Beef Buzz News
Clint Rusk on the Sometimes-Underestimated Value of Charolais Beef
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 11:19:22 CST
Cattlemen’s Congress is more than just a world-class cattle show; it is an opportunity for folks from all over the U.S. to gather and network. On the same note, a variety of top-breed officials have visited the show, including Dr. Clint Rusk, the executive vice president of the American International Charolais Association (AICA).
Listen to Ron's conversation with Dr. Rusk here.
Rusk recently made the switch from academia, recently heading the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Oklahoma State University, to take over for AICA. Ron Hays, the senior reporter for the Oklahoma Farm Report, sat down with Rusk to see how the first couple of months off-campus has treated him.
“In my first 60 days, I have done 30 herd visits, been to seven sales, been to the American Royal and Louisville (NAILE) - two big national shows,” Rusk said. “I just am so impressed with the people and their positivity in the face of coming through COVID and many challenges.”
On top of that, he said Charolais breeders are some of the friendliest folks in the business. Despite his extensive experience, he calls himself a bit of an outsider as he did not grow up raising Charolais cattle.
“They are very friendly and very welcoming to a new guy who did not grow up with Charolais cattle,” Rusk said. “When I go to their place to look at cattle, I have enjoyed looking at the cattle but the thing I leave with is how (nice) they make me feel. The people part of the business is still critically important.”
In the immediate future, Rusk said he sees more value-added to the Charolais breed through genetic testing and genomic data available today. One challenge the breed is working to overcome is to educate packers and consumers on the benefits of Charolais beef.
“In my first 60 days, the concern that I have heard from folks that are using Charolais bulls is they have started hearing packers telling their buyers to only buy black-hided cattle,” Rusk said. “(Those folks) know that their cattle have value, they have been told by the people who feed their cattle that they love feeding Charolais crossed cattle, so I do not think it is a matter of convincing the feeders.”
He said the key there is to educate packers and consumers to know that white-hided cattle have value and cross well with other desired breeds.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Clint Rusk as they talk about his time with the American International Charolais Association so far and what is on his radar for the future of the breed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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