I received this reader-submitted email the other day, and I would like to share it with all of you. The reader asks, “Amanda, have you written about the discrepancy in prices for steers that are not Angus? It’s very frustrating when I take my Herefords to auction and see them get much less than their Angus counterparts. I’m trying to come up with other ways of marketing them, but as a small part-time producer, it takes a lot of extra time. Have you heard of ways that others are trying to get around this price gap? Maybe there is a story there, but thanks for letting me vent a little.”
Of course, the Angus breed has done a remarkable job of branding; they were the first to the table with a branded product underpinned with minimum requirements. That is upper 2/3 Choice, black hide and no visible Brahman breeding. The move and some great marketing has jumped the breed ahead of all others to the point that probably 60% of all the genetics in the U.S. beef herd is now black Angus. It’s a remarkable accomplishment and today you see Certified Angus Beef advertised as a quality calling card at establishments all over the world. And the reader above is correct in stating that the domination by Angus has translated into higher prices and more demand in general for black cattle.
What are your thoughts and advice? How do you market your own cattle? Are you selling, expanding or maintaining the size of your cowherd this year? How do you anticipate capturing premiums this fall?
Here are some insights from producers, as well as a few articles that might prove valuable as you create your own marketing strategies: