The 4th of July Cookout: An American Tradition
As we celebrate the 4th of July Independence Day and our FREEDOM this week, we should all be mindful that we live in a great country where we still have choices and opportunity. That is very true for how we choose to produce and market our beef products to the consumer. We need to have the consumer engaged in making a buying decision based on how they value one type or brand of beef over another. However, we do not want to confuse the consumer about the safety of one product verses another. From an industry prospective, cattle producers, feeders, packers and the feed industry need to be engaged in educating our politicians and the consumer about the possible benefit of each option while maintaining the FREEDOM to market these value-added products. If we create confusion, we create fear which could lead to less FREEDOM due to undue regulation.
I believe, the growth in "All Natural" products will continue. The political wind and the consumer’s lack of interest in researching the true benefit of growth promoting technology have created a fast moving current that is difficult to change. Many consumers are willing, able and happy to pay for this type of product.
The organic market will grow, but I believe it will be a very small percentage of the total beef sold. I base that opinion on simple economics. The beef industry is seeing grain prices and cost of gain at record highs. Food cost inflation is the elephant in the room. The premium that organic products must generate are not feasible for the vast majority of consumers that are seeing the family budget stressed by increased fuel, clothing and food cost.
Traditionally raised beef, using advances in nutrition technology, genetics and animal husbandry needs to be the primary area where the United States of America cattle industry continues to provide the highest quality beef to a growing world population. We produce more beef with fewer animals and it will be necessary to continually improve our efficiency to provide an economical product to the consumer.
The 4th of July holiday is about FREEDOM. In the cattle industry, we currently have the freedom to position our cattle and beef products in multiple ways that can add value and improve our profit potential. CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements offer a variety of self-fed supplements that allow for increased gains on forage, improve reproductive performance and improved animal health. Several products will work in most "All Natural" programs.