I spent this week mixing and mingling with sales professionals at Select Sires’ National Sales Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Select is one of the largest A.I. studs in the world, and while they are not the largest stud in the beef market, the cooperative federation earns over 20% market share.
Like most bull studs, the beef business is secondary in many ways to the dairy industry for one obvious reason: Something like 90% of the dairy cows in this country are bred artificially, only 5% or 6% of the beef cows are bred using artificial service. So, even though there are three times as many beef cows as dairy cows, the marketplace for artificially breeding dairy cattle is staggering by comparison.
Even so, Select Sires places quite an emphasis on its beef department and sees it as a growth area (full disclosure: I do some social media and marketing consulting for the beef department). Accordingly, the company brought in Tom Field from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to give conference attendees some perspectives on the industry.
Field is a leading educator in beef production. Long associated with Colorado State University, he serves as director of educational programs for NCBA, though he will leave that role at year’s end to lead the University of Nebraska’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. I shared many of his comments via Facebook and Twitter, and the response from my friends in social media was exciting. So much so that I sat down with Field after his presentation to talk a little further.
Here’s my conversation with Tom Field.