American Angus Assoc. CEO Mark McCully Reflects on the Angus Breed's Role the Beef Industry TodayThu, 12 Sep 2019 11:50:02 CDT
Mark McCully has been around the cattle industry all his life. Earlier this year, he took on a new challenge as Chief Executive Officer of the American Angus Association. According to him, the landscape of the beef market is changing and it is his goal to help keep the Angus Association ahead of the game.
"This summer in the marketplace we've seen lots of changes, lots of interesting dynamics being played out. On the positive side, we've seen some movement on trade negotiations both with Europe and more recently with Japan, which I think has been overall very supportive to beef demand and the boxed beef trade," McCully said. "I think most people have seen that as positive moves in this global marketplace we operate in."
McCully contends that the US, led by the Trump Administration, has been a strong negotiator in ensuring American producers have a level playing field in which to do business with foreign consumers and to meet their demand for high-quality US beef. He admits that the industry continues to struggle with the fallout that resulted from reduced harvest capacity due to the recent Tyson packing plant fire, but says things are beginning to bounce back from that and praised the industry for a job well done in keeping up with consumers' demand for premium beef.
"Beef demand has been awfully, awfully solid. We see the cuts continue to move. Specifically the choice/select spread has been quite wide and there's really been a demand for the premium end of products - in particular the Certified Angus Beef brand."
The latest data shows an obvious uptrend in premiums with the choice/select spread most recently clocking in at $22/cwt. In addition, McCully says there is now more prime graded beef on the market than ever before, with prime cuts showing up not just in food service but retail outlets as well. McCully believes the key for continued success in the beef industry is to nip the alternative meat problem in the bud by making sure the promoters of alternative meat products are held to the same standards as conventional beef producers and compelling them to tell consumers the truth about their products versus real beef and keeping the playing field level for all players.
"Let's make sure these products are represented to the consumer for what they really are and then let beef compete on that level playing field," he said. "Really, when the true message is made available to the consumer, I think we'll be in really fine shape there."
Listen to McCully talk more in depth about these topics and others, on today's Beef Buzz with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
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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