Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1999


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVI December 14, 15 and 16, 1999 - Greeley, Colorado.


As the beef industry becomes more focused on the consumer, various management practices must be evaluated to determine what lasting effects they might have on final consumer product. In the past, we have evaluated the effects of management decisions on performance and measured differences in pounds produced. However, the dynamic nature of the beef industry and the necessity for sustainability requires that we measure performance in dollars rather than pounds. I often ask students to describe their ideal beef animal in eleven words or less. I believe the answer to that question is "the one that makes the most money while producing a product that enhances consumer demand." That description allows for animal uniqueness in differing environments while considering profitability, sustainability and consumer acceptability whether selling weaner calves, bred heifers or finished market cattle.