Stories by Miranda Reiman

Cattle carcass data can contain surprises

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“It made me mad!” That’s what a Montana rancher told me when talking about the first carcass data he ever got back. “I got tired of trying to sell them. I wasn’t willing to accept generic price when I thought I had something better,” he said. “I soon learned.” Those first calves graded 20 percent […]

No secret to success in cattle business

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Psst…do you want to know a secret? Kids aren’t very good at keeping them.

So your farm is sustainable? Prove it!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Just thinking or saying you’re sustainable isn’t good enough.

Consistency can pay for itself in cattle business

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cattle ranchers who stuck with their program are likely well-situated in 2014.

Decisions can make or break your operation

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I can give you advice. Your friends can show you what’s working on their ranch. You can read articles and learn from your local team of experts — Extension specialists, veterinarians, nutritionists and so on. But when it comes down to it, you’re the one who needs to make the decisions. You have to determine […]

Value-based cattle marketing dominates

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Selling fed cattle on a live basis is no longer standard practice, and some day it could end up as no more than historical reference. “The old selling-them-live method has given way to formula sales,” says Mark McCully, assistant vice president for Certified Angus Beef LLC. Data from Cattle-Fax and the USDA shows a sharp […]

You can’t judge a cow by its ‘cover’

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some presents were wrapped in gold paper with a big red bow. Others were less elegant, but showed they were packaged with love. Some givers are even known for their ability to dodge traditional wrapping by handing over a shopping bag with the present inside. What do the ribbons and trimmings say about those sayings? […]

DNA: An arriving tool for beef cattle

Friday, July 13, 2012

Producers are using DNA to give consumers what they want in beef.

Demand more from your herd

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The headline reads, “Beef prices skyrocket.” A little more information comes with, “Wholesale beef prices at record levels.” Another adds, “Beef exports up 7 percent in two months.” The articles that follow those zingers all explain different facets of the supply and demand equation. Beef prices are up because of a shrinking cowherd, accelerated by […]

Achieving the two important qualities in beef: marbling and tenderness

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marketers try to sell what they have, even if it’s not the most complete product on the market. The phrase “guaranteed tender” may sound like it’s all that matters, the one true path to great meat. But that’s not all there is.

Black Ink: Happy people lead to happy cattle

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When ranchers or feedlot employees are unhappy or feeling stress, how much pride can they take in the job they’re doing? Call it mammalian empathy or stress-related errors of management, but those bad feelings are contagious across species.

Black Ink: The ag business of social media

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Farmers and ranchers tend to be on either side of the fence when it comes to social media. There are the hold-outs, the staunch supporters, the occasional users and the clueless.

Planning to cope with emergencies

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flood water forces the exodus of cattle to higher ground. Drought does the same on a wider scale, only to greener ground. And in the case of wild fires, tornadoes and other natural disasters, there might not even be time for that. Count your blessings As if the job of beef producer isn’t hard enough, […]

Top grades and relationships: You have to work at it in farming, too

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nobody likes to be told that they’ve done a bad job. Think of the situation-comedy or movie scene: A junior high student has worked for weeks on a final science report or English paper, eagerly awaiting the grade. When the teacher delivers it, she shakes her head in disappointment. The young one’s heart sinks, seeing […]

Picking genetics may save time sorting

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Low-stress cattle handling is becoming a mainstream practice, but have you ever thought about the ultimate low-stress sorting system — right from your computer? Advocates of low-stress handling suggest using animal behavior to your advantage. If you’ve seen a demonstration of this technique, or employ it on your farm or ranch, you may recognize something […]

Put more black ink on your bottom line

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If Walmart were in the cattle business, it would probably serve as an operating definition of “least-cost producer.” People might refer to its cowherd enterprise as the model for slashing expenses. That’s the way to make more money in this margin business, isn’t it? The simple economic equation is income minus expenses equals profit, so […]

Keys may unlock cellular doors to marbling mysteries

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Knowing more about marbling helps cattlemen produce the best beef. All four National Beef Quality Audits said consumers want more of it, yet many producers manage so as to inhibit rather than enhance marbling. Scientists offered new insights at the Reciprocal Meats Conference this summer. “Three major things affect the beef eating experience: flavor, juiciness […]

Going once, going twice…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sold. That word can be cause for celebration or the beginning of a personal pity party. It all depends on what dollar amount follows that auctioneer’s decree. Studies have found and quantified just about everything that can make you more money at the salebarn or on the video auction: lot size, breed type, sex, preconditioning […]

It’s possible for producers to have it all

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stop trying to get maximum production. No more topping last year’s average daily gains, enough with the peak efficiencies and quit angling for record marbling scores every time. Does that advice cause a pause? Reaching those goals takes years of focus, so it can be hard to let go, even if the long-term profitability of […]

It’s time to get with the times

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It’s the 1970s. An air-dried Polaroid shows your leisure suit and platform shoes, just before you hop into your pickup and check the CB for friends talking skip. At home, you play a new video game called Pong but don’t know anything about computers. Radio Shack’s ad on the sports page says you need one. […]

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About Miranda

Miranda Reiman, an industry information specialist for the Certified Angus Beef Program, can be reached at 785-539-0123 or you can e-mail her at mreiman@certifiedangusbeef.com.