Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

December 1997


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XV December 9, 10 and 11, 1997, Rapid City, South Dakota.


As cattle producers are slowly working their way through the downturn in the current "infamous" cattle cycle what will the next century bring. At the turn of the last century the cattle industry was in its infancy relative to the position it currently holds in the U.S. agricultural sector. Some experts often refer to the cattle business as a mature, well established entity indicating that cattle producers, processors, and packers represent an established, stable component of the agricultural sector. However, the dynamics of this industry are anything but stable to the individual cattle producer. Thus, as we enter the 21st Century it appears to be a period of both opportunity and uncertainty for the beef industry. This brief paper attempts to identify what, where, and how the dynamics of this industry are likely to unfold given a global economy.

Rather than focus on just the domestic aspects of the beef cattle industry this article will address the international meat market and specifically where beef exports are headed.