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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

October 18, 2017

September Retail Meat Price Trends

The Department of Labor survey of retail prices across the U.S. economy for September highlighted the rapid escalation of pork prices in recent months. Meanwhile, grocery store beef and chicken prices stayed close to values of prior months. A composite retail pork price is calculated by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) based on a selection of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. This measure of pork prices moved up 5¢ per pound (lb.) from August to September, or 1.3%. A similar calculation focused on beef sold in fresh form declined from August to September by about 4¢ while chicken meat and parts prices slipped a penny lower. Most of the increase in pork prices was tied to a 12¢ increase in bacon prices, which was the highest monthly average price in at least three years. Pork chops, loin and ham product prices did not change significantly from August to September.

Grocery store bacon prices in September were up 16% from a year earlier and up 12% from three months earlier. Retail bacon price trends tend to mirror market conditions in the wholesale market for pork bellies (the raw material used for bacon) in prior months.

Read the full report online at

Winning with Team HAVE

In the cattle barns at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), it’s fair to say there is a stereotypical showman lurking in the corner stall of every cattle barn. You know the one: polo cap, short-sleeve button-up shirt tucked into starched blue jeans, cowhide belt, clippers in one hand and show sheen in the other, focused on making it to the winner’s circle. Yet, for every stereotypical showman, there are many who break the mold.

The California group who traveled together to this year’s NJAS as a team — Team HAVE — is a prime example.

Darrell Hansen and Jim “Big Jim” Vietheer started Hansen and Vietheer Enterprises (HAVE) of Wilton, Calif., in 1994 when Darrell’s father, Mel Hansen, sold them a cow.

“We never thought we would [have] more than five cows when we first started out,” Darrell says. “Then it went from one to two. Then she had a heifer calf. Then it went to four ... Then we hit that threshold when you’re at 14 or 15 cows, and you’re keeping five or six every year, and all of a sudden 15 becomes 28 really fast, and then 28 becomes 40 really, really fast.”

Continue reading this Angus Journal article online.

Small Army, Big Results

In 2001, Neal Richardson donated a heifer to the East Tennessee Angus Association scholarship fund. The generous gesture could have ended there. However, the Lancing, Tenn., cattleman was also a member of the fledgling Upper Cumberland Angus Association (UCAA) and says, “I got the idea we should do the same.” The UCAA board of directors agreed with Richardson, and in 2001 they made it official. Richardson donated a yearling heifer, a scholarship was awarded, and the program took off like a match thrown in the middle of a stack of Tennessee lighter knots. Now, the UCAA gives four $2,000 scholarships a year. In 2018, they’ll be up to five. The grand total, as of the April 2017 scholarship presentations, was $108,000.

UCAA scholarship chairman Sam Tays takes none of the credit.

“It takes an army,” says the Cookeville auctioneer and Angus breeder. What Tays doesn’t say is that it is a very small army. While the official roster lists around 50 members, Tays says there are only 28-30 active members, and most of the heavy lifting is done by the nine-member board.

Read the full Angus Journal article online.

Plan Beyond Status Quo

Planning is often one of those tasks that gets crowded out by work that is considered urgent. Or, planning might be avoided because it seems boring or too overwhelming. However, Davon Cook, a specialist with the family business firm Ag Progress, says taking time for business planning is essential to identify how, when, and with what people and resources you will reach your goals.

Additionally, Cook points out there can be some detrimental consequences that result when a plan is not developed.

As one example, Cook says she often sees that, “In the absence of structure (a plan), people default to the status quo.”

“You must begin by analyzing the status quo, and are you satisfied with that?” Cook says.

She explains that, in some parts of the business, following the status quo may be good — such as the values that were set by previous generations. However, if you never change who does what or how and when products are marketed, following that status quo and not identifying some successors could become problematic.

Learn more by reading this Angus Journal article online.

Making Angus Her Destiny

Morgan Hutchins has seven years of experience on the show circuit, but don’t let that fool you –– she’s only 15.

The fourth-generation Angus breeder from Charleston, Ill., doesn’t think much of it, though. Her father, grandparents and great-grandparents made their lives with Angus cattle.

“I’m just continuing the tradition,” she says. Ohio natives Brian and Lora Hutchins began their Angus herd, Destiny Angus, in Tennessee, where Brian was filling his current role as vice president of business development for Rural King, the largest privately owned farm store chain in the country. Now based in Illinois, the couple travels the country watching their only daughter do what she does best: show cattle.

Like many National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members, Morgan has been traveling to the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) since she could begin showing at just 8 years old.

“Preparing for this show is probably more stressful than any other show,” she admits of the NJAS. Up at the crack of dawn, she brings calves into the barn as early as 6 a.m. prior to show season to prep them for the biggest show of the summer.

Read the full Angus Journal article online.



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