This column was first published by Nebraska Farmer on March 17, 2023, and is excerpted here with permission.
Beef producers in Nebraska and across the nation have seen increased prices and returns over the past year as demand continued to build after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Producers still face several challenges and issues, however, as the cow herd shrinks as part of a liquidation phase and as feedstuffs are stretched amid continuing drought concerns across parts of the Great Plains.
Amid these economic opportunities and challenges, beef producers remain engaged in the discussion and development of several policy issues. While producers and producer organizations focus on policy issues and proposals, a cohort of students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is honing its policy focus, as well, as part of the Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars program in UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
The NBIS program’s 14th class of scholars is working through its final semester in a course focused on beef policy issues The group traveled to the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention in February to observe and participate in policy discussions and brought back several issues and topics for further focus and discussion.
The list reads not only like an assignment for class, but also as a map for the whole beef industry for 2023 and beyond.