(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor. Duane Toews is still on the Grand Drive visiting with livestock judges. Now let’s check out cattle.
(Duane) Duane Toews for AGam in Kansas, a chance while at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson to catch up with Cheramie Viator. And Cheramie, originally from Louisiana, spent time in Texas and Iowa as well. You’ve kinda got wheels underneath you. (Cheramie) That would be correct. That’s a correct description. (Duane) So, as far as your opportunity to work with the beef industry and certainly the 4-H and FFA members here at the Kansas State Fair, what kind of an experience has it been for you so far? (Cheramie) Well first off I grew up showing cattle, grew up going to the 4-H circles. That’s been for me an opportunity to give back. The folks here at Kansas State Fair have been awesome. Everything’s run smoothly. Getting cattle in and out of the ring has been really easy. That part is great. The weather’s been wonderful, so that made it even more fun. (Duane) As far as your background, how did you come about to be an individual that got the opportunity to evaluate the cattle here this year? (Cheramie) I’m a really, really fortunate person. I’ve been able to travel all over the U.S. Worked in and out of Washington, D.C., and then evolved into some beef industry opportunities. Have lived across the country in the cattle industry, doing work. And over time my experience has allowed me to develop a consulting company. I do a lot of marketing, genetics, and photography work in the beef industry. And I’ve just had the opportunity to meet lots of folks and have been given opportunities to work a cross segment in the industry. (Duane) So, from your perspective, as far as the beef industry is concerned what are some of the major challenges that we face right now? (Cheramie) Well expansion is going on for one thing. That’s one thing that’s positive. If you’re a young person trying to get into the industry right now, cost, to buy into the industry right now is certainly a big challenge. And if you don’t inherit it, or if you’re not set up in a financial situation to be able to work into the beef industry, that’s a challenge right now, both from a land opportunity as well as to buy in asset valuation of cattle and equipment, etc. (Duane) You reference some background in genetics. And what a change we’ve seen in the ability to monitor and evaluate cattle in the last 10 or 15 years. (Cheramie) Absolutely, we’ve added genomics into the picture and that makes a big difference for folks in terms of being able to know and predict and understand what cattle have inside from a genetic standpoint, not just from a phenotypic standpoint what we see with our eyes. So, where we’re headed down the road in the industry is going to incorporate more and more genomics. (Duane) As far as the cattle and your opportunity here at the Kansas State Fair, I assume that it’s been a good experience this year? (Cheramie) Absolutely. I’m somebody that the cattle for me have to be sound. We start at the ground, we work up. Then they’re gonna be stout, they’re gonna be big bodied, and be able to have the ability to survive in the real world. And I talked about that as I started the steer show today, that it’s not just about the steer show, but we have to remember that there’s females out there in the world that are sister mates to these steers too. So, I try to keep things pretty functional, pretty practical. (Duane) As far as the industry as a whole, your perspective on the next 10 years. How does the beef industry shape up? Kind of an off-the-cuff question. (Cheramie) Wow. I think internationally we’re gonna have a lot of opportunity. I spent some time in Australia, get to go to Mexico as well, Canada as well. And I think our international opportunities are gonna grow. The need for protein across the world is just incredible. So, I think that we’ll have just demand. While we may see some ups and downs, I don’t think we’ll return to post or back to 1952 levels. I think we’re gonna be at a shorter end of supply and demand’s gonna be great for us. (Duane) Well our thanks to Cheramie Viator, originally a Louisiana native here at the Kansas State Fair. Part of the Grand Drive, evaluating the beef cattle for the 4-H and FFA youth that are exhibiting at the Kansas State Fair for 2015. For AGam in Kansas I’m Duane Toews.