There's a lot of talk about the added value for age- and source-verified cattle and about near record discounts being levied against bawling calves. Certainly, there is value in pre-conditioning, in AI bred heifers, etc... But, with the number of cattle being offered with these added benefits growing dramatically one has to wonder if the discounts are reflective of actual economic differences. Or, are they just a reflection of the growing divide we're seeing in the marketplace, between the professional marketers/cattlemen and the commodity producers?
Pre-conditioning, freeze branding, age and source verification, etc. speaks more to which side of this divide you reside on than perhaps anything else and is seen as an indicator of a whole host of management value, or lack of value.
-- Troy Marshall