Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1993


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIII December 6, 7, & 8, 1993, Cheyenne, WY.


I. PLANNING the future of your cow outfit should involve an assessment of:

A. PRESENT STATUS: a realistic inventory of where you are in terms of competitive production parameters, including:

1. cost per pound weaned per cow exposed,
2. percentage of cattle meeting carcass yield, grade, and weight specs.

B. PROPER GOALS: informed visions of the direction of a consumer-based market driven industry such as:

1. redefining quality as a uniform product with consistent eating qualities,
2. discounts for products not meeting targets and needs.

C. CORRECT STRATEGIES: the game plans which theoretically and practically have a good probability of realizing your goals. They are winning plans which take you from your present status to your proper goals.

II. SUCCEEDING in the cow business (not just surviving but prospering) over the long run depends on a producer doing three things well, in harmony, and objectively:

A. MANAGEMENT should emphasize profit schemes.

1. Define your role in the industry (see Fundamental Differences between Seedstock & Commercial Producers pg. 40).
2. Be a low cost producer.
3. Be a financial manager-Standard Production Analysis (SPA).
4. Be an integrated resource manager-Integrated Resource Management (IRM)

B. MARKETING means picking your targets.

1. Identify and satisfy needs.
2. Produce what you can market-not market what you produce.
3. Shoot for mainstream market targets or major established niches.

C. BREEDING (CROSSBREEDING) required a workable plan.

1. Scientifically based on sound genetic and economic principles.
2. Simplistic and easy to implement.
3. Systematic advanced planning of next logical steps.
4. Sustainable production where the goodness is cumulative through internal replacements.