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Watch each Friday for Doug Ferguson's Market Intel blog on Beef Producer.

Do you believe in profit?

Marketing opportunities shifted again this week, and geography remained a big factor.

The best definition of success I ever heard is this: “It’s the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Progressive means we are always continuing in the direction of our goal. Realization meaning our goal is manifesting. And for the purposes of this blog, the worthy ideal is a profitable cattle operation. The word worthy means the idea has to be worth trading our time to achieve it.

Seventeen years ago I got a job buying cattle for a friend’s dad. He told me if I was going to buy cattle for him, I had to read a blog about sell-buy marketing. Now, keep in mind for years I was just knew there had to be a way to make money in the cattle biz, and it turned out the answer was in that blog. The law of attraction I have described before brought it all together. The tip I got on that night from my friend’s dad changed my life. I’ve been studying sell-buy marketing ever since.

Teaching it

I never would have guessed I would end up teaching a marketing school, but that is what I did this week. At the school I spent some time discussing paradigms, how we get them, why it’s hard to shift them, and how to shift them. I called it the X-Y factor. X is the existing paradigm and Y is a new idea. Y in this case is profit, or our worthy ideal.

To entertain worthy ideals, we need to open our minds and have a greater awareness. Sometimes all this requires is a slight change in perception. A slight change in perception can make a huge impact. I believe this may be what Bud Williams was talking about when he said, “There is no limit to better.” We must keep raising our level of awareness and chasing new and better ideas (Y) to improve our success.

This was my first time playing the role of teacher, and there were some glitches and I got tripped up a few times. It didn’t seem to matter, though. Everyone there was pretty intelligent and eventually I could see their light bulbs come on. I knew they were getting it. That’s a pretty awesome feeling. I can’t help but now wonder if maybe I played my part in changing their lives in a manner like mine was changed all those years ago. Only time will tell.

At the beginning of the school I explained to them that everything is energy. Everything is made of molecules or atoms, and they are always moving. This means we either create or disperse that energy. We either get better or worse, but we cannot stay the same. This is the progressive realization part. Continue to string together profitable trades over a period of time and we will be successful. A slight change in perception and a little bit of new knowledge can be lifechanging.

Late last night I was relaxing and I thought of this concept: Everything is energy, including the idea of sell-buy marketing. It started with Bud Williams, and then he taught someone else, and that person eventually taught me, and now I taught a class. I reminded the class about the what I call the “law of increasing life,” which simply means you plant a seed and you will get 100 seeds back. (It’s harvest time in the countryside and we are seeing that all around us.) Williams planted seeds, and many of those people planted more seeds. That’s when it hit me, the idea is energy seeking greater and fuller expression of itself, and it is only using me to do so. I am so grateful it is.

A slight change in perception, a little new knowledge gained, a slight shift in a paradigm can lead to huge success.

The markets

Fats got a little bump again, and guess what? We can replace them at a profit with some of the middle-weight feeders, even in the plains! The heavier feeders are still overvalued relative to fats.

Auction markets appeared to be a bit mixed. I noticed on some market reports it stayed steady with the previous week and others seemed to take a real nasty bite out of calf prices. The heavy, weaned feeders may have even been slightly higher in some places. This is making for some impressive value of gain (VOG) in feeder-to-feeder trades.

Yet once again there is a cliff around the nine-weights where the VOG falls off. This is an example of knowing when not to put weight on cattle. By doing so we may devalue our feed, by trying to feed that weight on.

Southern markets were still undervalued this week, just not as undervalued as they have been. Geographical spreads remain in place. A truck ride of several hours can lead to a buying opportunity or selling opportunity.

This week unweaned cattle were $3-11 back, and feeder bulls were $15-25 back.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Beef Producer or Farm Progress.

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