Ranch management event raises questions on challenges of cattle industry


The cattle industry faces many challenges.

According to panelists at TCU Ranch Management’s annual Roundup event on Jan. 24, challenges in the industry include a lack of planning, a disinterest in performing manual labor and incorrectly managing resources.

Roundup is designed to target TCU Ranch Management alumni. Around 150 to 200 program alumni and the graduating class attended the panel event.

Risk management and management of capital were two areas the panelists felt were important for the graduating class to learn more about.

Despite all of the obstacles, panelists at the event were optimistic about the cattle industry’s future.

“You’ve got to be able to smell the manure,” panelist Mike Heard said as he reflected on some advice he had been told in his earlier years. The surge in disinterest in performing manual labor means that no one is left to do the dirty work.

Heard was one of the four leaders in the industry to speak at the annual event. He was joined by Paul Burrough, Terry Caviness and John Welch.

Each of the panelists have worked closely with the ranch management program.

Jeffrey Geider, director of the ranch management program, moderated the event.

Geider asked the panelists questions pertaining to the challenges, opportunities and future of the cattle industry. Audience members were also able to write questions on notecards for the panelists. Many questions pertained to the future of the industry.

Paul Burrough told the audience to “be involved and be aware.” The panel said knowledge on animal rights groups, humane handling of livestock and early planning would help lead to the success of a business.

The panel was a new addition to Roundup this year. In the past, the morning session hosted one speaker.

The night portion of Roundup entailed a rodeo, cocktails and dinner, a dance and an auction. The proceeds from the auction go toward an alumni scholarship given to a ranch management student.