Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2001


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVII December 11, 12, and 13, 2001- Casper, Wyoming.


Cow-calf producers can count on erratic weather, day-to-day market swings and continuing changes in everything else that affects them. In the last five or six years especially, structural and technological changes in the industry occurred so rapidly as to seem more threatening than those more familiar variables of weather and markets. But there is a silver lining to this storm of change: you can ride it out and come out on top if you understand it and take action.

Consolidation in the feedlot, retail, food service and packing segments has caused many cow-calf and stocker operations to ask that basic question - where do I fit? What opportunities do these branded or integrated beef systems offer me? Will my cattle bring premiums, or be discounted?