Executive Administrator for the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association, Rick Wright, attended the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Convention in Oklahoma City earlier this month.

The LMA Annual Convention is the premiere annual gathering of the livestock marketing industry with livestock auction market owners, dealers, auctioneers, and others involved in the livestock marketing industry.  This is a time to network, learn from keynote speakers, share innovative ideas and support the cattle industry as a whole. 

In conjunction with LMA’s convention, the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship took place, marking its third time in its 60-year history to be hosted by the Oklahoma National Stockyards.  Wright was one of 5 judges at the World Auctioneering Championships, a highlight in his career.

Related story: Wright reaches personal milestone as Judge at World Auctioneer Championships

When asked what caught his attention at the convention, Wright says the topics of traceability on the Canadian side, producer-profitability on the U.S. side.  On both sides of the border the concern continues on the drop in the number of beef cows and the demographics of the producers as they're getting older, but the succession plan is lacking as not as many young people are getting into the cattle industry. 

"We're predicting some major shifts in the cattle industry over the next ten years," shares Wright. "There are some big changes coming, and they're not all favorable to the auction mart industry, so certainly it's a bit of a concern."

One of the presentations at the conference shared on the marketing strategy of future-selling calves in western Canada.   "We're always looking at ways to stay ahead of the game and look at different ways of marketing the cattle to get the producers the best money," he explains. "Sometimes in the last couple of years the June price has been the highest price for delivery in October and we don't take advantage of that very often."

Wright is quick to note the unpredictable nature of the weather.  A drought could force cattle producers to sell their calves early, "and if you have good pasture conditions like we had last Fall you can leave them out and put some pretty valuable pounds on the calves." 

Please listen to more on this topic with Rick Wright below!