World issues

SwineCast 0470, Why is there a Canadian herd buyout?

Download mp3SwineCast 0470 Show Notes:
  •'s Bruce Cochrane provides a pair of conversations to bring you up to date on the Canadian Herd Buyout. Here are the what's, why's and where's from north of the border.

Two Sides of the Same Book

Spend some time evaluating the different kinds of jobs available to us in the agriculture industry, and something interesting starts to emerge. Almost as if there were two different covers on the same book, there appears to be two different genre’s to exist in, if you work in the agriculture industry. First, you have the stereotypical farm work that anyone can see. Tractors driving through the fields, someone bailing hay, a farmer working on equipment, another hauling manure - all the kinds of jobs that get the day to day dirty work done.

Then, there is the other side of the book - jobs that keep people traveling all the time, working in cities, holding meetings in board rooms, attending industry events to connect with others. When considering or reevaluating a career in ag we have to ask the questions, “What side is right for me? How do I choose?”

I've Found a Perfect Job Opportunity...Now What?

So, I’ve found the perfect agriculture career opportunity - Now what do I do? The answer to the question seems obvious. Step one. Make sure my resume is up to date. Step two. Draft a cover letter. Step three. Submit the application. Step four. Wait, and hope for the best. If you are like most job seekers, this is the way you go about applying for new jobs. But, if you are looking to make a step out from the crowd - you might try a few other tricks!

Once you’ve located what you think to be the perfect opportunity - do some brainstorming about who you know that might have a connection to the company. Is there someone in your personal network that can make a call on your behalf? This is one tried and true tactic that will help you get the interview.

Tastes and Preferences

     We usually think about demand in the two dimensional way that we are restricted to visualizing it in with a graph.  That is, the amount demanded is a function of price.  In actuality there are several other factors which determine demand that are embedded in those graphs but not visualized.  For instance, we know that the level of income influences demand as does the availability and price of substitutes and something called tastes and preferences.  For instance, if you hate carrots, lowering the price is not likely to induce more quantity demanded, though we might show the demand curve for carrots for a group (like people in the U.S.) as a function of the price.

Russian Roulette with Three or Four Chambers Loaded

     The pig production business has always had its ups and downs but developments over the last few years have resulted in the structuralization of increased levels of price and financial risk.  By structuralization, I mean that these factors are now regular, recurring added risks that are no longer random, isolated events which no risk management process can adequately predict or mitigate effectively.  The factors include the predicted and now realized reduction in the average level of the stocks-to-use ratios for corn and soybeans placing feed prices in a continuing, annual, heightened state of price risk volatility.  Bob Wisner, retired crop extension professor from Iowa State University told World Pork Expo attendees that we will end up the soybean year with as little as 2.2 weeks of the supply remaining.  The cold, rainy corn belt conditions which delayed the corn planting period in the U.S.

You've Been Branded!

Nope, I don’t mean that someone has physically placed a hot iron in a conspicuous place in order to lay claim. What I do mean is that you may very well have branded yourself regarding your career choices. Generations of managers from just about any industry (especially agriculture) have pigeon holed - and been pigeon holed because of degree, or experience of their career early on. Today, I’ll take a break from the normal conversation of career options - and talk about something much more important. Developing your personal brand.

One Bit of Good News in a Sea of Disappointment

We are seeing something almost as destructive as a limited terrorist attack in terms of producing fear, panic, overreaction and economic injury.  Media misinformation and paniced responses from some world governments (like Egypt deciding to cull every pig, some 400,000 of them) has produced a sensationalized reaction from what at the end of the day will very likely be a very mild flu virus spreading around the world (,0,3606923.story) but monitored like it was the bubonic plague.  Of course these scientists could be wrong and it is the fear of being wrong that has set the world in motion. 

The Crystal Ball is Opaque

     Unfortunately, we are at a time not only in the meat industry but also in the general U.S. and world economy when what little anyone had to make a forecast for the future has largely disappeared into an opaque soup of uncertainty.  There is little doubt that demand for meat, both in the United States and worldwide, is tied to among other things, per-capita income and a behavioral variable related to perceived and actual wealth (although there is some controvery about the wealth effect).  Both are down with rising unemployment and plummeting asset values. 

Jerry Roell - Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World

Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World.

Jerry Roell, Sales Branch Manager, John Deere Columbus.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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