Year of Publication

2003

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

A. Lee Meyer

Second Advisor

Leigh J. Maynard

Abstract

The Holstein beef sector is a fascinating and integral part of the United States beefsystem; however, it has been largely overlooked in academic research. Holstein beef has longsuffered from perceptions that it is of poor quality. Recent changes in slaughter industrystructure, marketing systems, and production models have made the Holstein systemunbelievably complex. Coupled with econometric modeling, this sector analysis uses a semistructuredinterview approach to evaluate the reality of these perceptions, the impact of thesechanges, and to determine what truly drives the Holstein beef market. Results suggest that manyof the perceptions of Holstein beef are inaccurate; the market for Holstein steers was found to bequite similar to the market for native steers. Recent changes in production systems appear tohave been driven by changes in market preferences. Finally, the driving forces behind theHolstein market are not that different from the driving factors in the native cattle market,although some of the impacts were found to be different.

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