Cattleman U: Virtual Education for Cattle Producers

New Platform Brings Education and Community to Young Producers

What started as a desire for more community with peers in the agriculture industry as a young rancher, quickly grew into a passion to take action for Karoline Rose, owner of KRose Company. Amidst conference and training cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the KRose team began plans for a new way to connect with other professionals in agriculture, access educational content, and compare notes on ranch and farm topics.

“Cattleman U is an educational platform and community for the next generation of producers or people who want to raise livestock or crops in the near future. So many of this generation are working their operation full time and aren’t able to get away for conferences. There is a need for education that is easily accessible on an as-you-get-to-it basis,” says Rose.

Cattleman U became the newest online platform designed specifically for the next generation in agriculture. The online membership allows members to access expert advice and pre-recorded trainings presented by well-known speakers from respected organizations. It also has a free classifieds page where members can post items for sale or advertise their business. Members receive access to industry discounts for bulls, semen, ear tags, vaccines, and more. One of the biggest advantages Cattleman U offers is a community where members can network and access resources. 

“There are a lot of questions that go unasked because a next-generation producer might be embarrassed to ask or not know who to turn to for an honest and straightforward answer. We need to be in community with other producers and growers to build a network while we learn and discuss alternative solutions and ways of doing things that might not be just like grandpa did them,” says Rose.

Cattleman U consists of 6-week sessions on topics such as agriculture marketing strategies, adding value to your calves, certified branded beef programs, and the futures market. Each session is packed with information, real-life examples, and expert advice from cattlemen who have been there before, and tried many different techniques. The first six-week session will focus on marketing cattle.

There are plenty of flexible options for everyone wanting to sign up for Cattleman U, with monthly, yearly, and 6-week only membership options. The waitlist for the second segment, Futures and Hedging Basics, is now open. On October 5th, the second segment will start. Learn more at

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Markie Hageman


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KRose Company strives to be the best agriculture marketer in the United States, whether that be by helping ranchers increase their bull sale average with digital marketing, or by providing services such as design, social media marketing, and advertising to agriculture businesses. KRose Company also works to market the highest quality of calves and offer a country contract for classifieds. Learn more at

Federal Guidelines Call for More Beef


Beef Producers Asked To Submit Public Comments

By Rick Worthington with

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced the launch of a nationwide campaign on July 22 to encourage cattle producers to submit public comments supporting beef’s role in updated federal dietary guidelines.

Americans have until Aug. 13 to submit official comments as the USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) work to finalize the 2020-2025 guidelines.

“Study after study shows that beef plays an important role in a balanced, healthy diet across the lifespan,” said Marty Smith, president of NCBA. “NCBA has made it a priority to protect the scientific credibility of Dietary Guidelines and promote accurate information about the nutritional advantages of beef as part of a balanced diet.”

Along with making comments, NCBA plans to reach out to cattle producers via e-mail, text messages, social media and traditional media outlets between now and the deadline. It will also start the Twitter campaign of #BenefitsofBeef.

USDA: Cattle Price and Box Beef Inquiry

USDA to Expand Cattle Price Inquiry

By Russell  Nemetz with AgInfo Network

The USDA is expanding its investigation of the cattle market to include a recent disparity between boxed-beef prices and cattle futures prices, a United States senator from Nebraska announced in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

A few weeks ago, boxed-beef prices spiked $45 during a four-day span. At the same time, cash cattle trade was sparse and traded sideways, while the board traded limit lower four out of the five trading days of the week.

USDA has been investigating price movements following an August 2019 fire at the Tyson Foods packing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, that caused cattle prices to fall and boxed-beef prices to climb.

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said in a tweet Wednesday USDA is expanding the investigation.

“I spoke with the @USDA who confirmed that the agency will be expanding its Holcomb fire plant investigation to include COVID-19 market disruption,” she tweeted. “This is what I called for in my letter to USDA yesterday. This is a good decision to address potentially unfair practices.”

In a letter to Trump on Wednesday, Marty Smith, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president and a Florida rancher, asked President Trump to take immediate action to investigate the market.

“After weeks of striking disparity between boxed-beef price increases and declines in both the cattle futures and cash price, we fear this trend could have devastating long-term impacts on cattle producers,” the letter said.

Smith’s letter pointed out the discrepancy between boxed-beef and cattle prices is not limited to COVID-19.

DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart said cash prices were “all over the place” during the week of March 20 as ranchers became anxious.

“Fat cattle usually sell toward the latter part of the week, but that week, cash cattle trade developed as early as Monday for sharply lower prices,” she said.

“In the Northern Plains, cattle sold for $168 to $180, and in the Southern Plains, cattle sold for $105 to $113.”

The April and June live cattle contracts have each fallen roughly 15% in the past month of trade as well.

Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, on Tuesday called on USDA to expand its ongoing investigation.

In addition, Fischer asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the issue.

“I’ve heard concerns from Nebraskans across the state about the impact COVID-19 is having on their cattle operations and on the industry as a whole,” Fischer said in a statement.

“Americans are purchasing more beef products at grocery stores, which is resulting in another round of windfall profits for meatpackers,” Fischer said. “Meanwhile, producers are taking price losses that threaten the viability of their businesses. Something must be done now.”

In its letter, the NCBA asked the administration to address a variety of issues. That includes asking Trump to make sure packing plants keep operating during the COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus has been putting increasing strain on the meatpacking industry.

Earlier this week, Tyson Foods announced it was suspending operations at a pork processing plant in eastern Iowa after the plant reported 24 positive cases were tied to its workforce. National Beef announced it was accelerating a cleaning process at the Iowa Premium Beef plant in Tama, Iowa, after a worker tested positive. At least 13 workers at a JBS SA beef packing plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, have tested positive.

The meatpacking industry is deemed as essential by the federal government to keep food processing going.

“We ask that USDA work closely with the Department of Justice throughout this process, conclude this investigation quickly, and release the findings to the industry as soon as possible,” NCBA said in its letter.

“We also ask the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to study the influence of speculators on the CME Group’s Live and Feeder Cattle futures contracts to determine whether the contracts remain a useful risk-management tool for cattle producers,” NCBA said in its letter. “The market woes for cattle producers will only grow if packing plants shut down or slow down for an extended period. As cattle producers, we are the beginning of the beef supply chain, and we need continued vigilance and oversight of all cattle market participants — for the benefit of America’s cattle producers and all Americans.”

Kern County Ag Ranks Second in State, Fresno Drops to Third

Ruben J. Arroyo, Kern County Agricultural Commissioner reported the 2013 gross value of all agricultural commodities produced in the county was $6,769,855,590, according to the 2013 Kern County Agricultural Crop Report, representing an increase (6%) from the revised 2012 crop value ($6,352,061,100). Thus, Kern County ag ranks second in state, with Tulare ahead, and Fresno behind.

Kern County’s top five commodities for 2013 were Grapes, Almonds, Milk, Citrus and Cattle & Calves, which make up more than $4.6 Billion (68%) of the Total Value; with the top twenty commodities making up more than 94% of the Total Value. The 2013 Kern County Crop Report can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards website:

Tulare County reported gross annual production in 2013 at $7.8 Billion, Fresno County, $6.4 Billion, and Monterey County, $4.38 Billion.

As predicted by many, including CaliforniaAgToday on July 15, 2014, Fresno County, long-time top ag county in the state—and in the nation—now ranks third in the state and has regressed in ag growth since 2011.

Les Wright, Fresno County Ag Commissioner, attributes much of the decrease to the water shortage, particularly exacerbated by a large part of the West Side being dependent on both state and federal surface water deliveries that have been curtailed by pumping restrictions due to the Endangered Species Act.

Drought Could Affect Current and Future Food Prices

California Farm Bureau Federation reported today that with hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland expected to be left unplanted this year due to water shortages, market analysts and economists say shoppers will likely begin to see higher prices on some food items later this year.

Sean Villa, president of Great West Produce, a produce broker in Los Angeles County, said he expects a number of products to be affected later this year, including broccoli, sweet corn and melons from growing regions in Fresno, Mendota and Huron, where farmers will likely cut acreage due to water shortages.

Gary Tanimura, a vegetable grower based in the Salinas Valley, said he will have to reduce his summer melon production in the San Joaquin Valley by about 20 percent due to lack of water.

Tanimura said spring and fall lettuce production in the San Joaquin Valley also could drop by 25 percent to 30 percent this year.

Cindy Jewell, director of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms in Watsonville, said farms in the Oxnard growing region—which typically plant a second crop in the summer for fall production—may not be able to do that this year.

“If the water situation continues to be this severe, there may not be as many of those acres replanted for fall production,” she said, adding that if the drought continues into fall and winter, when most strawberries are planted, it could affect what’s planted for next year’s harvest.

Because California supplies nearly 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries, Jewell said it is not likely that there will be much of a production shift to other regions.

“It’s not like someone else could step in and do that,” she said. “It’s all about climate and location.”

On the beef market, the California drought may have the most impact on niche products such as grassfed, organic or natural beef, said Lance Zimmerman, a market analyst for Colorado-based Cattlefax. Those programs typically rely more on local or semi-regional supplies, he said.

Retail beef prices have risen nationwide, Zimmerman said, because of improved demand and continued declines in supply caused by several years of drought in other major beef-producing regions in the Southern Plains and the Southeast.

In states where drought conditions have improved, ranchers are now trying to build back their herds, so they’re not sending as many animals to market, particularly mature cows, and that has driven up prices on meat cuts such as chuck roast and ground beef, he added.

On the produce market, fair weather accompanying the drought has, for now, caused vegetable crops to come to market ahead of schedule, creating an overlap of products from the desert region and the San Joaquin Valley.

That, combined with reduced demand from East Coast markets due to severe winter weather, has led to temporary oversupplies of some vegetables, Tanimura said, while Jewell reported that berry production has also been stimulated by warm winter weather.