To stimulate some outside-the-box thinking, I often ask cow-calf producers who attend my speaking engagements to raise their hand if they think the world needs the beef they produce. Nearly all of the producers will raise their hand.
Folks, don’t ever be deceived into thinking the world needs what we produce. It doesn’t! Believe it or not, the world would be able to function quite well without us and without the beef we produce. Beef is a great-tasting, high-protein food source – but it is NOT the only high-protein food source. Pound for pound, chicken costs much less than beef and has an equal amount of protein. Both have around 7 grams of protein per ounce. A half cup of cooked pinto beans has 7 to 10 grams of protein – and cost much less than beef or chicken. You will never be able to produce beef cheap enough to compete with pinto beans.
Now that I have burst your bubble and perhaps made you mad, allow me to continue. People do not need the beef we produce; they want the beef we produce. There’s a big difference! Beef eaters, for the most part, are among the world’s elite – and many of them live in America. Most of the world’s population consider beef to be a luxury item. Once we acknowledge and understand the fact that the world really does not need what we produce, we are able to take a completely different look at who our customers are. I believe this will eventually change the way we produce and market our product. If beef is a luxury item, then we should stop marketing it as a necessity.
No matter how bad times get, there will always be people who can afford to purchase what they want. They may not be the majority, but they will have the money required to purchase what they want. Do you have a product that is unique enough to be wanted by the elite – at almost any price? If you do, you have the world by the tail with a downhill drag. Opportunities abound – but only for those who have enough courage to break away from the status quo, herd-mentality way of thinking.
Many PCC customers produce and market grass-finished beef. While the demand for conventional grain-finished beef has been struggling, the demand for grass-finished beef has been increasing by leaps and bounds. While the price of grain-finished animals has drastically declined in the last two years, the price of grass-finished animals continues to increase. In a previous PCC Update, Dr. Allen Williams said, “Growth in the grass-fed beef sector has been averaging between 25% and 30% for the past 12 years. The commodity beef sector has seen stagnant growth during that same time period.”
NOTE: You cannot produce high-quality, grass-finished beef with status quo, high-maintenance genetics. Status quo genetics do not have the ability to fatten (finish) on grass.
Quote Worth Re-Quoting –
“What if one opportunity could change your life?” ~ Marie Forleo