Beef Market Advisor

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Harlan Hughes
Livestock Economist & Professor Emeritus
North Dakota State University Extension Service

Picture is available at and scroll down until you find the picture.

Harlan is a native of Ravenna, Nebraska. He received his BS degree in agricultural mechanization and MS degree in farm management from the University of Nebraska, and his PhD degree in Production Economies from the University of Missouri.

Harlan served as a farm management specialist at the University of Wisconsin from 1972 to 1978, as marketing specialist at Michigan State University in 1978, and as the AGNET coordinator and microcomputer application specialist at the University of Wyoming from 1979 to 1985. Harlan moved to North Dakota in 1985 to provide NDSU extension state-wide leadership in livestock economics in 1985 and served in that role for 15 years.

His top priority educational program while at NDSU was the writing and publishing the biweekly Market Advisor column. The goal of Market Advisor was to teach beef cattle producers and agricultural professionals who work with them how to integrate economic concepts and analyses into their day to day production decisions. This Market Advisors lives on today through monthly articles in the Beef Magazine in the U.S. and in the Canadian Cattlemen's Magazine in Canada.

Harlan introduced Integrated Resource Management (IRM) in North Dakota. This educational program was designed to teach beef cow producers how to conduct an integrated production and economic analysis and to database individual herd analyses into a set of benchmark herds that producers can use to identify their individual herd's strengths and weaknesses. Much of the IRM data has been posted to his NDSU web page and is still be accessed by beef cow producers via the web.

"Harlan has done as much as anyone to lead U.S. cow-calf producers into the management mode."

In March 2000, Harlan retired from NDSU and is currently Professor Emeritus, North Dakota State University. Harlan and his wife, Lois, moved to Laramie, Wyoming where he is owner and operator of the Western Edge Consulting Company.

Even after retirement, Harlan continues to write for and speak to beef cow producers. Harlan is a frequently sought after conference speaker in both the U.S. and Canada. How to profit from cattle cycles has been a primary subject of his recent producer presentations.

Harlan also consults under contract with individual beef cow producers. He specializes in conducting IRM Beef Cow Herd Cost & Return Studies for individual ranchers. His consulting company's Blog Page is at

Starting in Jan 2001, Harlan is a monthly author of the Market Advisor for the BEEF Magazine. He also is a monthly contributor of a 2nd Market Advisor to the Canadian Cattlemen's Magazine. Harlan's newest writing adventure is joining up with a new weekly newspaper entitled the Cattlemen's Business Weekly out of South Dakota where he will contribute a monthly "Cattle Economics" column. Harlan maintains an active email address at and actively solicits email from beef cow producers.

Harlan established a Web page in 1997, which featured a variety of beef economic articles, as well as his the Market Advisors. This web page has since be moved to and expanded on his 2 Blog pages at and Harlan continues to collects and analyzes monthly sale barn prices from several locations in the Northern Plains, Wyoming and Western Nebraska. He continues to generate monthly price projections for the next 12 to 15 months and projects the management implications of these planning prices in a dozen or so common beef cow production/marketing systems. These planning prices and their management implications are routinely shared with his clients.

Harlan is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association, Canadian Agricultural Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economics Association. Harlan and his wife Lois live in Laramie, Wyoming.

posted by Dr. Harlan Hughes 1:36 PM [edit]

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