Cautious optimism is the predominant attitude among a majority of cattle producers six weeks into the New Year.


“Cautiously in the sense that we’ve got a new administration coming in that we’re fully anticipating a lot of new regulatory ideas, a lot of new challenges that are going to be very difficult for us to maneuver and we’re going to have to be very vigilant as we move forward in that sense," said Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. "So, that’s the cautious side of things. Beef demand through COVID and we anticipate moving forward has been incredible. We want to keep the gas on the fire if you will on that. That’s optimistic.”

He noted the retail sector is rebounding, and trade is growing. And Kelsey said perhaps the trade arena is an area where the Biden administration can build some new markets. Meanwhile, Kelsey said more cattle producers are turning to direct marketing.

“They’re looking at different ways to market their cattle, not trying to say one is better or worse, just what do I have available to me to market my cattle, to value-add to my cattle, whatever the case may be," Kelsey added. "And that’s really independent of size, we’ve seen members who have five head and members who have 5,000 head who are doing some of the same investigation of new opportunities and new markets, that’s optimistic for our industry.”

Kelsey noted those investigations have led to many in the industry expressing additional optimism.

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