Today's rancher is faced with three major challenges: a looming financial crisis that is slowing consumer demand for beef, the lowest U.S. cattle supplies since the 1940s, and a lingering drought that has expanded to other parts of the nation.
What this means for the cattle industry and how ranchers will manage through these difficult times will be the focus of the 136th annual Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association's "Cattle Raisers Convention" March 22-24 in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Ranchers are headed toward an un-precedent crossroads that is sure to be a critical point in the history of the Texas cattle industry," says Joe Parker Jr., a Byers, Texas rancher and TSCRA president. "The Cattle Raisers Convention will provide insight and analysis from industry experts on all three 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 that 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 impacting feeding costs, as well as the improving export markets, and the continued contraction of the U.S. cattle herd. Good also will be speaking Saturday, March 23.
Rounding out the discussion on drought will be climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garris. Browning-Garris will present her unique scientific research on past weather patterns similar to the current prolonged dry conditions in Texas and the Southwest, and give ranchers an insight as to when the drought might finally end. Browning-Garris slated to speak Sunday, March 24.
More than 2,500 ranchers and landowners will gather as part of the largest cattle industry convention and exposition in the Southwest. You can see a complete schedule at www.tscra.org on the TSCRA convention website.