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As I See It 7-2-15
Publish Date: Thursday, 02 July, 2015
With the summer marketing through the video sales, there's a real push coming on from the countryside to the local auction markets getting ready to consign livestock. You can tell there's a whole change of thought.
The sales that have been staged have been outstanding. The results are reverberating through the countryside, and there are stacks of cattle folks with a price in mind that maybe they'll get and maybe they won't and maybe they'll get more. I know that this year of 2015 is going to stick in the minds of lots of folks who have been around the business all their life and have never seen anything like it. The prices that these calves, yearlings, spayed heifers, and now the bred heifers, bred cows, and the pairs have brought... oh boy, has the market changed! I've seen a good long string bring $3,550 per pair, and many are selling in the $2,000-$,3000 range on the good young productive kind. Those who have them know they're good ones, and that's even more spectacular because knowing what you've got to sell and knowing the value of what you have to sell are key components.  If you don't know what you want or need or can get for your livestock, who does?
So make a point to study what these cattle are bringing. And, if you know the people, consider that. Most of the time the cattle that are bringing the most money have the most success record behind them. Those people, not always but usually, buy the best bulls and have for many, many years. So, it's a lesson in genetics that everyone, if they haven't been studying it, had better pay attention to.
There is a huge difference in the quality of the livestock that sell. Just because they are a certain age, a certain size, or a certain weight, their success record will dictate the kind of advertising that's out there ahead of them. If they had, as a herd, an excellent record of success, you will know when they sell that they will actually bring more. Unless that record of success is in place, however, they will not bring more money.
So know where you're at with your cattle. Know what has been your success record. Do the people who have purchased your cattle have excellent luck with them? Did they weigh what they were supposed to weigh? Did they look like they were supposed to look? Did they milk like they were supposed to milk? Did they have the mature size they were supposed to have?
Don't leave it up totally to your auction market operator or your order buyer to decide what your cattle ought to be bringing. You better be a contributor to that knowledge and that record because, as I've said before, if you don't have any idea of what your cattle are worth, who does?
There will be major sales coming up in your area where you can bet there will be people looking for the top-producing kind. Remember that, just because they cost the most, doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best cattle. What's been the exposure rate of your cattle to your community? Has it been good? Has the success rate with your customers been good? If you have had some problems in the past with one thing or another, make note of that because the problems will surface at the most unexpected time. But if you have a good record with your herd, a success record I'm talking about, then you have got some advertising out there ahead of you, and it pretty much dictates the value of what those cattle will bring when exposed to an auction sale and to your neighbors and your buyers.
Lastly, when you're selling your livestock, that's the time you evaluate honestly where you are. Just because they've got your brand on them doesn't necessarily mean they are going to bring more than anyone else's. They probably will bring more than others if your herd has had a good success record. I believe the best advertising that you have is success, and success is going to carry you and your herd to a good finish.
Success. Think about it and ask questions and talk to the people who have purchased your cattle in the past. Find out what their reaction or thoughts were. Were they happy? Were they unhappy about something? If there was some prominent factor they were unhappy about, you've got to cure that. You can cure it through selection of your next set of bulls quicker than any other way. But you have to know the difference. If you don't know what your cattle are worth, who does?
Oh yes, this is the Fourth of July issue. We are celebrating Independence Day. The livestock industry of which we are a part of is one of the greatest capitalistic endeavors within our great country. Opportunity is here, if we aren't held down with unnecessary laws. As you eliminate a law, you open up freedom, and freedom is what causes and creates opportunity. That's how America got to be called the "Land of Opportunity." That's why we're the number one country in the world. I'm proud to be an American, and I'm sure you are too. Enjoy Independence Day, ladies and gentlemen. You are a part of the greatest nation in all the world. God Bless You and God Bless America!

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