A&M Cattle Class Discusses Economy, Beef Prices

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

The cattle business isn't easy and this week over 1500 folks descended upon Texas A&M to get the latest in cattle innovations.

"We all have the same issues dealing with the same situations. Down here you get to see what A&M is teaching and things of that nature," said Jarvis Kessee, a rancher from Louisiana.

With the price of beef dropping over the last year, ranchers are doing what they can to keep sirloin a staple. That's a tough task when folks just don't have the money for the delicacy.

"The beef consumption is so closely tied to the economy and disposable income because when people have more money, they're going to buy more expensive cuts of beef. And so when the economy is better, people eat more beef and that helps our markets out for sure," said A&M Professor Jason Cleere.

"It always has a lot to do with the economy in the cattle business. This year we've been a little bit dryer than normal here locally and that's hard. It's a tough industry to be successful at so you want to get as informed as you can be for just a little bit of edge that can actually make you sustainable in it," said Stephen Prince from Caldwell.

Jarvis Kessee came all the way from Shreveport for the class. His herd is growing now that beef isn't in such demand.

"We end up keeping a few a little bit longer that what we normally keep them for so they economy does have an impact on our situation," said Kessee.

And with the wealth of information at the class, some ranchers are just taking what they can out of it.

"It's kind of like getting a drink out of a fire hose. There's a lot of information, you can only just get so much of it," joked J.R. Jones, a rancher from Athens.

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