Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1995


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIV December 5, 6 and 7, 1995, Gering, Nebraska.


The beef industry has just lost $300 per calf weaned. Industry analysts have rumored that 40% of the beef producers are currently broke and but just don’t know it yet. Bankers tell their clients that they only have two ways to keep out of debt--cut costs, and/or make more money. Simply keeping from spending--doesn’t contribute much to refilling the coffers and satisfying cash flow--therefore cowmen are left with few alternatives. Since we can’t get more for them-- we have to figure a way to get more out of them.

The first strategic alliance study challenged traditions of "blending", "averaging", and selling "live". In the four short years since its completion, the study has spawned mini-alliance projects in half the states, with several major alliance projects developed within breed associations, feedyard "networks", and seedstock based alliances such as the Western Beef Alliance in Montana.