Back-to-School Special

For kids the end of summer is synonymous with back to school. There will be mixed emotions that will cover getting back with their school friends, the return to a more structured and disciplined environment and anxiety about all the new things they'll have to learn and of course… the teachers. For some, the stakes are even higher: new school, going from grade school to high school, etc. Essentially their future holds few certainties and lots of insecurities!
Don't you think that this is strangely similar to what beef producers experience at the end of every summer? Calves will soon need to be weaned. How much will they weigh? How many cows will be pregnant at the next testing phase? Will feed stocks be sufficient to last the whole winter? And most importantly: What will the price of calves be?

You may already have the answers to some of these questions, and you'll plan accordingly and that's reassuring. However, there are questions to which you have no answers and that creates insecurity. That's short-term management.

In fact, the cost-effectiveness of a business is often related to its ability to know, to master and to multiply actions in the long term. Naturally, the factors influencing your decisions must be based on solid facts rather than projections or hunches.

About Beef Production
There have been profound changes in Quebec's breeding industry over the past five years: The number of producers, livestock inventory, slaughter capacity, significant price fluctuations and of course, farm revenue protection systems. Some input suppliers even lowered the number of their services during this period. In fact, traditional markers were simply set aside.

As an entrepreneur, you are forced adapt your behaviour to that of a person driving along a darkened road, in the rain, at midnight, and where only 10% of the road's markings are visible. To avoid a tragedy, you get closer and closer to the windshield hoping that you'll get a clearer view, but it's still dark, rainy and hard to see. Fatigue slowly sets in; the situation becomes tense. Adding some solid facts to your decision making process would feel good right now! Carefully read what follows.

For the breeding industry, we all know that the key to remain competitive is to improve the technical and economic performances of businesses, from cows to calves to steers for slaughter; thus the need for greater technological and economic tools over the next few years.

Sensitive to this reality, two years ago La Coop network began strategically planning its beef production offering. An action plan was presented and adopted by the network as a whole.

Today, as a back-to-school special, I am sharing some great news: The implementation of phase one of La Coop's OptiBoeuf program, which began June 1st.

Overall, 31 cooperatives, including La Coop fédérée, agreed to provide the services of a team of expert-consultants to all beef producers, in their respective territories, for a minimum of five years. This represents an investment of nearly $2.5 million. The team is already in place and has already started working.

By making this commitment, cooperatives are thinking in the now, but they are also thinking about the next generation of beef producers. We believe in you; believe in us!

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