Success measured by profitability of cow-calf operations

Posted February 16, 2013

Success – whether in a breed association or a football team – starts with a set of core values on which to guide decisions and actions. The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) celebrated a successful year, increased marketing program enrollments and expanded market share during the Red Angus National Convention held in Reno, Nev., Oct. 31 – Nov. 1.

The breed’s core policies have been the guiding light of the RAAA for the past 58 years, helping the breed grow over 300 percent the past two decades to now rank third in breed registrations nationally.

President Joe Mushrush of Strong City, Kan., likened the RAAA’s core policies to those of a successful football team’s – recognizing teamwork, a common goal, unselfishness and self-discipline as common denominators.

The Red Angus breed has maintained a strong focus toward the cow-calf sector of the industry and, for the fourth year in a row, exceeded previous enrollments into the Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP) with over 137,000 head tagged, a testament to their dedication to the commercial producer.

The 59th annual Red Angus convention kicked off with a “Profit $implified” Commercial Cattlemen’s Symposium. Attendees listened to Journalist and Public Lands Consultant Andy Rieber discuss managing the media and bringing forth agriculture’s good story. While the media tends to focus on negative news, Rieber encouraged cattle producers to be diligent in sharing their story. “Don’t underestimate the power of the positive story of beef production,” Rieber said. “The beef story is beautiful, unique and powerful.”

Tom Brink, JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC, addresses profit drivers in the feed yard. He said they strive to pay added value for cattle that will be valuable in the feeding phase and that genetics definitely matter to the success of cattle in the feed yard. “We are all in the beef business,” said Brink. “Your genetics leave an imprint on this industry. Make it a good one!”

RAAA Director of Breed Improvement Larry Keenan discussed advancements in multi-breed EPDs and economically relevant traits (ERTs). The new multi-breed EPDs, now calculated on the same base as the American Simmental Association, will simplify the selection process for producers using bulls from both breeds or hybrid bulls. The new EPDs will objectively describe reproduction, growth, maintenance requirements and carcass traits using the fewest possible EPDs while allowing producers to select cattle with traits that will have a direct economic impact on their bottom line.

RAAA CEO Greg Comstock encouraged cattlemen and women to anchor their breeding program in Red Angus. “Crossbreeding can enhance a producer’s profitability through heterosis and breed complementarity that ultimately adapts cows to fit their environment and calves to fit the market,” he said. “But it’s essential to plan first and crossbreed second to avoid swings in the cowherd’s biological type.”

Silas Skinner of Jordan Valley, Ore., Will DeLong of Winnemucca, Nev., and Bill Moore of Unity, Ore., sat on a commercial producer panel and shared their insights on what they expect from their seedstock suppliers to add profit to their calf crop. “The accuracy of the Red Angus data helps us supply cattle that buyers want to feed," said DeLong. Moore added, “The Red Angus breed provides us with the tools to sell cattle that these buyers will keep coming back for."

Northwest Red Angus Events

The Area 1 - West, host of this year’s convention, treated attendees to a social, supper and parade of the “Bet On Red” sale consignments Thursday evening at the Reno Livestock Event Center. The “Bet On Red” video sale was held at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino Friday afternoon, and the Red Western Classic show wrapped up the Red Angus events on Saturday.

Red Angus Business

Convention attendees participated in general business matters of the RAAA including committee meetings and reports, caucus meetings and officer elections.

Tim Whitley of Horton, Ala., was elected to serve as RAAA’s President.
Kim Ford of Bertrand, Neb., will step up into the Second Vice President seat. She also serves as the director for Region B.
Bruce Ketchum of Plevna, Mont., was elected as the director for Area 2 - Montana.
Raymond Prescott of Gray Court, S.C. was elected as director of Area 8 – Southeast.
Johnny R. Rogers of Roxboro, N.C., was re-elected to serve Region C.
Kevin Miller of Briggsdale, Colo., was re-elected to a second term as director for Area 3 – Rocky Mountains.
Leonard Wood of Sandpoint, Idaho, was re-elected as director for Area 1 – West.

RAAA Awards Banquet

RAAA honored Red Angus stakeholders during the awards banquet that wrapped up convention.

Breeder of the Year – Cross Diamond Cattle Co., Bertrand, Neb.
Personality of the Year – Mary Otley, Diamond, Ore.
Outstanding Junior Award – Laura Daniel Major, LaGrange, Ga.
Commercial Breeder of the Year – Skinner Ranch, Jordan Valley, Ore.
Pioneer Breeder of the Year – Loosli Red Angus, Ashton, Idaho
Industry Service Award – Blake Angell, Meyer Natural Angus, Ellis, Kan.
John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award – Jim Davis, Superior Livestock Auction, Boise, Idaho

Additionally, 29 producers and feeders won the prestigious Grid Master Award for raising and feeding Red Angus cattle that meet and exceed strict carcass quality specifications.

The Red Angus Marketing team presented Meyer Company Ranch with a special award recognizing their four-year Grid Master status, harvesting 1,000 head of Grid Master cattle in just the past two years. “Bob Meyer is the only Grid Master who can claim their cattle are raised on their ranch in Helmville, Mont., are fed at their own feed yards, harvested through a premium program operated by Bob, and then dry aged and boxed with a ‘Meyer Natural Angus’ label,” said Myron Edelman, RAAA director of added value programs.

Next year’s Red Angus convention will be held in Lewistown, Mont., Sept. 12-13. For more information about RAAA, visit or call the national office at (940) 387-3502.


For more information, contact:
Jennifer Noble, RAAA Communication Director
(970) 270-4019  •



The 2012-2013 Board of Directors for the Red Angus Association of America was elected at the national convention.

(Back row, L to R): Raymond Prescott of Gray Court, S.C., Area 8 – Southeast director; Tim Whitley of Horton, Ala., president; Gary Jacobson of Hitterdal, Minn., Area 5 – Northern Plains director; and Bruce Ketchum of Plevna, Mont., Area 2 – Montana director.

(Middle row, L to R):Larry Ellison of Fair Grove, Mo., Area 9 – Midwest director; Johnny R. Rogers of Roxboro, N.C. – Region C director; Kim Ford of Bertrand, Neb. – second vice president and Region B director; Tom Woodward of Decatur, Texas, first vice president and Area 4 – Southwest director; Leonard Wood of Sandpoint, Idaho, Area 1 – West director; and Martin Morgan of Leicester, N.C., Area 7 – Northeast director.


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