(Jamie) We’re back! Let’s join Duane and Matt as they discuss some of the issues most important to today’s cattlemen.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again in San Diego at the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, an opportunity to catch up with Matt Perrier, President of the Kansas Livestock Association. And Matt, one of the things that goes on is policy development and those are formed around issues. Give us an idea of some of the issues that cattlemen are concerned about in San Diego this year. (Matt) I think a couple of the main ones that we’re going to talk about this year is price volatility, price discovery to a certain extent, but the volatility of especially fed cattle and everything that goes along with that. So, that’s going to be one of the issues that gets talked about as much as anything. Kansas Livestock Association also has a directive about animal ID for traceability that we’ll be addressing as well. So, those will be two big points this week. (Duane) That volatility, obviously that cattle market this past year has been extremely volatile and depending on the week that you sold it, it may have been good or bad relative to the weeks around it. But looking at some of the reasons for that, I think everybody would just be glad if we’d kind of settle down, whatever that price point is. (Matt) I think so. We don’t like wild swings in the beef industry, but truly, historically we’re not unaccustomed to those. Today, they’re probably wilder or seem to be, just because we’re in such a higher price value than we’ve seen in past decades. But we’re not opposed to volatility, what we want is KLA and I think NCBA, is to make sure everybody has a fair chance to get in on those markets. Some of these markets with the high frequency trading and some of these that are going on at the Chicago Mercantile, has made it for the fundamental traders out here in the country, almost impossible to get in or to get our of those markets, when they’re moving that quickly, and that’s what we want to address is to make sure that everybody has a fair and equitable chance to participate in those markets. (Duane) You referenced some of the animal ID and traceability issues as well that will be addressed. And I think most people just want to make sure that we don’t become burdensome or slow down commerce. (Matt) There’s no doubt about that. The last 15 years we’ve had several different animal ID and traceability programs come our way. None of those have been perfect. They have had their good points, but because, for lack of a better description, they’ve all failed. I think producers out here in the country are fairly doubtful that what we see coming from USDA or whomever might be putting an animal ID program together, is not going to work. I think we have to break that mold. I think that there is real value in identifying these cattle and proving to our customer where they’ve been all the way through and that we do care and are very concerned with the raising and production of these beef cattle. I think we need to do it the right way. I think the industry needs to be highly and heavily involved. And I think we do have to take a fresh start and make this ID program work for us and not the other way around. (Duane) Our thanks to Matt Perrier, President of the Kansas Livestock Association joining us in San Diego during the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, talking about some of the issues of importance to the industry. Jamie, we’ll send it back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane. Next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.