From the Ground Up: Balancing biology and business

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:34 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Each year the biggest brains in beef have a convention right here in Aggieland, setting an agenda for the entire year. They discuss the latest trends, developments in science, economy, and even what the consumer wants out of their own cut of meat. On the academic side, researchers are focused on finding the right balance between biology and business.

“Basically, the quickest way to lose money in a beef cattle operation is if you don’t have pregnant cows, that are having live calves,” says Ky Pohler, who oversees pregnancy and developmental programming for Animal Science at Texas A&M. He’s tasked with making the process more efficient and healthier, and ultimately, keeping ranchers in business.

“We have really high inputs, and inputs continue to increase, if you don’t have financial output, there’s nothing going back into the operation. It’s never money taken out of the pocket, it’s money that isn’t realized.”

Additional tech, including gene editing, and excellent care are essential to keeping cattle and businesses healthy.

“You’ve got to have better calves. You’ve got to have higher genetic merit in the calves. So you not going to be able to pass off costs from the inputs, but if you raise better animals, at the end of the day, you’re going to capitalize on a higher quality product, that’s hopefully going to bring more money to your operation.”

Pohler says the focus should be on every operation, even down to the little guy, moving forward.

“If you look at where demand is for beef product, right now it’s really important, I think more than ever, that we sort of join together as beef community to help, from the largest to the small guy is really going to help meet that overall demand.”

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