-active in the development and implementation of national policies affecting the cattle feeding industry and their specific enterprise.

July 12, 2005
121 - Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products

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