Riding Shotgun – Planning For The Future

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 spring starts breaking around the country and many areas recover from a tough winter, we see light at the end of the tunnel. In the agricultural business it’s easy to just hit the repeat button and do what we have done in the past—plant the crop, breed the cows and work on the hay crop for the next winter feed pile.

I think, as seedstock producers, you need to think out of the box a little and use the longer days to do some self-reflection, plan for the future and look down the road. Did your current calf crop perform like you expected? Are they the kind of calves your clients desire and demand? Is your cowherd raising the kind of calves that work in your environment and in your management situation? Do you have herd bulls that are siring not only cattle that will sell, but will also maintain and/or improve the cowherd down the road for the next generation?

Are you visiting with your customers and analyzing your sale results with a critical eye? Did they buy bulls with performance, convenience traits, or just cow fresheners? Did you lose a steady customer? Did you attract someone new to your program? Did your advertising work in the marketplace or do you feel like you wasted your promotion time and effort?

Are you watching the beef industry and the trends of the business? Does your program have the flexibility and overall integrity to shift with the times? Are you hiding behind the “same ole thing” or are you addressing the beef business and the moves that it makes?

Times moves on. Take the time this spring to study your past, your present and your future. Don’t fall into the trap of repeating the mistakes of the past simply because you didn’t want to self-analyze. There is a great future in the animal agriculture business; demand is up, prices are trending upward and the days are longer and warmer.

Embrace your lucky fortune, be a better breeder and enjoy the day.

See ya down the road.


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