Bet­ting on Bessie

Alberta Venture - - The Money Book -

For some­one look­ing to jump into the beef in­dus­try, now might be the time. In Al­berta, calf and cat­tle prices have fallen sig­nif­i­cantly, drop­ping around 40 per cent since last year. That’s bad news for cur­rent cat­tle pro­duc­ers, but for an in­vestor look­ing to buy low, it’s an ideal op­por­tu­nity to take stake in the Al­berta cat­tle in­dus­try. And you don’t have to be a farmer to do so.

An in­vestor can pur­chase cat­tle and have a farmer man­age them at their feed­lot for a fee. Or, an in­vestor can pur­chase a per­cent­age of cat­tle owned and man­aged by a cat­tle pro­ducer, like Ryan Co­p­ithorne, a fourth gen­er­a­tion Al­berta rancher west of Bragg Creek. Co­p­ithorne runs Cows in Con­trol Mar­ket­ing Group, a net­work of cow-calf pro­duc­ers. “I have part­ners that work with me where I run cows and calves,” he says. “They are pas­sive in­vestors.”

De­spite cur­rent low prices, cat­tle can make for a lu­cra­tive in­vest­ment. Cat­tle are a liq­uid as­set that can quickly ap­pre­ci­ate in value each year if an in­vestor pur­chases a cow and a calf. “She is go­ing to pro­duce a calf ev­ery year,” Co­p­ithorne says. “She is a cash-flow­ing as­set.” While there are many nu­ances to the cat­tle busi­ness, sim­ply in­vest­ing in live­stock is not that com­pli­cated. “You just have to find the right man­ager to look after them for you,” Co­p­ithorne says.

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