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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2009
Angus Productions Inc.

CattleWomen Given Consumer Insight

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Jan. 28, 2009) — Lowell Catlett, dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences — and often a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government about futurist issues — addressed the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) Wednesday during the first day of the Cattle Industry Convention.

The ANCW education workshops were sponsored by Land O’Lakes Purina Mills.

Catlett talked about the changing consumer demographics and noted, “We are losing the World War II generation, where food was viewed as survivability.”

Today, the Baby Boomers dominate. “Boomers” grew up influenced by love and acceptance, he noted. “They want different things [than the previous generation], and that’s powerful.”

For the marketplace, Catlett said, this means there are great opportunities to be different to satisfy consumer demands — from natural and organic to niche markets.

Additionally, Catlett said the biggest factor to recognize is that “people afford what they want at every income level.” For instance, surveys of boomers indicate they won’t give up dining out despite the economic downturn.

His advice to beef producers is to remember that “The customer is king — in the beef business and any other business.”

With that, he reiterated that people afford what they want. If you listen to consumers and see opportunities, it can be powerful. There is money to be made. For example, he posed the question, do you want to sell beef or filet mignon? To that point, Catlett concluded, “Don’t sell products and services; sell people what they want.”

The ANCW workshops included a presentation on how preconditioning programs can add value to calves, as well as information about the carbon footprint and how America’s beef producers are environmentally conscious and sustainable with regard to environmental issues.

Kristy Lage of Arthur, Neb., is the incoming ANCW president. Her focus for the year will be on implementing a “beef-fit year.”

Editor’s Note: This article was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API), which claims copyright to this article. It may not be published or distributed without the express permission of Angus Productions Inc. To request reprint permission and guidelines, contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at (816) 383-5270.