Traveling across the country the last couple of months attending bull sales has been an enjoyable experience for me. The quality of cattle offered has been outstanding while prices continue to remain strong. The robust cattle market throughout the nation has translated into strong demand from both seedstock and commercial operations looking to rebuild their herds after last yearâ€™s adverse weather conditions, especially in the Southern U.S.
Diversity within our breed remains a unique and positive attribute. As I have stated over the past year, there has never been a time in the history of our business, whether you raise fullbloods, purebreds or Lim-FlexÂ®, that a home exists for the kind of cattle you choose to raise.
Branded programs like Lauraâ€™s Lean and Strauss Brands are programs that fullblood Limousin genetics fit very well into. Our fullbloods and higher percentage purebred cattle have a natural advantage when it comes to increased cutability and improved yield grades. These cattle are what NALFâ€™s Lim-Mark tag program were designed for, to not only trace and source but also to obtain breed recognition for specific branded markets.
Our Lim-Flex cattle and a portion of our purebreds continue to be used more widely in branded programs that go after higher percentage Choice markets such as the natural programs Tyson, Meyers Natural Beef, JBS and National are shooting for. Improving feed performance and cost-of-gains with the influence of Limousin cattle that have the ability to grade, plays back into the value that can only be achieved with the influence of a Continental breed that offers muscle and feed efficiency, exactly like what Limousin provide. As our seedstock members market their cattle into commercial cow-calf operations that are marketing to these outlets, they should record their transfers and make their customers aware of the Lim-Choice tag. This tagging program is offered by NALF and can be utilized for third-party age and source verification through both IMI Global and Tri-Merit.
I would like to remind you, NALF is set up to help your customerâ€™s market feeder cattle to commercial operations that are looking for the influence of Limousin genetics. NALF is here to help your customers market their feeder cattle to a number of different buyers in the central part of the United States. Give Joe Epperly a call at the NALF office any time you want to put him in touch with potential buyers. In addition, NALF offers a cattle listing service on its website for both seedstock and commercial feeder cattle.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of crossbreeding. With production input costs tracking higher, it is forcing cattle producers to become more efficient in an attempt to sell additional pounds per animal unit while controlling feed cost. This should benefit breeders of Limousin cattle. There is not a better Continental breed to use as a terminal cross than Limousin when cattle are destined to the commercial sector of the business.
Research has already proven the advantages Limousin cattle provide in terms of feed efficiency, muscling and eliminating yield grade 4s. Calving-ease, along with increased longevity of females, is an additional bonus when using Limousin genetics on an English-based cowherd.
NALF, through the direction of its commercial marketing committee, will be advertising the benefits of Limousin cattle on the Superior and Western Video Markets again this summer. Brooke Bennett, NALF director of communications, has redesigned advertising and promotional materials that can be used at state functions and regional meetings. These ads are updated and redesigned specifically to promote the benefits of using Limousin genetics in todayâ€™s beef industry. If you have questions about the updated promotional material, please feel free to contact Brooke.
Also, new at NALF, is Bobbi Jean Hartwig. We are excited to have Bobbi as our new director of activities at NALF. Bobbi will be taking over the previous duties of Kasey Woolam who left the Foundation in January. Bobbi will be taking on additional responsibilities for new programs NALF is currently undertaking such as our recent partnership with Pfizer Animal Health on the incentive program. Feel free to call the office and introduce yourself to Bobbi and get to know her if you arenâ€™t already acquainted.
By the time you read this, the National Junior Limousin Show and Congress (NJLS&C) in Des Moines, Iowa, will be fast approaching. You should plan to attend this event, as we are looking forward to a large turnout and a week that will benefit our juniors and their families. While you are attending the NJLS&C make sure to attend the â€œReal World 101â€ event hosted by Wulf Limousin Farms, Iowa State University (ISU) and the Iowa Limousin Association. This educational event will give participants the opportunity to see the carcasses of a Limousin, Lim-Flex and an Angus steer side-by-side that have been participating in a feed efficiency trial at ISU. This is a great educational opportunity and everyone attending the NJLS&C should participate in this event.
Promoting and supporting our junior programs remains of high importance to the NALF staff and board. The long-term success of our breed will ultimately be determined by supporting the next generation of Limousin breeders and helping them become the next generation of producers.