26 CALF News • February | March 2022 • BETTER MARKETS AHEAD CHUTESIDE MANNER Continued from page 19 from the University of Nebraska. Carlson enjoys his job because it enables him to interact with great people. You can reach him at or (701) 231-1884. Keeping detailed records should not be a hard job. I can guarantee it leads to a more successful operation, and keeps you “out of the dark.”  But Cash Trade and Price Transparency Challenges Remain The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) has long served as a clearinghouse for reliable feeder and fed cattle markets, and analysis behind them. Before DTN and now instant markets from smart devices, member feedyards kept the phones ringing in the association’s market division. New CEO Ben Weinheimer sees many benefits of new market ticker and price forecasting technology. But he fears too much government intervention into cattle pricing guidelines could hurt more than help producers and feeders often struggling to make a few bucks off a steer with an $1,800-plus breakeven. “The word ‘markets’ encompasses a broad array of issues that impact cattle feeders and producers,” Weinheimer says. “It’s inclusive of cattle markets, grain markets, market access, beef export markets, the marketing and promotion of beef, market inflation and many other aspects. All of those topics are important, but for the year ahead, the cattle market will be among our highest priorities.” Cattle feeders and producers are proud to be independent capitalists who appreciate and respect the balance between government oversight vs. government intervention, he says. Oversight based on sound scientific and economic principles has value in ways that help assure continuity and consistency across the beef industry. “But intervention – well, it’s just that,” Weinheimer says. “It’s stepping over the line or boundary of the very principles that our country was founded on, and that the cattle industry has thrived on for so many years. “Allowing cattle feeders and producers the latitude to continue our efforts to voluntarily improve market transparency, negotiated cash trade and price discovery in 2022 will be key.” With the question of mandatory vs. voluntary negotiated cash trade being considered by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other cattle groups, Weinheimer says TCFA believes it’s in the best interest of producers and feeders to make their own marketing decisions – without government intervention. Meanwhile, the backlog of harvest-ready cattle that thwarted the supply chain for months has eased. “Market leverage has begun to shift in favor of cattle producers,” Weinheimer says. “In the short term, producers should expect to maintain some advantage in the market. Unfortunately, herd liquidation is probable if the drought continues to move from the Southwest to the south central and southeastern U.S. “This will give producers more leverage, but not in a way that allows us to grow the industry and grow the herd. However, that will not deter us from being optimistic and proactively working to position the industry for future growth over the next five to 10 years. With the absence of major drought, the cowherd and cattle on feed will increase, new packing plants will come online, and we will significantly increase the amount of beef we produce to feed a growing U.S. and global population.”  TCFA LEADERSHIP Continued from page 25 interview skills. The Junior Fed Beef Challenge immerses students into aspects of owning, feeding and marketing cattle. Its new Feedyard Camp is a week-long learning experience about the cattle and beef supply chain. Other workforce and leadership development programs include education foundation scholarships for master’s and Ph.D. students, and the year-long TCFA leadership development program is open to feedyard employees. Trust, Credibility, Reliability, Integrity “Our legacy is founded on principles of trust, credibility, reliability and integrity,”Weinheimer says. “Our members and volunteer leaders expect us to live up to those principles. Staying focused on these four key principles will help us live up to the expectation of second to none.” TCFA legends Charlie Ball, Richard McDonald and Ross Wilson left many marks that benefited cattle feeders and producers. Ben Weinheimer will make his own footprints. “I’m humbled to have been chosen as president and CEO,” he says. “But the word humbled doesn’t do justice to fully describe the honor, opportunity, pride and personal motivation I have to build upon the positive trajectory of my predecessors and wake up every day to serve our members and this great association. “We have and will continue to work every day to make this the best place in the world to feed cattle – that’s our charge and something we do not take lightly.” 