Sort & Cull

The Need for Something Positive

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
Finding some positivity in today's marketplace can seem nearly impossible given what cattlemen have endured over the last nine months. But rest assured, there's still good to be found. (DTN photo by ShayLe Stewart)

Since the last time I updated this blog, I've had a couple messages pop into my inbox from cattlemen simply asking for something positive. At first, the messages struck me off guard, as I'm accustomed to more pointed questions like, "what are feeders going to be worth come October," or "why aren't packers processing more cattle?" But after fully absorbing the questions, I found myself in awe of how important it is to take care of one another and to encourage each other along the way.

There's no doubt that life is challenging, and at times I think how easy it would be if our passions were different. But truth be told, our hearts belong to this industry for a reason -- we're resilient, we're dedicated, and we don't weaken.

As cattlemen, it's easy to get weighed down with the back-and-forth nature of the markets. One week, feeders are $2.00 to $3.00 higher and demand beams strong; the next week packers pull back and fat cattle are $2.00 to $3.00 lower, which crumbles the strength that the feeder cattle market should have had. As hard as it may be, we must separate ourselves, our operations and our assets from the emotional roller coaster of the marketplace.

Some of the best advice I have ever received was from a feeder who has seen nearly everything that could happen to the market happen. He said, "The worst thing cattlemen do is, when times get tough, they look at their assets like liabilities instead of the profit-seeking assets they truly are."

If you woke up this morning a cattleman, you are blessed -- period. This year's pandemic, election and market uncertainty are burdensome, but we will see the other side of this and there are fruitful days ahead! Don't underestimate the value of your assets and look past the emotion!


Tune into this week's Cattle Market News update on the DTN/Progressive Farmer Facebook page to hear the market recap, or click the link below:…

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at


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