More than 8,200 cattle producers gathered in Nashville for the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The turnout was the highest ever, with most attendees feeling very optimistic about the current state of the cattle industry.
Without question, record beef export performance over the past year is one of the biggest factors driving this positive outlook, as the percentage of U.S. beef production exported (including variety meat) approached 15% and export value equated to more than $200/fed steer or heifer slaughtered.
“Our outlook for international markets across the globe is really exciting at this time," says Kevin Kester, a fifth-generation rancher from Parkville, CA, who chairs the cattle industry’s Joint International Markets Committee. “I believe more and more producers across the nation are realizing the importance of our export markets and how they increase carcass value. For 2011, the value per steer and heifer slaughtered in the U.S. exceeds $200. That’s a huge boost to our profitability.”