Shane Kaczor is a partial owner of Bassett Livestock with Jake Maurer. The two gentlemen have owned the sale barn since 2015. Shane also ranches near Chambers, NE.
Q: What do you feel are the major issues facing the industry today?
Packer consolidation and formula cattle. It would be nice to do away with all formula cattle, but we’ll never get that done. I’m on board with Corbitt Wall’s 30/14 plan (30% negotiated cash, delivery within 14 days), I’m also on board with the 50% negotiated cash trade that Bill Bullard and R-Calf is pushing.
Q: How do you feel the issues within our cattle markets will affect your local area and rural America as a whole?
Small town rural America is in trouble. All the dealerships are affected. Yesterday we sold fall calves averaging $700-$800/hd. A few years back you were looking at $1,300-$1,500/hd. Nobody has any disposable income.
Q: How do we create more competition within these cattle markets?
Negotiated cash trade. Selling here at the sale barn there is price discovery, but fat cattle have very little price discovery. Packers are currently killing at 60% capacity, so right now they don’t need the cattle. With the formula cattle they have, they don’t need to bid on any cattle.
Q: What have you seen change over the 5 years that you’ve owned this barn?
We purchased the barn at an all time high, 2015. Within a month of taking over, the highest priced commercial bred females in the United States were sold here at $4,850/hd. Nowadays; we can’t sell anything bred close to $2000/hd. The year we began here, it was January/February, that fall yearlings brought over $2,200-$2,300/hd coming off grass. In the last two years, we haven’t sold a yearling over $1,500/hd.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recent R-calf petition regarding MCOOL?
MCOOL is very important. Being able to distinguish our product from foreign imported beef will give us a chance, a level playing field. I still believe the American housewife will pay a little more to know she is buying a superior product that was born raised and slaughtered in the United States.
Q: Once we work through all these backlogged cattle and boxed beef finds some normalcy, how do you feel the cattle markets will react?
As boxed beef comes back down from record highs, I’m afraid the futures will follow it down. But at the same time, as we all know, boxed beef went through the roof, and the futures didn’t follow.
Q: In one sentence, what does the cattle industry need most right now?
An increase in negotiated cash trade. Breaking up America’s four largest packers. In 1905 when Teddy Roosevelt broke up the packer monopoly, there were 6 packers that controlled 50% of the market. Today we have four packers that control over 70% of the market. It is extremely easy for them to price fix.