Beef Industry’s Long Range Plan

(Jamie) Thanks for staying with us, now we’ll catch up with Duane, John and Jerry.
(Duane) Duane Toews, joining you on AGam in Kansas, while at the Kansas Livestock Association Annual Meeting Convention and Trade Show in Wichita, a chance to catch up and talk about the Beef Industry Long Range Plan. Joining us today John Butler, Chief Executive Officer of the Beef Marketing Group, to my left and on my right Jerry Bohn, General Manager of Pratt Feeders. Gentlemen, certainly we think about the beef industry and the opportunities to move this industry forward. A lot of thought and foresight that goes into that. A lot of work on behalf of each of you and others within the industry. John, can you give us a little broad background about the Long Range Plan and what the intent is to be? (John) Well essentially the industry asked a group of industry stakeholders, Jerry and I being two of them, to come together and design sort of a direction map if you will, for the next five years. So 2016 through 2020. So, we came together, I believe there was 16 of us and we represent every segment in the beef value chain. So, everything from a seed stock producer, to commercial cow/calf, to a feeder, to a packer, to retailer, dairy. We had all of those segments represented. And really what our, what we came together to do was, and what we were charged with was, to understand all the trends in the industry, and try to get a really good understanding of the challenges that are out there and then design a direction, specific strategies if you will to best address each of those challenges with the limited resources that we’ve got. (Duane) When we think about doing that obviously, it’s to be something that is elastic if you will. We have things that crop up from time to time within the industry but making sure that we have our benchwork laid before us is pretty important. (Jerry) No doubt about it. And you know we hope that this plan, we think that this plan going forward will give the industry a framework by which we can work for a growing beef demand and our strategic objective here for all of this is that we will grow the wholesale beef demand index by two percent per year over the next five years. It’s an aggressive strategy. We knew that when we put it in here. But we felt like it would give the industry, hopefully an achievable goal, that in the end all beef industry participants could benefit from. (Duane) John, from my perspective it looks like we’ve kind of broke it out into four segments then, when we start to looking at the nuts and bolts of it. Driving growth in beef exports, one of those. (John) Hmmm huh. And we did. We actually had many more. And we had to go through the exercise of sifting down to four. But beef export was not only one of them, it’s the top one. It’s the most important. All of the three are very important too, but the reason that driving beef exports is so critical is because of the opportunity that exists. As we look at the global community and the economics associated with that, we’re seeing an Asian consumer, China and other Asian countries are getting more stable from an economic standpoint. So, one of the things that they can do with that enhanced economic position is to buy better protein. And we fit right into that category. (Duane) We’ll be back with more on AGam in Kansas, from the Kansas Livestock Association Annual Convention and Trade Show in Wichita. Jamie, we’ll be sending it back to you for more from Wichita after this.
(Jamie) Don’t go away, after the break Duane is back with John Butler and Jerry Bohn for more from the KLA Annual meeting.

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