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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2009
Angus Productions Inc.

Manage High Input Costs

Cattleman Gary Teague shared options for managing risk.

by Kindra Gordon for Angus Productions Inc.


CASPER, Wyo. (Dec. 3, 2009) — Gary Teague, who operates a custom cattle-feeding service and ranches in Colorado and Nebraska, shared his experiences with managing costs as he addressed attendees at the 21st Range Beef Cow Symposium. Approximately 700 producers attended the symposium in Casper, Wyo., Dec. 1-3.


Gary Teague“You’ve got to be willing to look at all the options,” Gary Teague said. “Running fewer cows was a hard lesson for us. But we recognized we needed the philosophy of what makes the most sense for the time and adapt.”“Money is hard to come by, so you’ve got to do the right things,” he advised. “There are things beyond our control, but you can pick the day you sell your calves.”


Teague said he is a proponent of managing risk by using the futures market and forward contracting to better manage commodity volatility that has become the norm.


“If you’re feeding corn, you’d better be protected,” Teague advised. “Price your feed when the decision is made to feed. Also, price cattle when the decision is made to feed.”


He stressed the importance of the components of cattle health — such as a vaccination program, weaning, exposure to feed and a mineral program — as factors to help manage risk.


Specifically for cow-calf producers, future success may be in running more stockers rather than running more cows, Teague said. “We can put gains on cheaper and produce more beef with stockers than with cows.”


He added, “You’ve got to be willing to look at all the options. Running fewer cows was a hard lesson for us. But we recognized we needed the philosophy of what makes the most sense for the time and adapt. More cows are not always the answer.”


Teague also stressed the importance of family and building relationships. He concluded saying, “Be proud of what you do. We feed the people of this world and do it while taking care of our family, land and livestock. That is something we should be proud of.”

Editor’s Note: API's coverage of the event is made available for distribution to all media via an agreement with the Range Beef Cow Symposium Committee and API. Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo., API publishes the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, and the Angus e-List, as well as providing online coverage of events and topics pertinent to cattlemen through the API Virtual Library. For questions about this site, or to notifiy us of broken links, click here.