By the time you read this we will be fast approaching our spring bull sale season. While sellers are busy with their marketing plans and getting cattle ready for the upcoming sales, buyers are also beginning to search out their purchase selections. Marketing and planning are always keys to a successful sale. Keeping your operation’s name in front of potential buyers while utilizing our publications and internet options are valuable tools when it comes to marketing your cattle.
Take advantage of not only our seedstock producer magazine (Limousin World), but NALF’s commercial publication (Bottom Line), which is mailed to nearly 25,000 cattle operations throughout the United States, to increase the visibility of your operation.
Advertisers have reported increases in inquiries from non-users of Limousin genetics and website traffic. Those who support the publication through advertising have facilitated added pages and readers. Their commitment to growing the breed’s recognition and acceptance with the commercial cow-calf sector is commendable. The goal for the eventual transition from almost total breeder advertisements to more corporate advertising is meant to supply a larger revenue stream for the Foundation and its member services from sources outside the membership.
Our increased advertising budget for this fiscal year will be getting into full swing through national beef publications and video feeder cattle markets again in 2014. The expanded marketing budget includes added publications and more area coverage for NALF, as well as aiding in the development of a four-page insert that will be published in larger circulation newspapers and be available for members to use in their own promotion.
We will also be attending the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Trade show in Nashville in February to help get the word out about today’s Limousin cattle. We are returning to the display of live cattle at the booth this year, which is always a big draw for our breed. If you happen to be in Nashville, stop by and see us. We will not only be displaying cattle, but will include space for brochures and videos of individual operations that have purchased booth space.
During late summer of 2013, NALF formed a visions committee to look at the possibility of developing a Certified Limousin beef program and developing a long-range marketing plan. The primary focus of examining a program such as this would be to increase demand for Limousin seedstock.
An effective branded program could potentially create additional demand for not only Limousin beef at the consumer level, but for our seedstock in the commercial industry as well. The potential program will be studied by the committee and the NALF board to complete its due diligence. The cost and effectiveness of a potential program will be evaluated thoroughly during 2014 by the board and NALF staff and we will keep you updated on our progress.
Gaining mainstream acceptance amongst commercial producers for Limousin and Lim-Flex genetics has been the focal point for NALF’s commercial marketing program. NALF staff members have worked diligently to further promote the value of Limousin genetics in commercial crossbreeding programs.
NALF is also continuing to promote Limousin cattle as the answer for natural programs. Increased muscle and feed efficiency through the use of Limousin genetics versus growth additives and beta agonists when pursuing natural programs are apparent. NALF has a cross-section of membership that utilizes Limousin genetics in their cattle feeding programs and is having success doing so. The Foundation continues to further that goal through partnerships with Meyer’s Natural Foods (MNF), Laura’s Lean Beef (LLB) and Strauss Veal. Partnerships have also expanded to include USDA Process Verified Program service providers IMI Global Inc. and Tri-Merit’s Global Animal Management.
Arguably, the most essential aspect of a breed association is face-to-face contact at both member functions and activities for the commercial cow-calf sector. That remains a key element to not only the success of the breed, but also the success of its breeders.
Continually building awareness of Limousin genetics and NALF programs to commercial producers remains a top priority to NALF. Staff members traveled to more than 200 industry events in 2013 building relationships, promoting the Limousin breed and keeping it in front of a national audience. More than 100 of those trips were direct visits with members, commercial producers, livestock market operators, feedyard managers and packers to build awareness of Limousin cattle and NALF programs.
The Foundation will continue to identify opportunities for interaction with members and to represent the breed to the entire beef industry. The membership’s continuous, growing support is vital to that effort.
We as staff would also like to thank immediate past president Bob Mitchell for his dedicated service the past two years. Bob has devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to the Foundation and its staff seeing to recent changes and challenges. He has done an outstanding job of helping set the Limousin breed on a path to a bright future. Thank you for your service Bob.