BULL MARKET It’s been a long time coming, but the market looks strong for all cattle sectors
David Bolduc says Canadian purebred cattle raised today aren’t as good as they used to be. They’re better, says the newly elected vice-president of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC).
“We all think that the cattle we raised years ago were really good cattle, and they probably were, but I truly believe that the cattle we raise right now are the best cattle most purebred breeders have ever raised,” says Bolduc.
“There’s a lot of exciting stuff happening in the purebred industry right now with genomics and now we’re going to get a far better evaluation of our cattle than we’ve ever had before.”
Along with his wife Margaret and his son Matt, Bolduc operates Cudlobe Angus with his brother Dyce and his family near Stavely. Together, they run 400-500 cows and they host an annual production sale. The family has been in the purebred business since the 1800s.
Bolduc is current president of the Canadian Angus Association board of directors.
The CBBC is comprised of members representing all breeds with the shared goal of advancing Canada’s purebred stock throughout the globe, through embryos, semen and live cattle. Though the CBBC’s mandate hasn’t changed, the market has, and for the first time in a long while, everyone seems bullish on beef cattle.
“We’ll try to improve exports of Canadian genetics into some of the growth areas of the world. Beef cattle is really on the upbeat. I just read an article that one guy is predicting that investments in the cattle industry right now would be better than investments in gold — and gold has been relatively strong the last few years,” says Bolduc.
There are several market factors contributing to the demand-pull reality of the beef business today. The world population is larger and hungrier, emerging nations are beginning to be able to afford a taste for beef, and cattle supply is tight.
“When we were in Argentina last fall at the Angus World Secretariat meetings, there were 19 countries there in which they raise Angus and they were seeing record-high grain prices and record-high beef prices. Agriculture is actually going to become quite prominent as we go forward here, with the population growth,” Bolduc says. “I think the beef cattle industry is going to be a significant part of that. There’s so much of this planet that’s not arable to farming, but it is productive as far as grass and forage and ruminants are obviously the way we’re going to harvest that.”
Bolduc says advances such as genomics, coupled with Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are allowing producers to continue building on breed successes.
“The best part about this is the optimism in our youth. Probably for the first time in a whole generation of people who have raised purebred livestock, I think our youth are excited about being involved in the industry because they can see the potential of actually making a living there without having off-farm employment,” Bolduc said.
Bolduc will serve a one-year term as vice-president. Byron Templeton representing Hereford was elected as president, Allan Marshal (Charolais) will remain on the executive as past president, and Rod Remin (Speckle Park) and Anne Brunet-Burgess (Limousin) are also members of the executive.