Rancher Matt Perrier Talks About Unifying the Beef Industry

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Matt Perrier about unifying the beef industry.

Matt Perrier, a Kansas Rancher spoke with Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays about producer profitability during the LMA Convention held in downtown Oklahoma City this past month. To hear our part one of Ron’s Conversation with Perrier on Beef Buzz, click HERE.

Perrier is a past president of the Kansas Livestock Association, currently serves on the Kansas Beef Council Executive Committee, and has served on various local, state and national boards in the livestock industry.

His take on producer profitability is that producers need to find common ground to work with one another rather than working against each other. He said, “We all have different perspectives on the beef industry in the beef community, and we all trade between each other. We are very segmented, very independent, and I love that about our industry. The downside of that is, instead of looking at the next person who buys our products as a partner, many times, we look at them as an adversary.”

Perrier explained that many times a producer may look at another trade association and pick out one or two policies that they don’t like and refuse to support them, rather than looking for the common ground that is often the bigger picture that they can work with.

“I think that there is a a desire amongst a lot of producers to figure out how to stop fighting amongst ourselves and come together with a fairly unified voice so that we can go to D.C. or to the consumer with a similar message. While we may not agree on every policy in the handbook, I think there is enough that we can agree on that we need to get it together,” he warned.

Perrier believes that the problem stems from the centuries-old image the hardy, independent cattleman. “It is why ranchers are ranchers,” he said. “Its why cattlemen decided to take the land that nobody else wanted and figure out how to make money off of it, and we aren’t going to lose that.”

Perrier says that the first steps of this process have already been taken, but due to a few misteps early on and misguided ideas on where the trail is leading, some have stopped moving forward.

“I think that all of us – the organizations, the people, the staff, the leaders – owe it to our industry and to our families to find ways to work together,” Perrier encouraged. “Instead of griping in the local coffee shop or at the local sale barn cafe, we need to take an active role in talking to our leaders and let them know our ideas for how things could improve.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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