November 2022 - National Cattlemen

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Cattlemen and women across the country have sacrificed their lives to serve our nation.


Advancements in weather and climate technology in the last year benefit cattle operations moving forward.


States in Region IV are wrapping up conventions and activities while preparing for 2023 legislative priorities.

Fall Supreme Court Session

On the morning of Oct. 3, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts opened the Supreme Court’s fall session with 13 words: “We will hear argument first this morning in Case 21-454, Sackett v. EPA.” With these words, the court considered a case challenging one of the longest standing environmental issues impacting the cattle industry — the definition of “Waters of the United States (WOTUS).”

Despite WOTUS’ impact on the cattle industry, the case at the Supreme Court has nothing to do with cattle or even agricultural production. Eighteen years ago, Michael and Chantell Sackett purchased a lot in Idaho and planned to build their dream home. As construction began, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived on the scene and ordered them to halt, arguing that their land contained a wetland adjacent to jurisdictional navigable waters, qualifying the wetland as “navigable water” under the Clean Water Act. Over the following years, the Sacketts sued EPA with their case eventually reaching the Supreme Court this year, asking the Supreme Court to decide, once and for all, which test should be used when determining Clean Water Act jurisdiction over wetlands.

The answer to that question has implications far beyond the Sacketts’ home. In the last 50 years, cattle producers have experienced numerous, often conflicting definitions of WOTUS. On average, the federal government has changed the definition of WOTUS every 3.8 years since the Clean Water Act’s passage in 1972, leading to decades of uncertainty.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA could finally provide certainty for cattle producers by solidifying where the EPA’s proper jurisdiction lies,” said NCBA Chief Counsel MaryThomas Hart. “NCBA has long fought for a consistent WOTUS definition that offers clarity to producers.”

The limits of federal water regulation have been hotly contested since passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, involving numerous rulemakings and Supreme Court cases. In 2015, following the Supreme Court’s fractured Rapanos decision, the EPA created a widely overreaching definition that subjected nearly every water feature — including isolated features and areas that only held rainwater — to federal jurisdiction. Some of the common water features that fell under the 2015 WOTUS rule included grassed waterways, prairie potholes, rainwater, snow melt, small creeks, dry washes, drainage ditches, isolated wetlands, vernal pools, coastal prairie wetlands, pocosins, waters within a 100-year floodplain, and waters within 4,000 feet of a high tide line or ordinary highwater mark.

“The 2015 WOTUS rule was a massive jurisdictional overstep. A water feature that you can step over, a feature that only holds water when it rains, or a feature with no impact on downstream water quality should not be regulated by the federal government,” Hart said.

During the Trump Administration, cattle producers saw relief from the onerous 2015 WOTUS rule with the finalization of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). The NWPR limited the definition of a WOTUS to substantial bodies of water, like oceans, large lakes, tributaries that run during a typical year or

Opens with WOTUS Case

seasonally, and directly abutting wetlands. While the NWPR was not perfect, it was substantially better than the 2015 WOTUS rule. NCBA supported the NWPR and intervened in several court cases to uphold it before it was struck down by a U.S. District Court in Arizona.

Even before the District Court struck down the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, the Biden Administration made their intentions clear to craft yet another regulatory WOTUS definition. The Biden Administration’s proposed rule does not go as far as the 2015 rule but removes longstanding bipartisan agricultural exclusions that prevented isolated water features on farms and ranches from falling under federal jurisdiction. NCBA submitted technical comments calling for the reinstatement of those agricultural exclusions while also launching a grassroots campaign to add producer voices to the conversation.

“We were pleased to see over 1,700 cattle producers send comments to the EPA reminding them that an overreaching WOTUS rule would be harmful to their operations. Our staff in Washington have told the EPA every day that farmers and ranchers need flexibility out in the country, but letters from producers proved that point,” Hart said.

As the Biden administration finalizes their WOTUS rule, NCBA has urged EPA and the Army Corps to pause its rulemaking until the Supreme Court reaches a decision in the Sackett case.

“If the EPA releases a rule now and the court makes a decision in 2023, the rule will almost certainly have to be amended,” Hart said. “This only adds to the longstanding uncertainty cattle producers have faced for decades.”

The October oral arguments are the fourth time the Supreme Court has considered the definition of WOTUS, but new justices have joined the bench since the last WOTUS case. The WOTUS issue has come before six of the nine justices.

“The makeup of the court is very different from the last several WOTUS cases, and we’re cautiously optimistic for a positive ruling, but we also need to remain focused on pressing agency policymakers and Congressional leaders to craft a longterm WOTUS solution,” Hart said.

To ensure that cattle producers’ voices were heard in the non-agricultural Sackett case, NCBA submitted an amicus brief to the court arguing for a new legal test to determine whether a feature is a “water of the U.S.” NCBA’s test would combine the existing significant nexus test and the relative permanence test to create even more narrow WOTUS conditions. Following NCBA’s argument, a WOTUS definition should exclude isolated features (like prairie potholes), exclude ephemeral features (water that only flows when it rains), and maintain agricultural exclusions for features like stock ponds, prior converted cropland, and farm ditches.

Now that oral arguments are complete, we look forward to the court reaching a verdict. In the meantime, NCBA will continue defending cattle producers from overreaching environmental rules — like WOTUS — that threaten the success of farms and ranches.

To be the trusted leader and definitive voice of the U.S. cattle and beef industry. PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID HATTIESBURG, MS PERMIT 142 NATIONAL CATTLEMEN’S BEEF ASSOCIATION 9110 E. NICHOLS AVENUE, SUITE 300 CENTENNIAL, CO 80112 NOVEMBER 2022 • Vol. 39, No. 1 • SOUTH CENTRAL 500-600 LB. STEERS WEEK OF 10/17/2022 IN THIS ISSUE $177.13 11.7% $158.59 $146.77 18.5% $123.84 LIVE FED STEERS $226.31 12.2% $280.55 CHOICE BOXED BEEF $7.18 39.6% $5.14 OMAHA CASH CORN 4 BEEF BUCKS 15 CHECKOFF 6 HONOR FLIGHT The Beef Quality Assurance Transportation program has updated modules and trainings. Honor Flight Central Coast California journeys to Washington, D.C., with U.S. veterans to see monuments and memorials. 8,9 FEDERATION
South Dakota non-profit helps communities and increases beef consumption.

Google: Search Beef Sustainability

As I talk to cattle producers throughout the country, I’m frequently asked why NCBA talks about sustainability. I know this word can generate alarm bells, but NCBA has embraced this topic because sustainable exactly describes American cattle production. It is our duty to share the sustainability story of our industry and help to keep the media, policymakers and consumers informed with the most accurate, science-based information of beef sustainability.

The daily practices you employ on your farm or ranch contribute to cattle industry sustainability, whether you associate the word with them or not. All of us in the industry have a connection to land and our businesses would not survive unless we cared about protecting healthy grasses, rich soils and clean water. All these practices ensure that our way of life can continue for generations — that’s sustainability.

Recently, NCBA learned that Google was implementing a new search feature that would steer consumers away from beef. If someone Googled a recipe, the feature would show the carbon emissions associated with the recipe and how those emissions could change depending on the main ingredients used. As you might expect, beef is at the top of the list for protein-related emissions in this feature. Through singling out carbon emissions, this Google feature will mislead

Keeping rural communities strong, feeding the world, and caring for our nation’s land is sustainable in my book. All these practices ensure that our way of life can continue for generations to come, and that is the pinnacle of sustainability.

consumers into believing that they should not choose beef as a sustainable part of a nutritious diet. This search feature is flawed for many reasons, but at the top of the list is Google’s failure to account for the full, science-based picture of the sustainability of beef production.

To create this feature, Google is relying on data from the United Nations, which pulls from a few different sources to provide a general estimate of carbon emissions per kg of food. In any of these instances, beef will always come out looking to be the most impactful food option and this is primarily due to the methodology used to estimate carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, placing a higher weight on the shortlived greenhouse gas, methane, than the long-lived carbon dioxide. However, in a system as complex as beef production, a short-sighted view on greenhouse

gas emissions is misleading and, frankly, dangerous.

As soon as we heard about this issue, NCBA contacted Google and the media about our concerns with this feature. We pushed back on the claim that Google’s feature would improve “sustainable” eating by highlighting all the conservation practices that cattle producers employ. We also argued that true sustainability is about more than just carbon in the atmosphere; it’s about protecting land, strengthening rural communities, and feeding a hungry world with the highquality protein that is beef.

When NCBA released sustainability goals last year, we recognized that measuring true sustainability means considering the entire impact of beef on the environment and society. While emissions play a role — and the science consistently proves that the U.S. has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions from cattle of any country in the world — sustainability should also reflect beef’s value to the environment. For example, cattle grazing improves grassland soil health and helps grasses store more carbon. Grazing also reduces wildfire fuels, which protects communities throughout the country. Since 1975, American cattle producers have reduced emissions by more than 30% while producing more beef per animal. The result is fewer emissions with more beef to feed the world.

As a protein source, beef plays an important role in our diet. Beef provides essential nutrients like vitamin B12, folate and iron, which are especially important for growing children and pregnant women.

The cattle industry also supports the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans, not only producers, but also truck drivers who haul cattle, feed producers, equipment manufacturers, veterinarians and more.

Keeping rural communities strong, feeding the world, and caring for our nation’s land is sustainable in my book. All these practices ensure that our way of life can continue for generations to come, and that is the pinnacle of sustainability.

Unfortunately, only a small number of Americans ever see a farm or ranch, and the media has spread the myth of “factory farming.” To combat this narrative, we use words like sustainability to talk about the hard work and dedication that goes into raising cattle. While companies like Google may have billions of dollars to spread their message, we have the truth and data on our side.

Every day, NCBA is fighting back against the falsehoods being spread about the cattle industry. We’re in the trenches so you don’t have to be, and you can focus on what you do best: raising the highest quality beef in the world. Thank you for placing your trust in NCBA. By being a member, you’ve shown that you have our backs in this fight.

2022 NCBA Leadership President Don Schiefelbein President-Elect Todd Wilkinson Vice President Mark Eisele Treasurer Joe Guild Federation Division Chair Brad Hastings Federation Division Vice-Chair Clark Price Policy Division Chair Buck Wehrbein Policy Division Vice-Chair Gene Copenhaver Immediate Past President Jerry Bohn Chief Executive Officer Colin Woodall

Senior Editors John Robinson Jill Johnson

Ranching on Public Lands

The United States government owns and manages roughly 640 million acres, which is approximately 28% of the nation’s land. In Nevada, for example, a little over 80% is federally owned. Most of the public land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. Fortunately, legislation passed in the ‘60s and ‘70s requiring multiple use on these lands, so every citizen has the chance to experience these vast parts of our country. Tourism is a big part of multiple use allowing for hiking, biking and camping, but multiple use also means that these lands can be used for energy, timber and livestock production. As you can imagine, there are many activist groups that support public access to the great outdoors, but bristle at the thought of grazing cattle on “their” land. This sets the stage for conflict, especially as activist groups, such as the Western Watersheds Project, work to have livestock production restricted or removed from public lands.

The Public Lands Council (PLC) was established in 1968 to be the voice for cattle and sheep producers who operate with federal grazing permits. The voices who only want access to public lands for recreational use are loud, but cattle industry leaders at the time knew we could be effective in countering that rhetoric. NCBA has been a proud member of the Public Lands Council since it was formed. We share staff, office space and a commitment to protect grazing access. The president of PLC also serves as an ex-officio member of our Executive Committee. Public lands ranchers are faced with the same challenges as every other cattle producer. However, they have the additional challenge of trying to raise cattle with government agencies looking over their shoulder, dictating the terms of their operations and threatening the loss of their permit if they do not follow the guidelines exactly as written. Given that significant numbers of cattle graze on public lands, their challenges can ultimately have an impact on overall beef production in the United States.

to public lands and stop the activists before they can do even more harm. We do that by promoting the benefits of grazing. We all know how responsibly managed grazing can increase the health of pastures and rangelands. The same is true of federal lands and may be even more important given some of the marginal conditions found in the West. Grazing permits are not free. Producers pay the U.S. government for the access these permits provide and the government also receives the benefits from grazing such as improved range health, overall landscape aesthetics and protecting open space.

Grazing permittees help provide and protect critical habitat for many species with high conservation needs. The Greater Sage Grouse is just one example of many critters that have benefited from enhanced and improved habitat thanks to the efforts of cattle producers. More than seven million acres of Sage Grouse habitat have been restored or conserved by public lands ranchers. Hikers and bikers are

The Greater Sage Grouse is just one example of many critters that have benefited from enhanced and improved habitat thanks to the efforts of cattle producers. More than seven million acres of Sage Grouse habitat have been restored or conserved by public lands ranchers.

not doing that. Grazing permittees also help maintain migration corridors utilized by thousands of mule deer, elk and other species. Responsible grazing also helps to fight invasive species.

Cheat grass plagues western states, but grazing helps mitigate its spread by promoting growth of perennial grasses. Fire suppression may be one of the greatest benefits grazing provides for these lands, local communities and the government’s firefighting budget. Cattle grazing on public lands helps remove the buildup of excess grass and other fuels that cause wildfires to spread quicker and burn hotter.

We cannot forget that public lands ranchers are also the lifeblood of their local communities. Recreation alone is not going to sustain these towns. The Department of the Interior estimates that public lands ranchers contribute $1.5 billion a year to local economies across the western U.S.

Experience shows that activist groups like to push their anti-grazing efforts on permittees first in hopes they can get sympathy from government agencies and the recreational users. If they are successful in those efforts, they use it as a playbook to take on producers on private lands. This is why it is important to protect our access

Grace Vehige Creative Director Don Waite Graphic Designer Dancinee Jennings

For ad sales contact Summer Johnson 303-8503346, Shannon Wilson 303-850-3345, Lindsay Clark 303-850-3339, Kate Ramsey 303-850-3321 or Jason Jerome 303-850-3313.

While activists and some within the Federal agencies continue to work against us, NCBA and PLC will keep fighting for producer access to public lands. Our permittee members are sustaining local communities, improving the land, and protecting against wildfires while constantly worrying about some hiker leaving a gate open.

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©2022 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or part, without the prior written consent of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.


Editor Sarah Drown Contributing Writers Wendy White Hunter Ihrman

Contact NCBA: 9110 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 300, Centennial, CO 80112 (303-694-0305); Washington D.C.: 1275 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20004 (202-347-0228). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reserves the right to refuse advertising in any of its publications. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association does not accept political advertising in any of its publications. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association does not accept any


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Hear Us

Beef Bucks Build Beef Promotion and Support Local Communities

“We move a lot of beef. You’d be surprised how many cattle we move in a year’s time,” said Bob Montross, one of the founders of Beef Bucks. “But we are doing it on paper. There are no feed bunks or pens to clean out. It’s just surprising how much beef we move across the country.”

Beef Bucks is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the beef industry and educate consumers about beef’s high-quality protein. Beef Bucks started in 1997 in De Smet, South Dakota, by South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary members Nancy Montross, Delina Nagel, JoAnne Hillman, South Dakota Cattleman member Bob Montross, and local banker Brett Carpenter. What began as an idea for how to drive beef demand and increase consumption without shipping costs has transformed into a program that has seen the purchase of thousands of pounds of beef.

“Brett Carpenter came to us one day and said he wanted to do something to help the beef industry,” said Nancy Montross, Bob’s wife. “Everybody just threw a couple bucks in to get us started, and we took off.”

The initial program was designed as pre-paid checks in the amounts of $5, $10, and $20 that people could purchase, similar to a gift card, and the check could be used for the purchase of beef at a grocery store or for a beef meal at a restaurant. Now, Beef Bucks can still be purchased as a pre-paid check, or money can be put on a BeefBuck/VISA debit card. The VISA debit card can be loaded for anywhere from $25 up to $500. This update was accomplished with the help of First Dakota National Bank in Yankton, South Dakota, and their agriculture banking expert Denny Everson. It was a necessary addition to the program to meet the demands of evolving technology as more restaurants and stores stopped accepting pre-paid checks.

It has been more than a decade since the addition of the BeefBuck/VISA debit card to the Beef Bucks program, and the volunteer board of directors has observed increased success in promoting beef products and education through the debit card. Also, Beef Bucks’ reach is not limited to the Dakotas. The Beef Bucks/VISA debit card has been used on the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune for 11 seasons as a gift tag. In addition, corporate entities use the debit card for promotions and recognition of employees across the United States.

One of the biggest appeals of Beef Bucks, and one of the key reasons it was created, was to offer something that could support the beef industry and increase sales of beef but wouldn’t expire or need to be transported. With Beef Bucks, the founding members could avoid managing shipping and extensive labor.

“People don’t have to worry about receiving something that will need thawing or will spoil in their fridge. That’s a real advantage right there,” Nancy said.

Beef Bucks is a grassroots project. Bob and Nancy have been involved since its inception, and their daughter even helped to design the logo, a steak with a hat on top. Starting with a few members from South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary and collaborating with local businesses and banks allowed the non-profit to expand nationally. While still based in De Smet, the VISA debit card and the pre-paid check can be used anywhere in the U.S. For retailers with questions regarding the Beef Buck, they can call the toll-free number given on the check itself.


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Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Inc.


Central Life Sciences




American Foods Group

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Preferred Beef Group Tyson Fresh Meats

“Beef Bucks make the perfect gift for anyone; anytime. It’s easy to wrap, easy to mail, always fits, and is ‘in good taste’,” states the Beef Bucks website.

Just like gift cards, Beef Bucks are great as an addition to wedding gifts, graduation gifts, sympathy or thank-you cards, or just to help someone in need of a good meal. And in the process, the beef industry is supported. As the cards and checks are passed from friend to friend, and customer to employee, the advertising on the Bucks of “Beef, America’s finest food” catches the eye and draws attention to the delicious protein.

Beef Bucks has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by creating Butch Burger, a character created to put a face to Beef Bucks. The non-profit partnered with a local sale barn, Huron Continental Marketing, to offer a prize to South Dakota 4-H students who submitted a drawing for a character for Beef Bucks. Out of the many entries submitted, the burger that is now Butch Burger won the prize. This special opportunity engaged statewide 4-H students to participate in promoting beef.

In the future, Nancy and Bob want to keep Beef Bucks going. Beef Bucks is unique because it is a non-profit with the pre-paid checks bought on a dollar-to-dollar basis and a small acquisition fee for the BeefBuck/VISA card. By hosting events like golf tournaments and selling original cookbooks, Beef Bucks has raised money for scholarships.

Over the last 25 years, Beef Bucks has acquired beef for law enforcement officials at the South Dakota Law Enforcement Banquet and hosted 18 annual golf tournaments to bring together friends and supporters of the beef industry. From the proceeds of these golf tournaments, the sale of recipe books, and donations from industry leaders, Beef Bucks has awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships. Oftentimes, Beef Bucks are donated to the Salvation Army and food pantries around the holiday season. These entities use them for those in need of a helping hand and who, in turn, take the Beef Buck to the local grocery store or meat market and will likely purchase products to accompany it, improving the local economy.

“If you’re going to go in and buy two packages of hamburger, you might also buy a package of buns, a bottle of ketchup and mustard, and some pickles or chips,” Nancy said. “So, it is promotion on both ends.”

This shows how the program has not only supported families and members of the community but has also contributed to local businesses.

“Twenty-five years, I can’t believe it has been that long. It’s been pretty successful and brought us intouch with so many people around the industry and the United States,” Bob reflected. “We are doing our part to make the beef industry what it is. It’s one of the greatest industries on the planet; we are proud of it, and it’s how we make our living.”

To learn more on the Beef Bucks program, visit or call 1-888-640-MEAT (6328).

Unpacking the Cattle Cycle

U.S. cattle producers are familiar with navigating issues exclusive to their space in agriculture — overcoming challenges that ranches around the world and even neighboring farms cannot fully appreciate. And while the cattle cycle is a commonplace term in the U.S. industry, it is a fundamental dynamic that is foreign to other agricultural markets.

At the risk of being redundant, each U.S. cattle cycle spans roughly a decade — marking the time between long-run market highs or lows. Those periods can be identified across a variety of industry metrics — cow herd inventory, beef production or cattle prices — with each showing relative tops and bottoms with 10 years of space in between each.

Economics and environment are the two prevailing forces that shape each cycle, but it can often be difficult to pinpoint a shift in the cycle while managing the day-to-day chaos of the cattle business.

Profitability and cash flow dictate the economic viability of most cow-calf operators. And remember, the last U.S. Census of Agriculture showed the average beef cow herd is 44 head. The cow-calf sector is dominated by operations where cows are not the primary source of family income.

For many, short-term losses can be sustained by cash flow from other enterprises — non-farm income, grain production, hay production, etc. However, when cash flow tightens across an operation, cow liquidation can quickly become the most financially feasible option.

There is little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic extended the time horizon where cattle markets had to linger near the lows. Cash flow was reduced to a trickle during the fall 2016 market lows for many cow-calf operations, and margins turned negative in the years that followed.

In the past year, higher crop input, fuel and forage prices further weighed on cow-calf producers. Inflation was felt in every aspect of the business. If there is a hint of good news in this discussion, it is that cattle prices are turning a corner.

Since the 2020 lows, U.S. fed steer prices have recovered 68% of the previous cycle’s losses, while feeder markets have recovered 55%. The 500-lb. steer calf market has been more of a grind — retracing 43% of the prior cycle losses.

The market reflects cattle supplies that have become more current following pandemic supply disruptions, even as beef production remains elevated. The current trend is also attempting to rebase cattle values on higher grain and forage costs.

More than three years of cow herd contraction practically guarantee tighter beef supplies in the next three years. Expect higher trending prices in that time — providing there is not a catastrophic correction in beef demand.

With prices on the upswing, forage availability presents a bigger setback today as drought continues.

Many U.S. producers have a production calendar based on seasons — winter calving, spring turnout, summer grazing and hay production, fall weaning, etc. Each of these production events is influenced by seasonal shifts in local climates and the prevailing weather patterns at that time.

Dramatic shifts in weather can force cattle producers into unusual management and marketing decisions.


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members are urged to

Ritchie Industries Inc. Roto-Mix

Zoetis Animal Health

Company Noble Research Institute Novus International

Parker McCrory PBS Animal Health Phibro Animal Health Pneu-Dart Priefert Ranch Equipment QualiTech, Inc Quality Liquid Feeds Red Angus Assoc. of America R&R Machine Works RFD-TV Roper/Stetson/Tin Haul Apparel and Footwear South Dakota State University Stone Manufacturing Superior Livestock Supreme International Syngenta

Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment

The Hartford Livestock Insurance The Vit-E-Men Co. Inc./Life Products Trans Ova Genetics U.S. Premium Beef Vermeer Vitalix Vytelle Westway Feeds Wild River Y-Tex Zinpro Performance Minerals

are companies that have teamed with NCBA as corporate members, demonstrating their commitment to the beef industry. Their involvement
support these partners in turn by purchasing their products and services. Those who would like to become corporate members with NCBA (securing premium booth placement at the annual convention and trade show as well as other membership benefits), please call the Corporate
COUNCIL Bayer Environmental Sciences CHR
Farm Credit Council Huvepharma, Inc. Lallemand Animal Nutrition Nationwide Neogen Norbrook, Inc. Rabo AgriFinance RAM Trucks ALLIED
44 Farms ADM Animal Nutrition, Inc. Agri-Pro Enterprises of Iowa, Inc. AgriWebb Alltech, Inc. American National Insurance Arrowquip A.T. Ferrell Company Inc. Bank of America Barenbrug USA Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Behlen Manufacturing Bimeda BioZyme Bush Hog Inc. Cargill Animal Nutrition Case IH CEAT Specialty Tires CME Group DATAMARS Livestock Dell Technologies Diamond V ENDOVAC Animal Health Farmers Business Network Fera Diagnostics & Biologicals Corp Food Safety Net Services Furst-McNess Company Gallagher Gravely, an Ariens Company Greeley Hat Works Grov Technologies Groviv Hayden Outdoors Real Estate Hyundai Construction Equipment IMI Global International Stock Food International Genetic Solutions Jorgensen Land and Cattle Kent Nutrition Group Krone Kubota Tractor Corporation Kunafin “The Insectary” Laird Manufacturing Meat & Livestock Australia, Ltd. Micronutrients National Corn Growers Association New Generation Supplements Newport Laboratories, A Vaxxinova

Cattle Prices Are Trending Higher

Currently, a lingering La Niña weather pattern has reduced forage availability and led to what will likely be a record-high beef cow herd culling rate above 13% this year.

It is rare to have a weather pattern, such as this one, prevail for three years. Historically speaking, the end should be near, and the latest run of global models forecasting the status of El Niño, La Niña, and the Southern Oscillation suggest patterns are moving to a more neutral status going into spring (Figure 2).

While that is still a long way from signaling relief for many U.S. cow-calf operations mired in drought, it is the most optimistic model prediction in years. The weather trends are slowly correcting back to a more normal state.

The U.S. cattle cycle has long tails. Economic and environmental trends take a relatively long time to influence cattle production — and it often takes more than one bad year to influence cow herd decisions. That means expansion and contraction trends take years to develop, and it takes patience through the transition to realize the next phase in the cycle.

The end of cow herd contraction is in sight, even if you must squint to see it. NATIONAL CATTLEMEN 5
500 0 lb. Steers 800 lb Steers Fed
Source:USDA, Rabobank 2022Figure 2 Optimism will move upstream as feedyard occupancy and corn prices trend lower. (303) 539-9300

Cattle Producer Honors Those Who Served

Throughout our nation’s history, there have been men and women willing to sacrifice everything to protect the freedoms that Americans hold dear. Each year we celebrate their courage, commitment and contributions on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

While every veteran has a story to tell, some stories are more difficult to share and, therefore, remain silent. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of days on a trip of a lifetime with others who have shared the pain of war to open up and talk about days past.

For some, World War II, Vietnam and Korea are reserved for the history books, but veterans from those conflicts should be honored and a national organization is making sure that happens. The mission of Honor Flight Network is to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at the nation’s memorials to experience the honor, gratitude and community of support they deserve.

Honor Flight Network is a national network of independent Hubs working together to honor veterans with an all-expenses paid trip to the memorials in Washington, D.C., a trip many veterans may not otherwise be able to take. Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the chance to share this momentous experience with other veterans, to remember friends and comrades lost, and share their stories with each other. Since 2005, Honor Flight Network has taken more than 250,000 veterans from across the U.S. to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials built in their honor.

Honor Flight Central Coast California is one of 130 hubs located across the country that organizes trips for WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and terminally ill veterans of any era. In May 2014, Honor Flight Central Coast California took its first group of veterans from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to Washington, D.C., and to date, has taken nearly 400 veterans on their “Tour of Honor” at no cost to the veterans.

Relying solely on donations and volunteers, Honor Flight hubs depend on support from the public to make these trips possible. One of those devoted volunteers is cattle producer June Kester of Parkfield, California.

June Kester, wife of NCBA Past President Kevin Kester, has been actively involved with the Honor Flight Central Coast California Hub for six years and has served as a guardian or flight leader on seven trips to Washington, D.C. Kester became involved with Honor Flight when her youngest daughter loaded her truck to attend college at Oklahoma State University. Kester reflected that she needed something to fill the void. She soon realized that the experience provided healing to all involved.

“These trips help heal those who fought for our freedoms, and I don’t take those freedoms lightly,” Kester said. “It is a huge honor to play a small part in helping men and women heal.”

In May 2022, Kester was the flight leader for the trip, assisting 19 Vietnam and five Korean veterans. The roster included several cattle producers and NCBA members.

“Whether involved in agriculture or not, everyone on the trip wants to learn about ranching and beef,” Kester said. “I’ve incorporated ranch stories into the program and the veterans just love it. They want to visit our ranch, and our doors are always open to them.”

When veterans arrive in Washington, D.C., they are greeted at the gate with pomp and circumstance. Red, white and blue decorations, and a cacophony of clapping hands and music fills the air. There are more than a few “thank you for your service”

and “welcome home” greetings from perfect strangers who stop to pay tribute to these heroes.

After a long day of travel, the first stop is a visit to NCBA’s Washington, D.C., office for a tour and beef dinner. From the rooftop veterans receive their first glimpse of the National Mall lined with memorials and buildings filled with history. California cattle producers sponsor the meal, and the setting provides a unique and memorable experience.

Before leaving the nation’s capital, veterans visit the Air Force Memorial, Fort McHenry, Arlington National Cemetery and the Changing of the Guard, Women’s Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Wall, and the Korean Memorial.

Upon their return, the welcome home celebration at the airport rounds out the trip with bagpipers, signs, balloons and greetings from current military men and women, friends and family. As the veterans’ eyes widen with surprise and excitement, it is easy to see the impact of the short but meaningful trip.

There are always tears of sorrow and of happiness over the three-day trip. The experience is emotional for many including family members and volunteer guardians.

“When you take care of someone for three days you get to know the veteran and become family,” Kester said. “I still meet with the veterans I’ve traveled with every month.”

The veterans often don’t know why everyone is fussing over them as these humble men and women feel they were simply doing their job and didn’t do anything special to deserve such attention.

“I’ve traveled around the world and there are some countries where I can’t wear my cross or say God, and I’m so thankful to express my faith openly in the United States,” Kester said. “That freedom comes at a cost, and these veterans are the ones willing to make the sacrifice.”

Learn more about Honor Flight and watch veterans take a trip to Washington, D.C., on the Nov. 8 episode of Cattlemen to Cattlemen at 8:30pm (Eastern) on RFD-TV or watch the show on YouTube at For more information or to volunteer your time and talents, contact June Kester at or (805) 434-7616, or visit

Rancher Resilience Grant: Knowledge is Your Greatest Resource

As cattle producers, it is rare to come across an opportunity to leave the farm or ranch behind for a few days. There is always fence to mend or cattle to sort, and without a doubt, there is never enough time in the day to get it all done. However, there are a few things worth giving up your time to experience.

Cattle producers are the original stewards of land and livestock, and constantly striving to improve your operation is an integral component of that. By attending professional development events, such as grazing conferences, Cattlemen’s College and Stockmanship and Stewardship events, you are exposing yourself to new perspectives and innovative practices.

As a means of investing in producer education and resources, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Cargill formed a strategic partnership to establish a professional development scholarship program for producers which encourages experiential learning. This program is called the Rancher Resilience Grant and is rightfully named — recognizing the strength and determination cattle producers display every day.

“Our industry continually explores technologies and production practices to support more efficient operations that focus on profitability and consistent highquality beef,” said NCBA Senior Executive Director of Producer Education Josh White. “It’s exciting to see industry partners come together through a shared commitment to promote the long-term economic wellbeing of farmers and ranchers across the beef value chain while also improving our product and our care for livestock and natural resources.”

No matter where your farm or ranch factors into the beef supply chain, there is a professional development opportunity that fits your program. Since its origin in 2020, the Rancher Resilience Grant has provided financial support and educational opportunities for hundreds of producers to attend events across the country. Past participating events include the following: Cattlemen’s College, the Beef Improvement Federation Symposium, the National Grazing Lands Coalition Conference, Stockmanship and Stewardship, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management events, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention and many more.

Why should I apply for funding?

The Rancher Resilience Grant was created with the intention of reducing the financial burden of attending conventions and meetings while also providing cattle producers access to new information and resources they can utilize on their operations. According to past recipients of the grant, it has accomplished just that.

“I am so thankful for this program. It eliminated one less cost on our operation and made it a much less stressful trip knowing the larger costs for the [Beef Improvement] Symposium are covered. It allowed me to solely focus on the event and improving mine and my customers’ operations,” shared participant Samantha England.

Sharing a similar account of his experience, Michael Hodges, who attended the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention, said the Rancher Resilience Grant is a great way to help producers during tough times, especially in consideration of the high input costs and inflation many are experiencing today.

For other producers, a key benefit of the grant opportunity was the ability to reallocate operating funds from travel costs to ranch improvements.

“Having opportunities like the [Rancher Resilience Grant] make it easier for us to work educational programs into our financial and operating budgets. Because we participated in the grant opportunity, we can focus those funds we would have paid out-of-pocket elsewhere on the farm,” said Emily Herbst.

While financial support is a well-valued component of the Rancher Resilience

Grant, there are numerous other benefits the program was designed to deliver, including connecting producer networks and providing exposure to new production methods.

“Being able to attend these conferences in different parts of the country is so important to having a very broad perspective of other regions and how other people do business,” said Erin Thomas, a National Grazing Lands Coalition Conference attendee. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Aimee Blackburn echoed Thomas’ testimonial by expressing her gratitude for the opportunity to attend Cattlemen’s College at the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in 2022.

“I met so many other producers from other areas of the country at the Cattlemen’s College meetings. It was great to talk to them and get an understanding of how different our operations are in different parts of the United States,” Blackburn said. What will I learn?

The Rancher Resilience Grant program was designed to offset expenses for farmers and ranchers to attend educational events that address topics such as animal health and wellbeing, profitability, natural resources, sustainability, genetics and reproduction.

Not only did past grant recipients say they found the content of the events to be educational, but they also took away action items to implement back home.

For Kinzie Burtrum, she found value in an estate planning session, a topic not commonly discussed, at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention.

“The estate planning information session was very eye-opening. Dr. Ferrell explained the importance of developing a transition and an estate plan while you are still living to ease the burden when you die,” Burtrum explained. “I will be sitting down with my family to talk about our transition and estate plans.”

Other favored topics at various educational events include the value of working cattle in a low-stress environment and how that affects the efficiency and profitability of an operation, as well as estrus synchronization protocols and grazing management plans.

“Attending the convention and Cattlemen’s College gave me new ideas on how to improve and grow my operation,” Sean Chambers shared about his experience. “Since returning home I have revised my grazing plan. In addition, I have drawn up plans for adding additional fence in order to better control grazing in sensitive areas such as riparian areas and wildlife corridors. The hope is to not only improve forage quality but also extend our grazing period.”

What is next?

The educational events supported by the Rancher Resilience Grant are in place to provide practical tools to help cattle producers manage market shifts, mitigate financial risks, manage natural resources and withstand extreme weather events.

Past recipients of the grant have explained the value of stepping away from the ranch to take advantage of the networking and educational opportunities encouraged by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Cargill partnership.

If you are interested in investing your time to learn about new tools and management resources to improve your operation, the Rancher Resilience Grant is available to invest the finances necessary to make that happen.

Upcoming events covered by the grant program include the 2022 Angus Convention and the 2023 NCBA Cattlemen’s College.

Visit for more information and to apply.



Celebrating Contributions to Cattle and Country

Cattle producers from every corner of the country support veterans and active-duty military. Whether they have family members in the military or have served themselves, honor and patriotism is abundant in rural America. As we celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and honor those who served, we recognize their contributions to cattle and country.

The Military Was What I Needed

Dawn Breitkreutz grew up in a small town in Minnesota, struggled through high school and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. Her mom passed away when she was 15, and she felt lost and in need of direction. A military recruiter visited Dawn’s high school, the opportunity to serve sounded interesting, and she was off to basic training in San Antonio, Texas.

“Joining the Air Force was the best decision at that time in my life,” she said. “The military was exactly what I needed, and I loved it!”

Dawn served 10 years in active duty and the reserves and was honorably discharged as a Tech Sergeant, serving much of her time overseas in the Philippines as a communications analyst.

“My job required thinking and acting quickly,” she said. “It gave me structure and purpose, pride for our country and respect for the military.”

When Dawn decided to leave military life after being away for 15 years, she returned home to Minnesota. Through mutual friends, Dawn met Grant and fell in love with his absolute passion for farming.

“I couldn’t run a riding lawn mower when I met Grant,” Dawn said. “But I would sit on every piece of equipment he ever ran just to spend time with him and get to know him.”

Grant and Dawn took over the family farm from his parents in 1997 and purchased a cow herd, starting with 58 Red Angus cows on 450 acres. Both had town jobs, but their dream was to farm full time. They started looking into different farming practices and were drawn to systems that focused on soil health.

The Breitkreutzes pride themselves on their conservation practices, which include no-till row cropping and intensive rotational grazing as well as diversified cover cropping. The diversity helps grow soil health and has helped them deal with weather challenges. Their sustainability efforts were recognized in 2016 when Stoney Creek Farm received a regional award from the Environmental Stewardship

The ESAP Regional Award made Dawn realize that she could not affect change if she wasn’t telling her family’s story. It pushed her to improve even more and to help other producers incorporate sustainability practices exclaiming, “It is fun to

The Breitkreutzes share their story by hosting a three-day Soil Health Academy to educate producers about the importance of improving soil health. Dawn boils

down the concept into simple terms, explaining that the process is all about sunshine and carbon.

Dawn and Grant hosted 66 students during the most recent Academy in July. And when their caterer dropped out at the last minute, Dawn cooked for everyone. This extra time in the kitchen helped Dawn keep her mind off the recent loss of her stepmom who meant so much and was a huge advocate for their farming practices.

“Family doesn’t always mean a blood relative,” said Dawn. “I have a lot of special people in my life from my Legion family to my soil family to my cattle family. Being part of those families means the whole world to me.”

With hard work and dedication, the family has grown the operation to more than 100 cows and 1,900 acres. In addition to cattle, the couple raises pastured pork, pastured broilers and egg layers as well as row crops. There are four generations currently living on the farm including Grant and Dawn’s daughter, Karlie, son-in-law, Cody, and four granddaughters, along with Grant’s parents who remain actively involved with the operation.

Dawn also continues to be engaged with veteran organizations. She is active in her local American Legion Post along with her dad, who served four years in the National Guard during the Vietnam Era. He is second vice commander in the Legion, and Dawn is the Post’s finance officer.

Dawn is proud of her continued service with the American Legion where, a few years ago, she brought Legion members and cattlemen together to raise money for cattle and veteran organizations.

“In bringing these two groups together, I realized the similarities between being in the military and being a farmer,” Dawn reflected. “Both help build a healthy country and world.”

Vietnam Veteran Experiences Touching Trip with Son

When Dustin Hauge was growing up, he recalls the pain his father, Mons Gil Hauge, felt following his service as an E5 Sergeant in the Army during the Vietnam War. While Mons didn’t talk about his military experience with his family, his trauma was evident.

When the opportunity came to take his dad to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation’s memorials through Honor Flight Central Coast California, Dustin was honored to serve as a guardian and give his father an opportunity to heal. For most, the trip to Washington is all about seeing fellow veterans along with the monuments built in their honor. For Mons, however, the trip was more about touch, texture and feeling since he lost his sight more than 15 years ago.

Throughout the four days of the trip, Dustin tenderly guided his father to the memorials, giving him an opportunity to feel the thickness of the walls at Fort McHenry and to gently place his fingers into the names etched into the cool black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Even though Mons was unable to see what was around him, Dustin described each experience in great detail and gave his dad the chance to touch history.

“This experience reminds veterans the value of their service to our country and provides far-reaching memories that resonate forever,” Dustin said. “The trip nurtures veterans and digs into their souls, reminding

them that they did a good thing by serving.”

What meant the most for Mons was the welcome reception he received everywhere he went. Random people gave warm embraces and words of thanks for his service, a vastly different experience than when he returned home from Vietnam.

“It gives me a good feeling to see people in America caring for veterans,” Dustin said. “Vietnam veterans didn’t get a warm welcome home back then, but on this trip, my dad was welcomed with open arms.”

Dustin learned determination and resilience from his dad, which are qualities required for success in the cattle industry. Dustin is a fourth-generation cow-calf producer in San Luis Obispo County, California, carrying on his family’s tradition in agriculture. In addition to producing high quality Angus beef for consumers, he raises avocados, oranges and lemons, with the help of his wife, Lori, and two children, Logan and Lucy. Despite facing daily challenges of ranch life, Dustin knew how important the Honor Flight trip was to his dad and made the time to accompany him on the journey.

“This trip was a phenomenal experience for my dad, and it brought him the closure he needed,” Dustin said. “He opened up more, and he told me that the trip was really good for him. It was good to spend time with other veterans, and he was happy that I could come.”

Building beef demand by inspiring, unifying and supporting an effective state/national Checkoff partnership.

Rangers Lead the Way

requiring common skills. With a commitment to service, continuous improvement, learning

time to return to agriculture. He worked for Cargill in the Cattle Feeding Division, completing the Management Training Program. After working at various feedyards in Texas, Tom was asked to manage Buffalo Feeders in Oklahoma. Tom knew he wanted to return home to raise his family.

management at Oklahoma State University. His military career began while he was in college where he participated in ROTC and joined the entered active duty as an Infantry Officer and successfully completed Airborne and Ranger Schools in Fort Benning, Georgia.

“In Ranger School you quickly learn that ‘I can’t’ is not an option,” Tom said. “The rigorous training makes you realize that you can go well beyond whatever you thought you were capable of accomplishing.”

Tom’s service took him to Germany where his unit guarded mobile nuclear warheads, and he was part of a security force responsible for removing chemical weapons in Europe. In addition to providing expert training and travel around the globe, the military offered opportunities for continued education. Prior to being honorably discharged as a Captain, Tom earned his MBA.

“The military prepares you for life by offering a path to important skills like leadership,” Tom said. “Serving also gave me the opportunity to visit interesting places and meet different people, beyond what I knew in my small community at home.”

When he left the Army, Tom knew it was

Tom’s service to his country carried over into service to the beef industry. He has been actively involved with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Oklahoma Beef Council and NCBA’s Marketing Committee. His passion for continuous improvement drives him to learn new things.

“There are so many complexities in the cattle industry, that you can never know everything,” Tom said. “From genetics and nutrition to risk management and marketing, I love learning something new every day.”

Programs such as Beef Quality Assurance have helped Tom improve training and feeding programs, maintain standards and broaden his knowledge base. These improvements not only impact animal health, but also make a difference to co-workers, customers and the local community.

Tom and his wife, Michele, married for more than 30 years, are content living within 20 miles of where they both grew up. With two grandchildren on the way, Tom is excited for his family’s future in agriculture. All three of Tom’s children are involved in agriculture with each involved in stocker/feeder operations.

“The most rewarding part of working in agriculture is the people,” Tom said. “Cattle producers are the best people to be around because they are hardworking, honest and have a work ethic that is unmatched. These traits, rooted in agriculture, help people succeed in business, the military and life.”

World Travelers Return To Their Roots

Born and raised in Leavenworth, Kansas, Alisha Bauswell grew up around cattle. Her father, Rick VanTuyl, raised Simmental and Red Angus, which was a legacy passed down from Rick’s parents and grandparents. Growing up, Alisha was active in 4-H with projects in flowers, vegetables, bakery, photography and woodworking, but she loved working with cattle the most.

“Being around cattle made me fall in love with them,” Alisha said.

That love of cattle means the world to Rick.

“I’m so blessed to have kids interested in extending this multi-generational experience,” Rick said. “I’ve enjoyed working with cattle all my life, and now I share that passion with my daughter.”

Gunnery Sergeant Steven Bauswell, Jr., met Alisha while he was on leave and visiting family in Leavenworth. A decorated Marine, Steven was halfway through a successful military career when he and Alisha married. His service took the couple and their growing family around the world with tours in Okinawa, Japan; Quito, Ecuador; and Valletta, Malta, before returning stateside.

“At first, living in another country was difficult, everything was completely new,” Alisha said. “We ended up loving our time abroad. It was wonderful to travel the globe and experience other cultures.”

No matter where they were in the world, Alisha had cattle on her mind.

“When we lived in Ecuador, I’d call my dad every day to talk about starting my own herd,” she said. “Now that I’m back home, it is happening.”

When the Bauswell family returned to the states, Alisha went home to Kansas with the kids while GySgt Bauswell continued serving as a Battalion Logistics Chief in North Carolina. Steven wraps up his distinguished military career in December and will join Alisha in her

During his service, Steven also earned his bachelor’s degree

technology are out there whether we use them or not,” Alisha said. “We will continue to learn and grow, absorbing as much information as we can along the way.”

Weather understanding and forecast capabilities are better than ever before, even today versus one year ago, because of technology put into service this year.

Regarding beef producers and the agriculture industry, I feel that observations from the latest suite of satellites and home-built weather stations are some of the most critical growth areas we have had this year. I say this because early warnings of damaging weather are essential. Also, observations are the key to any forecast, whether near or long term. The initial conditions that feed weather models need to be as complete and accurate as possible. These are what start a simulation off on the right track.

Part of becoming more accurate year after year is that the field of weather needs more data, particularly precipitation data. Various civilizations have been collecting data for centuries but need to exponentially increase the number of global, surface weather stations and create a more unified way of collecting data rather than trying to piece together an assortment of measurement techniques and timelines over widely scattered regions. Attempts are underway, and today’s satellites are a big help.

Records of weather events have been around for thousands of years. Ancient philosophers recorded weather observations, and some attempted to forecast. There are clear records of farmers adapting to their environments thousands of years ago with irrigation.

One of the first organized weather networks for recording observations began in the mid-1600s. The 1600s also saw the invention of the mercury barometer (air pressure recordings), tipping buckets (self-emptying rain gauges of which you may have one or several on your operation), anemometers (wind measurement devices), and the thermoscope (the early thermometer). By the 1700s, scientists developed temperature scales, international weather observation networks and hygrometers (measure humidity). These ideas are in your home weather station today. I’ll touch more on these devices in a moment.

Surface weather observations have grown in the number of observers and locations since the 1800s. In the early 1990s, a network of automated stations was developed to take the human factor out of continuous weather observations, and this automation effort is expanding quickly. Yet, we still need more observations today to make better forecasts.

So, how do we grow the number of observations? Satellites have provided an immense increase in observations since the 1960s. Today, more than a dozen satellites provide critical data about the atmosphere and Earth’s surface. Many of their observations are used here in the National Cattlemen or Directions magazine; the longterm outlooks you’ve read all start with a close look at satellite observations of ocean temperatures and patterns.

The latest GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) was launched in March 2022 and serves western North America, Hawaii, and Alaska. If you live in these areas, the satellite pictures of storm systems you see on local television or your phone apps will be imagery from this satellite. It goes far beyond simply taking pictures of clouds, though. The newest satellites have multiple instruments sensing the sun, atmosphere and Earth’s surface that are far more comprehensive than the previous generation. This latest tool is one of three in this generation of satellites; the fourth will launch in 2024. These satellites offer capabilities such as:

• 3x the number of channels, meaning new products for severe weather forecasts, fire and smoke monitoring, volcanic ash advisories, and more.

• 4x better resolution, giving us greater clarity.

• 5x faster, scanning the entire, full disc of Earth faster than ever before (every 30 seconds).

How does this benefit our operations? This latest satellite joins a fleet of new space technology. The most recent technology in use globally can bolster data our industry critically relies upon including severe weather warnings, soil moisture, vegetation health, surface and groundwater supplies and precipitation — all variables

with improved accuracy, especially when combined with observations at the surface.

This leads me to another growing technology in the field that will help our efforts to continuously record weather data automatically: 3D printing. You may be asking why that is of value in weather. The ability to create weather measurement devices cheaply and quickly will allow our network of these tools to grow immensely. Rain gauges, temperature sensors, soil monitors, wind devices, etc., can be built by anyone with a 3D printer. The trick is making the electronic sensors within them accurate and cheap as well. Work is being done at several universities and organizations today to build multiple devices and test their accuracy against more expensive instruments.

The value here is to have more data. Multiple states have agricultural monitoring sites, but there’s still a need to vastly increase the number of reporting stations at home and abroad. A limitation is the expense, but 3D printing offers a way to increase our observations in a financially viable way. Don’t be surprised to find a home or in-field/pasture weather station come down in price soon as these new technologies are deployed.

A network of these newly equipped satellites combined with a plethora of new surface weather stations is a significant stride toward extending our weather forecast accuracy and, therefore, helping your bottom line. Whether it is your data, something from an app, or resources online, information about crop health, potential flash droughts, flooding, hurricane tracking, snow totals and cold air outbreaks are at your fingertips.

Quick Update on the Outlook:

For the next three to six months, La Niña holds on; although it may lose steam toward the spring of 2023, a neutral pattern returns, and even a potential El Niño for later in 2023. I do not believe this transition will come quickly enough to change our weather pattern through winter.

What is that pattern? We will continue to see the overall storm flow favor moisture in the Northwest, Northern Rockies, at times the Northern Plains and Ohio Valley. Drought will persist across much of the southern tier of the U.S. into the Central Plains. Warmth prevails across the Southwestern U.S. and into the Plains. It will take some time to build a steady supply of cold air in the arctic to send toward the states, but this will increase as we get into January and February, with bouts of sharp cold air moving in along the Rockies and over the Plains to the Northeast at times.

The ocean area along the West Coast to the Gulf of Alaska will dictate where and how expansive the moisture and coldest temperatures will be. Sea surface conditions in this area are important because they can act as a block, sending storm systems into Alaska and Canada, leaving the Northern Plains and Midwest drier and colder. Or this ocean area will work to reinforce storm systems for the Pacific Northwest and Rockies, limiting the cold-air potential for the Plains and East. The forecast presented in your Directions magazine remains on track based on my expectations for this ocean region. In next month’s National Cattlemen, look for any pertinent updates to the winter outlook.

Recent Advancements in the Field of Weather and Climate Call for 2023 NCBA Leadership Candidate Nominations! Candidate Openings NCBA O cers Positions: President-Elect and Vice President (One-year term) Qualifications 1. Current NCBA member 2. Have served or are currently serving on the Board of Directors 3. Have an individual, financial investment in the beef industry 4. Be a United States Citizen 5. Nominated by: Policy Division Directors; Federation Division Directors; NCBA A liates; and State Beef Councils Policy Division Positions: Chair and Vice Chair (One-year term) 1. Qualification: Current NCBA member 2. Nominated by: Policy Division Directors and NCBA A liates Federation Division Positions: Chair and Vice Chair (One-year term) Qualifications: 1. State Beef Council Member or Ex-O cio 2. Cannot simultaneously serve as a Cattlemen’s Beef Board member 3. Nominated by: Federation Division Directors, State Beef Council Directors, and State Beef Councils Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC)* Positions: Eight (8) Federation Positions (One-year term) Qualifications: 1. State Beef Council Member or Ex-O cio 2. Cannot simultaneously serve as a Cattlemen’s Beef Board member 3. Nominated by: State Beef Councils *Candidates can be re-elected for a maximum of six (6) consecutive terms. For application information and interview groups, visit the leadership page on or scan the QR code. Deadline for Candidate Applications: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 – Deadline for all Candidate Applications Tuesday PM, January 31, 2023 – O cer Candidates Interviews Wednesday AM, February 1, 2023 – BPOC Candidates Interviews Questions? Contact Deb Warren - Individuals holding a particular o ce in 2022 cannot be re-elected to the same position in 2023.
Photo provided by Colorado State University.
The Environmental Stewardship Award showcases cattle producers’ commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations. Help us highlight the great work being done on cattle farms and ranches across the country by nominating your neighbor. NOMINATIONS ARE DUE MARCH 10, 2023 Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. cattle producer. Contact your state affiliate, ESAP sponsor representative, or NCBA staff member for more information on submitting an application. For more information on how to get started, contact or visit 2023 NOMINATE YOUR NEIGHBOR.

NCBA Region IV includes Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma with four organizations — Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association (ACA), Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA), and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). Region IV has 3,400 plus NCBA members. All of Region IV is in a drought with most of western Texas and Oklahoma in the moderate to severe category.

The Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) is excited to partner with the Arkansas State Fair in 2022 for the first time to open the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Kitchen. ACA Kitchen will serve as a fundraiser for ACA and the county associations, and the kitchen will provide high-quality meals to youth exhibitors at a reduced price. Additionally, by partnering with the Arkansas Beef Council, the ACA Kitchen will promote beef and inform the general public about the benefits of eating beef.

In preparation for the 94th Arkansas General Assembly, the ACA is busy identifying legislative priorities like tax reform, drought relief assistance, and reforming Arkansas fence laws.

The TSCRA completed its 2022 Policy Conference, held in San Antonio, Texas. While there, the Association’s four policy committees and board of directors addressed policy issues facing the state and nation including border security, water rights and wildlife management.

This summer, in response to the illegal immigration crisis happening at the south Texas border, TSCRA established a Border Security task force made up of 15 border area ranchers, TSCRA’s officers, and staff. The group’s goal was to advise the association on action, involvement, and policy recommendations regarding border security. They created a seven-page strategic plan to guide in the creation of items such as a Border Landowners Handbook, law enforcement communication efforts, and county-run, county-paid fence rebuilding program.

TSCRA continues to increase involvement for youth and young professionals by hosting its first Cattle Raiser Roundup camp, a high school summer camp that led 14 of the top beef industry youth in the state through a “pasture to plate” tour experience.

The TCFA leaders and staff engaged members of Congress to communicate TCFA opposition to proposed legislation which would dictate how packers buy cattle, and it would restrict cattle producers’ freedom to market cattle in the manner best for them. TCFA has also been engaged in efforts to avoid the railroad strike.

Efforts are under way to prepare for the 88th Texas Legislature session in early 2023. TCFA, in coordination with other agriculture organizations, will work again this session to pass a truth-in-labeling (fake meat) bill. In 2021, the bill died at the last

Rancher Resilience Grant

minute on a procedural maneuver. In addition, TCFA will advocate for increased funds available for cattle feeding research, education and extension programs, faculty growth and facility enhancements. The third priority for TCFA will protect producer’s ability to conduct agricultural operations regardless of the proximity to urban or suburban areas.

Participation in TCFA‘s youth education programs like the Junior Fed Beef Challenge, Feedyard Camp, Feedyard Technicians Program, Education Foundation Scholarship Program, and the Beef Showcase experienced significant growth. The Feedyard Technician Program is tailored to high school juniors and seniors and focuses on machinery operation, welding, and employee safety in the fall semester. In the spring, students are immersed in TCFA’s Beef Quality Assurance Program and animal care and handling. Both courses are certificate programs recognized by the Texas Education Agency.

This fall, TCFA, in collaboration with West Texas A&M University, will host the 2022 Beef Showcase. This program is a new and expanded version of TCFA’s Fed Beef Challenge. The educational program will include a video evaluation of live animals, carcass match, beef industry knowledge and skills contest, and a beef harvest and fabrication demonstration.

The 2022 TCFA Annual Convection will be held in Frisco, Texas, in November.

Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their annual meeting and trade show in July with a sold-out trade show and great attendance. In August, the Association sponsored the 38th OCA Ranch Rodeo. This event benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. The rodeo has raised more than $585,000 for the children since it started 38 years ago. Twelve OCA member ranches compete for bragging rights and the opportunity to represent Oklahoma cattlemen and women at the National Ranch Rodeo competition in Amarillo, Texas, this fall.

The 29th class of the Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy started this fall with 30 leaders participating in this year-long leadership training. Participants will take trips to feedyards, packing plants, the Oklahoma Legislature, purebred ranches, and many other activities.

OCA has provided the OCA Beef Tent at the Tulsa State fair for years with the goal of showcasing a great all-beef Rib Eye sandwich to the fair crowd. The event is also a fundraiser for the county associations who help put on the event and the OCA. This year the featured product was the Oklahoma Prairie Beef Solution’s “Rib Eye and bacon tenders” which was well received by consumers.

OCA Foundation sponsored the first Oklahoma’s “Best of Beef Cookoff” in Stockyards City in October. Ten Oklahoma ranch teams participated in the cookoff.

Oklahoma’s cattlemen and women appreciate Oklahoma’s Governor, Kevin Stitt, who signed a bill to appropriate an additional $20 million to the Drought Commission. This bill authorizes farmers and ranchers funds for stock water, including water wells, piping and water pumps.

OCA staff are preparing for the 2023 legislature to start in February. Priority issues are recreational marijuana, property rights, agriculture input tax exemption, and other issues.

Region IV Report lV To receive funds, you can head to, under the “Producers” tab and click “Rancher Resilience Grant”. There is a short application and some additional steps to complete. We hope it’s an opportunity you take advantage of!
The grant is made possible by a partnership between the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Cargill Protein and is administered by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The Rancher Resilience Grant is designed to support cattle producer attendance at impactful education events. This program awards funds for
and hotel costs for educational cattle industry events across the country via
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The Evolving Beef Trade Landscape

The U.S. is nearing the 20-year anniversary of the “cow that stole Christmas,” the first domestic case of BSE. Prior to that event in late 2003, the U.S. beef industry enjoyed a decade of consistent export tonnage and value growth. At that time, the most important beef trading partners were Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Canada as these four countries accounted for 92% of all beef export trade.

2003  36.5%  23.3%  23.3%  9.0%  1.8%  0.4%  1.9%  3.7%

2013  25.9%  9.8%  15.6%  18.0%  13.9%  0.7%  3.9%  12.4%

2022  23.1%  21.3%  7.2%  7.8%  1.9%  18.8%  6.3%  14.3%

In 2003, the U.S. exported what was then a record 2.5 billion pounds of beef. The following year, beef export totals declined by more than 80% to just 460 million pounds. The Japanese and South Korean markets were closed, and all other markets witnessed substantial declines. The industry’s long road back began in earnest by working diligently to completely reopen those four most important markets.

In the ensuing decade, the industry rebuilt export markets to the point where the tonnage was slightly above pre-BSE levels, but the overall trade landscape had changed. Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Canada were still important U.S. beef markets but accounted for just less than 70% of beef export trade. New market development, led by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan had become significant trade partners.

Today, the beef trade landscape is notably different than it was 10 and 20 years ago. The Phase One Trade Agreement between the United States and China signed in January of 2020 has had a very positive impact on the beef industry. China has risen to the third largest direct trading partner behind Japan and South Korea as China is on pace to buy nearly 700 million pounds of beef from the United States. In addition to the rise of China in the last couple of years is what has now become defined as the “Rest of the World”, or those countries that are not in the Top 7 markets listed in the following table. They now account for more than 500 million pounds of beef per year. This accounts for approximately 14% of the export market.

The developments of these markets were instrumental in growing beef exports, and they will be important long-term as well. Looking forward to the coming year, with rising interest rates, a strong U.S. dollar — which in many cases is leading to a weaker currency for our trade partners, smaller U.S. beef supplies, and increases in grain-fed production from Australia, all could limit growth of U.S. beef exports. However, the diversification of our trade partners today, puts the U.S. in a much better position to handle these challenges than where it was 10 and 20 years ago. Expect the U.S. to continue to be innovative in the global beef market long term.

Seasonal Changes to Prime Cutout Values

Demand for high-quality beef continues to be strong as evidenced by U.S. export markets and U.S. consumers not shying away from strong retail prices. The industry has continued to march forward on delivering larger and larger volumes of high-quality cattle to market resulting in more Prime-grade beef on market.

The comprehensive cutout data released by USDA AMS includes boxed beef sold through all types of marketing arrangements which the LMIC then aggregates to a monthly average.

September cutout data showed a strong resurgence in Prime-grade beef, approaching levels not seen since January of 2022. The Prime cutout value was $339.90 per cwt, up from August’s $330.57 value, and just short of January’s peak for the year of $341.13 per cwt. Interestingly, other grades of beef cutout failed to rally and were even with the month before. Prime cutout components of loin and rib posted strong month-over-month gains. Loin values hit a high point for the year with the September average being $568.51, up 4% from August, but 5% lower than last year. Prime Rib values increased 9% from August to $716.38 per cwt, a level not seen since fourth quarter of 2021. September’s value is the new high of 2022 taking out the over $700 value in January. Still, the September Prime Rib value was 0.3% under September 2021.

The strong interest in Prime Rib and loin values is associated with a seasonal component that has become much more pronounced since 2017 and shows up in the premiums between Prime and other grades of beef. Fall of 2021 was one of the largest historical cutout spreads, in which Prime commanded more than $80 per cwt over

Choice. Prime Rib premiums are on pace to approach last year’s high point, while Prime loin values are slightly weaker.

Determining the difference in seasonality for the Prime cutout value can be a helpful exercise to understand price fluctuations. Seasonal indexes can be used to compare current values to what normal historical variations are relative to a cycle. In this case, monthly data was used over a standard 12-month calendar. The comprehensive beef cutout series dates back to 2004, which limits the index for comparison to the 5-, 10-, and 15-year indexes. Importantly, the 5-year index is heavily influenced by COVID-19, and as more data come available, may continue to change.

All three time periods show strong tendencies for Prime cutout values to be higher in May than any other time of year, with the 10-year more pronounced than the 15-year and the 5-year an even larger tendency. The remainder of the year for all three timeframes shows very small seasonal differences outside of May. Similar patterns exist for Choice cutout values, which also favor May and the 5-year having the largest value compared to the 15- and 10-year indices.

Prime Rib primal values have been particularly interesting to watch as demand has soared in recent years during the 4th quarter. Analysis of the seasonal index implies that these trends have become exacerbated in recent years, while the 10-year and 15-year held relatively similar patterns compared to each other. In the five-year trend, not only are the 4th quarter values higher, the first third of the year are much lower than the other two indexes, speaking to more volatility within the year.

Prime loin values have also been strong in recent years and helped support the Prime cutout through extraordinary premiums relative to other beef grades. The seasonality with the loin primal does not appear to be changing substantially. Loin values tend to be the highest in the summer months and the lowest in December, January and February time periods.

Percentage of U.S. Beef Exports Japan  South Korea  Mexico  Canada  Hong Kong  China  Taiwan  Other
0.9 0.95 1 1.05 1.1 1.15 1.2 Index Values Seasonal Index for Prime Cutout Values 10 Year Seasonal Index 15 Year Seasonal Index 5 Year Seasonal Index Data Source: USDA AMS, calculated by LMIC Livestock Marketing Information Center 0.9 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 1 1.02 1.04 1.06 1.08 1.1 Index Values Seasonal Index for Prime Rib Values 10 Year Seasonal Index 15 Year Seasonal Index 5 Year Seasonal Index Data Source: USDA AMS, calculated by LMIC Livestock Marketing Information Center 250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 Jan-21 Apr-21 Jul-21 Oct-21 Jan-22 Apr-22 Jul-22 Oct-22 $/Cwt RIB VALUE COMPARISON Monthly Prime Branded Choice Select Data Source: USDA AMS, Compiled by LMIC Livestock Marketing Information Center 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 1.1 1.15 Index Values Seasonal Index for Prime Loin Values 10 Year Seasonal Index 15 Year Seasonal Index 5 Year Seasonal Index Data Source: USDA AMS, calculated by LMIC Livestock Marketing Information Center

The stories had a potential reach of 1.15 billion.1


The Bureau of Labor Statistics says over the past year, the price of chicken increased by 16% while the cost of beef steaks went down 3%. CNN, Fox Business and NPR all reported on the trend.1

Total engagement on social media around the topic of beef prices went up 655% in September.1


Stories about the use of virtual fences spiked 325% during the final week of September.1 Oregon State University and the University of Idaho are looking at ways to use new GPS collars on livestock. Those collars communicate with reception towers to form virtual fences set by ranchers. In all, more than 200 consumer and trade articles focused on virtual fences in September with a potential reach of 648 milion.1


NASCAR beefs up the Xfinity Series season opener for a third consecutive year.

For the third year in a row, Daytona International Speedway announced its partnership with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to sponsor the 42nd seasonopening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series — The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300. The race is scheduled to kick off the season on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway, the day before the 65th annual DAYTONA 500.

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is an iconic brand funded through national and state support of beef farmers and ranchers as part of the Beef Checkoff program and managed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“The partnership we have with the Beef Checkoff and NCBA is unique to our sport and our fans love it,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300. The race has given beef farmers and ranchers the perfect platform to reach consumers and tell the tasty story of beef. We have had two incredible Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300. events and again can’t wait to smell beef on the grills of our campers in February.”

The fan-favorite DAYTONA Speedweeks, presented by AdventHealth, kicks off with the Bluegreen Vacations Duel followed

by the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300 and the iconic DAYTONA 500. Fans of all ages from across the country will gather to tailgate and fire up their grills as the drivers start their engines. From the love for race day tailgating to a shared sense of legacy, NASCAR and beef have always gone hand in hand.

“We’re honored to be back for a third year and once again sponsor the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300 on behalf of beef farmers and ranchers,” said Clark Price, Federation Division vice chair for NCBA. “What better way to celebrate beef as a race-day favorite food than at one of the most famous racetracks in the country.”

In addition to the race name, the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand and logo will appear throughout Daytona International Speedway as well as on the winner’s trophy and in victory lane. For race fans and beef fans not attending the race, beef will be promoted on national radio ads and through additional promotional support provided through NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded work.

During the 2022 Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300, Austin Hill took the checkered flag. Join us in February to see who takes home the trophy and, more importanty, the beef in 2023.

Fans can get all of the race dayrelated news and tailgating recipes at or by following Daytona International Speedway.

Beef Quality Assurance Doesn’t End at the Farm Gate

Cow-calf producers, stockers and feedyards implement Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) practices on their operations to produce the highest quality cattle and provide consumers with the best possible eating experience. However, BQA doesn’t end at the farm gate, and those transporting cattle are encouraged to become BQA Transportation (BQAT) certified.


“Hauling can be one of the most stressful times in the life of cattle,” said Colby Carpenter with W&J Carpenter Trucking Inc., a 2022 BQA Award winner. “BQAT provides anyone transporting cattle with the information and resources they need to make sure animals are handled properly, resulting in less stress and a higher quality product for consumers.”

to revise BQAT material and provide updates needed to fit industry needs for hauling cattle.

“As the industry changes and evolves, educational materials are revised,” said Trey Patterson, Wyoming rancher and chair of the Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Group. “We work with producers and those hauling cattle to create a program that meets the needs of the animals and the industry.”


BQAT is a comprehensive management program that incorporates responsible practices in all phases of transporting cattle. In-person training and free online courses are designed for both ranchers hauling cattle in gooseneck trailers and professional drivers who are transporting animals in semi-trailers. These courses teach proper methods for hauling cattle including biosecurity, fitness for transport, pre-trip planning and loading, and emergency management.

BQAT is science-based and producer-driven, and online modules have been updated. A working group of industry leaders from all sectors of the cattle industry came together

The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, funded by the Beef Checkoff, provides information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers about how common-sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase — and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.

BQA and BQAT certifications are available through in-person trainings and online courses. To learn more about BQA and to become certified, visit NATIONAL CATTLEMEN 15
NEWS Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 Returns to Daytona International Speedway TRENDING IN FOOD & MEDIA ARMS #100422-32 1. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. (2022). Traditional and social media listening dashboards Retrieved from Meltwater: 2. Taylor, Charles. 2006. Targeted Grazing to Manage Fire Risk. University of Idaho. On Sept. 18 The Wall Street Journal said ‘Beyond Meat is beyond hope’. A day later, news outlets across the U.S. reported on Beyond Meat’s COO being suspended.1 More than 50 print, online and broadcast news outlets posted a story from Bloomberg on fake meat sales sliding due to high prices and being too ‘woke’.
The increase in news coverage about virtual fences helps tell the story that cattle can mitigate wildfires.2 NBC Chicago reported Google searches for Italian Beef have nearly doubled since the premiere of the Hulu series ‘The Bear.’1 A new Deloitte survey found positive perceptions around plant-based meat fell this year, even among consumers who sometimes purchased it.1


In addition to soil health, the nutritional values of most cover crops will meet the needs of grazing livestock so you can utilize annuals with grazing livestock to grow more forage, graze longer, and reduce the amount of feed needed to get more out of your pastures.

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