Cattle industry faces crossroad of supply, demand and drought
Houston County Courier
FORT WORTH - Today's rancher is faced with three major challenges: a looming financial crisis that is slowing consumer demand for beef, the lowest cattle supplies since the 1940s, and a lingering drought that has expanded to other parts of the country. What this crossroad means for the cattle industry and how ranchers will manage through these difficult times will be the focus of the 136th annual Cattle Raisers Convention March 22-24 in Fort Worth, Texas. "Ranchers are headed toward an unprecedented crossroads that is sure to be a critical point in the history of the Texas cattle industry," said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and TSCRA president. "The Cattle Raisers Convention will provide insight and analysis from industry experts on all 3 of these issues to ensure ranchers are prepared to operate their businesses well into the future." Economist Don Reynolds will address ranchers at the opening general session of the convention. Reynolds will talk about the global economy prior to, during and following the financial crisis as well as the course the U.S. can take and what role the cattle industry will play moving forward. The opening general session is Saturday, March 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kevin Good, senior analyst for CattleFax, will talk more specifically about how the U.S. economic situation is affecting the cattle markets. He will discuss how the drought in the Midwest is affecting feed costs as well as the improving export markets and the continued contraction of the U.S. cattle herd. Good will speak Saturday, March 23. Rounding out the discussion on drought will be climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garris. Browning- Garris will present her unique scientific research on lar to the current pattern, which will give ranchers an insight as to when the drought might end. Browning-Garris is scheduled to speak Sunday, March 24. These speakers are in addition to the breakout sessions and School for Successful Ranching, all of which will provide indepth education and practical tools to better equip ranchers for the issues they are facing and will continue to face in the future. More than 2,500 ranchers and landowners will gather as part of the largest cattle industry convention and exposition in the Southwest. Highlights of the convention include the popular School for Successful Ranching, the Cattle Raisers Expo (the largest beef industry trade show in the region), and committee breakout sessions covering a wide range of ranching and wildlife topics. A complete schedule can be found at the TSCRA convention website. TSCRA will continue to update the schedule with additional events.