Producer profitability provides sustainability to the industry
The vice president of the Livestock Marketing Association says LMA has launched a new initiative to address the challenges facing young farmers and ranchers.
Mike VanMaanen, who owns and operates Eastern Missouri Commission Company, a livestock auction market in Bowling Green, Missouri, says the association held listening sessions with producers of all sizes to gather feedback. “Today’s interest rates have climbed a lot, making it even harder for them to get started, ” he says. “With the interest being, 8, 9, or 10%. So, the capital needs are one thing. Having more land use is another. In today’s world, it’s hard to compete with the corn and soybean guys, or it’s hard to compete against the recreation people. Their land has become more valuable for other uses than it is to raise cattle on.”
He tells Brownfield a decline in farmers and ranchers will also impact other segments of the ag industry. “If we don’t get the next generation involved in livestock production then our businesses will suffer as well,” he says. “You know, the cattle numbers diminishing or finding other avenues part of our motivation is to make sure that we sustain strong businesses as well.”
VanManen says LMA is also looking at how existing programs, like Livestock Risk Protection or the Conservation Reserve Program, can be changed to benefit producers. “CRP acres that are out there, we’ve had a lot of droughts going across the country,” he says. “How could those acres benefit ranchers in drought conditions?”
VanMaanen says ensuring producers have an opportunity for profitability is critical to the industry’s sustainability.
Brownfield interviews VanMaanen at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s 2023 Trade Talk in Kansas City, MO.
AUDIO: Mike VanMaanen, Livestock Marketing Association