As Wes Ishmael so accurately observes in his introduction to the 2017 BEEF Seedstock 100 list, you tread on very uncertain ground when you offer opinions on your neighbor’s kids or cattle. Or in our case, when you put a list together like the BEEF Seedstock 100.
Now in its 3rd year, the BEEF Seedstock 100 list ranks U.S. beef producers by the number of bulls sold. This year’s updated list, which includes some new entries, chronicles the growth and consolidation taking place in the seedstock business.
Several of the top seedstock suppliers expanded by around 50 bulls last year, which demonstrates that the seedstock segment of the business is growing and is confident in the future. What’s more, when we started the list three years ago, a breeder needed to market 200 bulls to qualify. That number jumped to 205 last year and jumped again to 210 this year.
The Seedstock 100 list was developed as a tool for you to use to identify operations that provide genetics to the cattle business. Each operation’s listing provides a variety of information, including breed, how and when the bulls are sold and where bulls are available. Contact information is provided for each listing.
But the BEEF Seedstock 100 list makes no claim of being a proxy for the entire seedstock segment, nor does it imply that those listed have better genetics than any other operation. Size alone guarantees nothing. But as commercial cow-calf producers become more tuned in to the fascinating and fast-moving world of genetics and genomics, they turn to their genetics suppliers for more knowledge, information, marketing assistance and help in sorting through the data to find the bulls best suited to help them advance their genetic goals.
As genetics suppliers of all sizes offer those benefits and many others to their cow-calf customers, the cattle business will only get better. And that benefits everyone.