Riding Shotgun – Random Thoughts

Riding Shotgun Caption
As we travel the highways and by-ways of the Limousin family and breed we often cuss and discuss the cattle business, sports, politics, great cheeseburgers and most of the time, the promotion and marketing of Limousin cattle.

Through “Riding Shotgun” we invite you to join us in the right-hand seat, so that we can let you in on what we find to be our marketing pet peeves, shortcuts and some of the favorite habits of top-flight professional producers. Grab a cup of coffee and take the ‘shotgun seat’—we are pleased to have you riding along.

As I sit here and ruminate the day before Thanksgiving and look back at 2020, it’s easy to ask “What in the world do we have to be thankful for?” Believe it or not there are lots of things. No matter which side of the argument you are on, be thankful you have the right to argue. You have the right to disagree and that’s great, just don’t let your own disagreement eat YOU up. Be thankful you are in a profession that is also an avocation, you get to see God’s plan up close almost everyday. The world would have to slow down if everyone had livestock, if everyone was involved in some phase of agriculture. Think about that word, AGRI-CULTURE. The culture of agronomy. (I maybe made that up, but I like it.) If everybody started every day watching things grow instead of tearing them down, we would be a better world. And finally, 2020 has taught us to be thankful for family and close friends, we need them and they need us more than ever.

So as you read this, Thanksgiving, Christmas and even 2020, are all in the rear view. The world moves on and here we go. We have a new start and need to use the past to plan for the future. We know that America loves animal protein and we also know we aren’t alone in the protein production line. We are however first in line, we PRODUCE the protein, but we learned that feeders, processors, and retail outlets are in the game with us. Hopefully in a new start we ALL try to make sure each segment appreciates the others. Calves are going be born in 2021. I’m going to hear from excited breeders that they have the best calf they have ever seen and we will be planning for 2022, 2023 and beyond. So here we go, in the words of racing…Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

As I look to the future, I would like to take this space to thank the NALF Staff and NALF Board for continuing to reform and refine the breeding tools we have to work with. If you haven’t noticed the new BOLT EPDs and the new adjustments made to carcass numbers, I challenge you to study your lessons. The staff and board spent many days trying to get it right and I want to commend and thank them for holding the line. I think our numbers are the best we ever had and the quality of the cattle show the improvement. Continue to strive and learn.

We are working our way out of several negative things in the beef business as a whole. Lots of supply, a pandemic and an election. Let’s keep the faith and work to make our product a product for the future. I think Limousin and Lim-Flex genetics are in the best shape they have ever been in for the cattle business. Phenotypically, number profiles, convenience traits, and structure, these cattle can work for commercial industry, youth projects and progressive breeders. We have a lot to be proud of, use the new year to tell people about it.

We are going to be out and about this spring, please let us know if we can be of assistance, be it marketing, breeding or good choices for restaurants. This is our 42nd year traveling this great country, I have never been more proud of the Limousin Breed, Limousin Breeders and AGRI-CULTURE. Be proud of yourselves, enjoy yourselves, you have cattle to produce, cattle to improve, a world to improve. The shotgun seat is always available, if you think you might want to ride along, bring your bag.

See ya out there.


Mark A Smith
email: [email protected]
phone: 515-229-5227