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Agricultural News

J.D. Alexander Speaks With Ron Hays On Beef Industry Challenges and Opportunities

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:54:42 CST

J.D. Alexander Speaks With Ron Hays On Beef Industry Challenges and Opportunities J.D. Alexander, the incoming president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spoke with Ron Hays about the challenges facing the industry and the progress which has been made in the last year.

There were many issues confronting cattle producers last year, but, overall, Alexander said gave the industry high marks.

“I’d say it was a B. I’ve always been one to say it’s never perfect and never really bad, so I’d say we’re doing really quite well.”

He cited some successes in slowing, suppressing, or beating back regulations which threatened producers. Among them were the EPA’s proposed dust abatement standards which would have had serious consequences for the agricultural industry as a whole. Alexander also mentioned progress made to halt a rule from the Department of Transportation that would have required practically all farm producers to hold a commercial driver’s license.

“It was a good year, and we’re going to keep the momentum going,” he said.

Alexander noted a number of pro-active successes in the cattle industry last year, especially in the area of opening and solidifying international markets. He said that with success comes the opportunity for even greater growth.

“The free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, South Korea-tremendous. We’ve been working on those for a long time and it was great to see them finally come to fruition. But our work is not done. We’re going to continue to do that. I’m a firm believer in the world marketing of beef. Our potential is out there. We want to be the center of the protein plate around the world.”

Another challenge facing the industry in the United States is numbers. Cattle numbers are down to their lowest levels in 50 years. The drought throughout the Southwest and the Southern Plains certainly took its toll, but Alexander thinks markets and time will bring the numbers back.

“Tremendous markets. These are all-time record prices for a lot of the segments of the industry. We’ve never seen these prices before. When things are good, you keep moving, make some profit and keep going.”
Alexander sees this election year as being pivotal to the future of the cattle industry.

“I’d venture to say this election is the most critical one in my lifetime. I won’t speak for other people, and from what I’ve seen that’s happened with our government and with our businesses over the last several years, it’s very critical that we know what’s going to happen. We encourage our people to look at the candidates, to evaluate how they will implement things that will affect your business and your and my bottom line. So, I think it’s very critical.

“We’ve seen government has gotten bigger and that, in my estimation, is very dangerous. We’re out there to operate and make a profit, to make a good product out there to move all over the world. The agencies in Washington, D.C., have a big effect on our industry. So, it’s a very critical election. I encourage our members to look very closely at their future.”

Industry organizations themselves have met some challenges in 2011 and Alexander thinks they’re on the right path for the future.

“ did have some tumultuous times. Different opinions on different issues and directions to go, but I’d say, right now, we’ve got our communications up and running as well as they’ve ever been with the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. I’m proud to say we’re the biggest contractor in the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and that’s not by mistake.

“We’ve assembled a team that’s second to none to really get the message out about our product and build demand. And that’s what we’re all about. That’s really what the check off is all about.

“We take this very seriously and the future is going to be even better with the getting along of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the entire interview with J.D. Alexander.


Ron Hays interviews J.D. Alexander at the Beef Industry Conference in Nashville, Tennesee.

right-click to download mp3    

Ron Hays interviews J.D. Alexander at the Beef Industry Conference in Nashville, Tennesee.
right-click to download mp3


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