Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type





Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Carl R. Dillon


Backgounding beef cattle is an inherently risky venture. Producers faceproduction risks as well as marketing risks. If a backgrounding operation is to be viable,these risks should be addressed and effectively managed. While some effective riskmanagement tools are currently available to livestock producers, some other potentiallyuseful risk management tools, for various reasons, have been previously unavailable.Two such tools which could help livestock producers achieve the overall goal ofmanaging net income risk are a program for managing feed ingredient nutrient and pricevariability in the selection of minimum cost feed rations and government subsidizedlivestock price insurance.Due to lack of data and limited computational power of solvers, risk has seldombeen introduced into the feed ration selection process. Presently, both feed ingredientnutritional data and appropriate solvers are available, allowing for risk to be fullyconsidered in this decision-making process. Only recently has there been policy effortsto establish subsidized price or revenue insurance for livestock producers. Theintroduction of such insurance to livestock producers offers potential risk managementbenefit but also has the potential to introduce improper incentives to livestock producers.This study will evaluate both of the aforementioned livestock risk managementtools. In addition to evaluating their effectiveness, the policy concerns of subsidizedlivestock insurance will also be addressed. Results will be relevant to a broad range ofentities. In addition to livestock producers wishing to manage the risks associated withtheir operations, agribusinesses that provide service to these producers such as feed salesor financial lending will benefit from knowing how these risk management strategiesperform. Furthermore, policy makers who will structure livestock insurance products canhopefully do so more efficiently based on the results of the livestock insurance analysis.