Tag Archives: Angus

The Little Opportunities

BY ZEKE McCARTY, YPC Leadership Board

I recall an instance when I was grocery shopping with a good friend of mine about a year ago. We were walking through the beef section of the meat department at our local King Soopers, checking prices and cuts just to see if anything stood out as a “must have” at the moment.

InteractiveMeatCaseAs we were browsing, we hear a man behind us ask the meat department employee a question. He held up two different packages of beef and asked, “Which is better: Angus or Choice?” The employee quickly piped up stating, “Angus is better.” As soon as my friend heard her answer, he couldn’t help but intervene in the conversation to make sure the consumer was quickly educated on the facts of what exactly Angus beef was and how that compared/related to USDA Choice beef. It was a textbook maneuver if I had ever seen one. He politely introduced himself into the conversation, provided his credentials in order to be viewed as a reliable source, and explained the facts.

As I reflected on the occurrence, I thought: “What would have happened if my friend had not said anything?” That consumer would have been “educated” by the meat department “specialist” when in reality, it was simply her opinion. That consumer would have gone along, for potentially his entire life, without knowing the basic facts regarding Angus beef and Choice beef. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to discount Angus beef by any means. I just believe in the principle of allowing someone to make their own opinion after they’ve been provided the facts. But not only that, think about the number of people this one consumer could influence throughout his lifetime with the information he was provided by simply word of mouth.

PrintA few weeks ago, at the same King Soopers’ beef section, an almost identical situation arose. I happened to overhear a man ask a meat department employee (different employee) what the difference was between Angus and Choice beef. At least this employee didn’t take it upon himself to offer his opinions as facts which I give him credit for. He simply told the man, “I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference.” I knew at that moment, it was up to me to step up and provide a little education, which I did. As I reflected again, I couldn’t help but imagine how many times a day that must happen. How many consumers look to these “experts” in their field of customer service and are provided with wrong or no information at all?

Now, my purpose isn’t to degrade my local King Soopers or ridicule the meat department employees by any means. I still continue to shop there and still continue to interact with the people. My purpose is simply to challenge you as I have myself. Be aware and take advantage of the little opportunities that arise where you can provide some insight and knowledge concerning our industry. If we want our industry to strive, we must do our part to provide and promote the truth and facts in a misinformed, consumer driven world.

Editor’s note: If you would like to know more about beef cuts and grades, check out the Interactive Meat Counter for more information and ways you can save at the store. Images and information provided by the Beef Checkoff. Beef It’s What’s For Dinner. 


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Montana’s Global Reach


Oro y Plata

Montana’s state motto represents the riches of this great land of the north. Montana has always been well versed in the pioneering spirit and that tradition continues today. Although the jetliner has replaced the covered wagon, the adventurous nature of the states’ inhabitants is continually taking them to the far reaches of the globe in search of making the job of growing food a bit more profitable, less cumbersome, and more interesting.

The Land Down Under…

945608_10151522406397849_974608673_nIf you haven’t met a rancher from Montana, just wait around a bit and it’s likely that you just might. From Russia to Africa to Australia, Montana’s beef sector has a grasp on nearly the entire world. 

Meet Karoline Rose, founder of Collegiate Stockgrowers at Montana State University. It could be argued that Karoline was the driving force behind the Collegiate Stockgrowers movement all across the country over the last year and a half. Karoline was recently in Australia where she worked on a large beef operation and learned the ways of cattle ranching from an upside-down perspective (that’s a hemispherical joke!).

“There is nothing better than a good set of neighbors.  Rural living here is very similar to the US and I love every minute of it.  We are knees deep in calves and yesterday Pete and Donna came over and tagged calves with us for 2 hours.  The 5 of us worked extremely hard and ended up tagging about 60 calves in 4 hours.  Without their help, we wouldn’t have even driven through every paddock.

You can read more about Karoline’s adventures here.

…Up Above,

1064233_10200896252435849_796907344_oIn Russia, Amy Dellera and Jane’a Elke are helping the Stevenson Sputnik Ranch with Artificial Insemination efforts and getting a little taste of what life is like nearly 6,000 miles from the ranch gate. Russia has been a top destination for Montana’s seed stock producers, and since 2010 nearly 44 of the states’ ranchers have sold live cattle or genetics to Asia’s largest country, clearing nearly $20 million in sales.[1] If that isn’t exciting news, what is?

…and in the Middle!

1014806_10152915889065557_382700201_oOn the African front, yours truly has been to Ghana once already this summer and I will again be returning in August with my brother Trey. Both Trey and myself are undertaking Fellowships as part of Texas Christian University’s – Institute of Ranch Management in an effort to establish relations with Ghanaian businessmen, ranchers, and government officials for the purpose of building a demonstration ranch in the Lower Volta Region of coastal Ghana.

The ranch will be similar to a fully-functioning extension service here in the U.S., and local cattlemen will be able seek assistance, learn production techniques, build livestock budgets, plan grazing rotations, and much more, all through the ranches various fellows that will be attending on a yearly basis. The Institute also plans to send various industry professionals to Ghana with the purpose of providing much needed advice on things such as animal health, genetics, pest control and more.

Back to Montana

So once again, if you haven’t met someone from Montana, wait around for a while and you likely will. As you can see, Montana is representing industry players on a global front. These professionals recognize the the face of a changing global economy, and the importance that will have in the future to the ranchers at home.


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YPC’s Lauren Chase featured on I Am Angus

Published on Dec 3, 2012 by the American Angus Association
In this “I Am Angus” segment, photographer and writer Lauren Chase shares her journey from the city to the ranches of Montana. For more information, visit or

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