My View From The Country

What Does Size Have To Do With It?

Everyone talks about segmenting the cow-calf business based on size. Depending on how you define the groups, they basically boil down to this:

  • Hobby ranchers, whose majority of income comes from off the farm.
  • The shrinking middle, those people trying to make a living from the cattle business but lack the size to do it.
  • And those with sufficient sales volume to be considered big.
We’ve seen this breakdown so many times that we begin to believe the accompanying rhetoric that just because these three groups are somewhat different, they have vastly different goals. Or worse yet, that their goals are dramatically different as a result.

It benefits everyone if the industry is growing, if demand increases, if per-capita consumption grows, if we address the issues regarding food safety, animal welfare, etc. The industry can no longer afford to listen to those who benefit by dividing us and keeping us from focusing on the things that are truly important to the long-term viability of the industry.
What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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