August 6, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Bryce Schumann, chief executive officer, at 816-383-5100 or [email protected]
An Investment in the Future
During the last 12 months, few businesses in America have avoided impacts of the faltering economy.
The American Angus Association® is no different.
While we continue to enjoy strong demand for Angus seedstock, and consumer demand for Certified Angus Beef® will set new records this year, the Association is faced with the challenges of streamlining operations, cutting costs and developing new sources of revenue.
Earlier this year, we began a careful evaluation of all Association programs, looking for areas where we could reduce costs and enhance revenue while maintaining the same level of quality service our members have come to expect.
As a result of this evaluation, we have reduced nearly $800,000 of expenses from our budget. In the coming months, we will reduce a total of $1.4 million, or about 12%, of our annual budget.
Following thoughtful deliberation, the board of directors on July 28, 2009, passed a policy requiring that all animals be registered before breeders can access their EPDs. I believe this decision will go a long way in protecting and enhancing the value of a registration certificate for all of our members.
In addition, the board voted to increase annual membership dues from $30 to $80, effective January 1, 2010, marking the first such increase since 2001.
All other fees for services remain the same – even though it’s been nearly 30 years since many of them have been increased. For instance, the last increase in transfer fees was in 1982. Fees for AI certificates have not increased since 1981. Registration fees have not increased since 1980.
Consider, too, that the new membership dues are competitive with dues combined with subscriptions of other associations. For instance, American Hereford Association charges $115; American Simmental Association, $100; American-International Charolais Association, $100; North American Limousin Foundation, $130; and International Brangus, $150.
The Association’s new membership dues plus an annual subscription to Angus Journal will be $130, or slightly more than $10 a month.
Perhaps most importantly, the new membership dues will ensure the continuation of the Association’s 126-year tradition of quality of service, information, outreach and leadership – including field services and breeder support staff.
Examples of these services include the new and improved member “log-on,” a major development from upgrading the Association’s computer system, which improves the efficiency of members and the ability of the Association to deliver a higher level of service. This resulted from an investment of nearly $2 million.
Other programs and activities funded by membership dues include the National Junior Angus Show and the national convention in Louisville, Ky., each year.
The new membership dues will also ensure the Association’s investment in an updated, innovative and more aggressive public relations, advertising and marketing program. And, it helps to secure a continued commitment to providing cattle producers across America with the most valuable research and performance information available in the industry today.
In sum, all of these efforts will play a critical role in continuing to build economic strength for Angus cattle.
Thank you for your continued support of our Association. You can be assured that we will do everything possible to ensure your investment in Association programs and activities will continue to reap dividends for your business and your family.