Future of the Beef Industry by Scott Starr

AGA recently held the 47th Annual National Convention. All who attended the event left with a clear vision of the future of the Gelbvieh and Balancer business. Growing pains surrounding the
implementation of genomics were discussed. However, the future is incredible with the promise of BOLT, the single-step genetic evaluation, and all it can offer the largest beef animal database in the world in which Gelbvieh is a part of. Attendees also got a look at how Gelbvieh and Balancer fit into the beef industry and uphold the standards discovered in the National Beef Quality Audit. Marketing alliances with industry leaders like Superior Livestock Auction, Western Video Market, and Cattle Country Video were a few companies mentioned. The current breed growth and membership growth that the AGA is experiencing further validates that our Meeting Modern Industry Demands strategic plan is focusing on the needs of every breeder involved. The strategic plan is further positioning Gelbvieh and Balancer as a leader and with everyone pulling on the same end of the rope, such cooperation will continue to strengthen our position and enlarge Gelbvieh critical mass.

Science continues to drive the industry, but it is proven that on-ranch data is imperative for the technology to continue. In visiting with a friend of mine, Dan Warner, we were trying to think outside the box for being a leader in breed growth without slowing generational turn around. I wanted to share this idea with you to spark your imagination. The idea we were working on was collecting 20 oocytes from a set of known females, mating to 20 different sires, performing a biopsy on each embryo to gather genomic information for the more difficult to collect data, e.g., carcass data. In the discussion, let’s take it one step further and implant those embryos into recipient cows, grow and harvest all progeny and collect all phenotypes from birth to harvest. Wow! We
could excel all other breeds for data collection, validate genomics like no other, and set Gelbvieh and Balancer up to meet the modern industry expectations for reliable genetic prediction and be at the forefront of global marketing. This is the shortened version of all we talked about, but we should all have the goal of keeping our breed, operation, and ourselves viable into the future.

No matter if you’re a commercial or registered producer, we all have the same goal: an unmatched beef eating experience. The U.S. beef industry owns the high quality beef sector on a global scale. Much of this achievement is due to our infrastructure of having the genetics, feeding capabilities, and harvest facilities all with the safety that is second to no other country. We need to keep the foot on the accelerator to keep this global edge. One way to help keep the competition at bay is to get out and search for breed leading genetics that fit into the environment and the much bigger picture of the beef industry. If we keep the big picture as a goal, we will find our target. Don’t get caught up on the little things, we must have our commercial producers’ target in mind when we make all mating decisions. As technology advances, they will have individual data on every operation in the U.S., and let me tell you the more advanced harvest and feeding facilities already do! So get out and find the industry-leading Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics that will take us to the target.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes to ponder:
• Communication is a must; 90 percent of being married is shouting, “WHAT!?” from another room.
• Whenever you feel like giving up, think of all the people that would love to see you fail.
• “It’s better to change and fail than to attempt to hold the status quo.” – TD Jakes