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Cattle industry seeks “fair shake” heading into 2020

Photo by Anna Hastert

Iowa cattle producers convened in Altoona, Iowa for the fourth annual Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit. Multiple sectors of the beef cattle industry came together to reflect on the past year and look to the future.

Two-thousand-and-nineteen was a “unique year” for Iowa’s cattle producers, according to Matt Deppe, Chief Executive Officer for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. 

“We went into the year strong. We had a fairly strong April and May – from a price standpoint – managed through the summer, then had challenges the last two to three months when it came to price point and putting a differential on that compared to the expenses that went in there,” Deppe said. 

“It’s been challenging,” Deppe attests. He admits, however, there have been a few bright spots, which he expects to see more of moving forward.

“The Holcomb plant is going to be up and operational. That should initially provide a little fed cattle demand,” Deppe said. “We certainly hope that’s the case. As we move forward with that, it’s important that we provide some risk management and connect with folks who can help us better understand that. I think that’ll be a big success factor moving in and through 2020.”

At day’s end, Iowa cattle producers just want a “fair shake.”

“Our guys and gals want a fair shake. A lot of times the economics of a fair shake come to play,” Deppe said. “Price discovery in fed cattle markets is a high priority. Along with that, negotiated trade and mandatory price reporting.”

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