CAMERON, TX — Cattle ranching is big business here in Central Texas, but the industry is not immune to hardship. About 160 producers came together for the Annual Central Texas Cow Calf Clinic in Cameron on Tuesday to learn from experts ways to handle the challenges they face every day.
“Producers are having a tough time right now when it comes to selling cattle. The market is not all that great,” said Floyd Ingram, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, County Extension Agent. He said that cattlemen discussed solutions to the changing cattle market.
Market trends can make or break a ranch, but it’s not their only challenge.
“One of the biggest challenges is misconceptions about the beef industry, about the market as a whole,” said Ingram.
“We treat these cattle as good as you folks in the city treat your pet dogs or pet cats. I mean, they’re almost parts of the family, but it’s also a business, and we try to use all the genetic tools that are out there to enhance the product that we produce,” said Monte Williams of the Precision Guesswork Cattle Company.
Cattle ranchers face hardships all the time, but some issues they can't predict, like the weather.
“We had a wet spring, which was good. Grass stays green for most of the year,” said Ingram. “Right now we’re dry and we need rain pretty bad,” he continued.
Concerns like these that keep many cattlemen up at night. It’s through a fellowship of proud Texas ranchers that these men and women can come together to share ideas and keep the industry strong.
“The challenges are a daily deal. Whether it’s the weather or the cattle market or, you know, we have to be concerned about our environment, be transparent on how we handle our livestock and those kinds of things,” said Williams.
The Texas Department of Agriculture says that cattle is the top commodity. It has a market value of about $12.3 billion.