Photo credit Lucky 7 Angus, https://www.facebook.com/Lucky7Angus
Q: How has your focus on feed efficiency in your cowherd impacted carcass characteristics?
Lucky 7 Angus didn’t chase carcass characteristics when they first became popular; instead our focus was on producing a tough momma cow that could handle the harsh conditions we operate in.
We’ve found that along with phenomenal feed efficiency, our carcass traits are also outstanding. In the last three years we’ve struggled to have a pen of fat cattle that don’t grade 100 percent choice or better. Some pens have been known to yield 59 percent prime.
Q: How is Lucky 7 Angus producing cattle with a smaller carbon footprint?
With increased feed efficiency, you’re essentially changing the motor in an animal. Our cattle eat less pounds to gain and they need less pounds to maintain. Due to this reduction in their intake, the cattle will have reduced emissions.
Our high elevation PAP testing and the severity at which we raise our cows have increased our herd’s toughness; we have very little sickness and death loss. Due to this we have less antibiotic use, which is what consumers want, especially the millennial consumer.
Q: What do you think are some of the most important cattle market issues that have surfaced this year?
The most obvious issue is the power that the packers hold over the industry. Another issue that needs to be highlighted is the profits that the packers and retail sector made in the spring, while cattle producers were experiencing substantial losses.
There has been multiple times this year that we have seen a shortage of beef at the retail level. This has opened the door to start doing direct beef marketing to the general public.
Q: What does our industry need to do to achieve robust price discovery?
It would be beneficial for the cattle industry to have additional packing capacity and more direct beef marketing. Either way, the industry needs to be sure that those in the middle, the packer and retailer, don’t control the industry.
Q: What are your thoughts on the beef checkoff referendum?
The beef checkoff is a great plan, but the problem is the majority of the program’s funds go towards NCBA, an organization that isn’t helping the cattle industry in any way.
The checkoff should only advertise USA beef, but they purposely have rules that inhibit this. As it stands today, the beef checkoff will never help the U.S. cattle producer.
Q: Do you believe MCOOL has a place in the cattle industry?
MCOOL would not only help the prices that U.S. cattle producers are receiving, it would also help consumers. Consumers deserve to know where their beef is coming from.
U.S. beef is the most powerful protein in the world because of the way we raise our cattle and the standards within our industry. If MCOOL were reinstated, our cattle markets would undoubtedly see an improvement.
Q: How do you see the Biden administration impacting the cattle industry?
The Biden administration plans to focus on climate and environmental issues, which will lead to a surplus of rules and regulations. These rules and regulations will create a headache for the small producer and allow larger producers to have an advantage.
For too long now, those of us in agriculture have been falsely accused of not doing our part when it comes to the environment, but we all know the best environmentalists in the world are those of us in agriculture.
Be sure to catch Lucky 7 Angus on RFD-TV’s The American Rancher; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw2JbqijX8w&feature=youtu.be