• Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef LLC

Pollard says: Association in Strong Financial Standing Despite Unpredictable Year

Barry Pollard, 2023 American Angus Association vice president and vice chairman

“We are the leaders in the beef world and we intend to stay there, and that requires financial strength and foresight.”

That’s from Barry Pollard, newly elected vice chair of the American Angus Association Board of Directors, who served as treasurer during the last fiscal year.

“Of course, the effects of the pandemic and now inflation have all played a role in our expense part of our work association, particularly with Angus Media,” he says, noting the cost of paper and postage were up considerably this past year. “We were able to cover that loss and without charging any extra fees or raising the prices to anyone because our main purpose is to provide those services to our membership.”

Strong growth in other areas helped balance that so the Association posted a positive balance.

Hear directly from Pollard in this clip from the 2022 Angus Convention in Salt Lake City, Nov. 4-7, or read the full transcript below.



Miranda Reiman:

We are here at the conclusion of the American Angus Association annual meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Angus Convention here in Salt Lake City. And I have Dr. Barry Pollard with me. Dr. Pollard, thanks for joining us.

Barry Pollard:

Oh, very happy to be here. Thank you.

Miranda Reiman:

So Dr. Pollard hails from south of Enid, Oklahoma, Angus producer, and was just elected as vice chair of the American Angus Association, had recently served as treasurer of the American Angus Association last year. So why don't we focus a little bit on those financials. Tell me about the financial standing of the Association.

Barry Pollard:

Well, the financial standing of the Association is in really good shape. We're really solid. Of our four entities in the Association itself, we all met our budgets and exceeded them, and that was a good report. And so the footing's solid with 71 million dollars in assets, and our revenue this year was 69 million dollars. And in a troubled year like this, with the economy and the stock market doing what it did, it's very nice to know that we've got a solid foundation base for our organization.

Miranda Reiman:

Absolutely. I think you can talk about the bottom line, but it's sometimes good to know what things were kind of negative to that and what things were positive to that. So tell me about some of the things that maybe were unexpected surprises to our bottom line this year.

Barry Pollard:

Sure. Well, of course the effects of the pandemic and now inflation have all played a role in our expense part of our work association, particularly with Angus Media. The cost of paper and postage was far excessive of we anticipated, so we showed a loss, but because of the strong strength of that organization and all the entities in general, we were able to cover that loss and without charging any extra fees or raising the prices to anyone because our main purpose is to provide those services to our membership. And we did that without increasing any fees.

Miranda Reiman:

Absolutely. Those of us who have seen our grocery bills go up and our gas bills go up and things like that can certainly understand the pandemic's effect on a budget. But then let's talk about the more exciting part is what things added to our budget this year. What things were all positives and strengths?

Barry Pollard:

Well, of course, CAB had another great year, generating 33 million in revenue. I think they grew over 2% this year, so that was fantastic. Angus Genetics turned in another strong performance with I believe 189 genomic tests were done this year. And that's the backbone of our revenue for Angus Genetics. And that allows us to use that funding and the money that we make to funnel it back into further improvements of the genetic testing that we might want to look at, research and other things that can keep us the leader of the pack in the cattle industry of genetic testing and performance.

Miranda Reiman:

That leads right into my next question. I think I heard Jerry say it from the stage. I've heard it several times in the boardroom that gone are the days of just making enough revenue based on membership fees and things like that. Where are really the opportunities you see kind of looking into the future, either near future or maybe farther out?

Barry Pollard:

Yeah. I'll go back a little in time on that question in that there oh, six years ago, let's say for instance, and five years ago, four years ago, those years, I was on the board and we saw that our revenue was not able to handle all the expenses. And that was because we relied so much on registration and transfers for our income. So at that point, we realized with a rising inflationary cost of goods and services and the expenses that we have going forward, that we probably needed to look at other sources of revenue. And we dwelled on that for six months or more, trying to decide what to do. And it was a struggle, but we all came together and realized that we had to increase fees, and that has been a decisive factor in this last year and us having a favorable financial performance for the organization and will help serve that need that we have for that extra funding.

Miranda Reiman:

Absolutely. And when we talk about the money for the association and the things that we need, I think it's maybe important to note, what are all these funds being used for?

Barry Pollard:

Well, all the funds basically go to support all the services that we provide to the membership, and that is so key to our organization to be progressive, to have the money to investigate new ideas, to help use that money to enhance AGI's performance and look at the opportunities that we might have as well as the funding that was increased from numerous donors in the foundation, help with the educational opportunities for the children, for all the kids in the Angus Junior Board, and all of the kids underneath them, and make sure that all those activities that we see so valuable to our junior members are able to be funded.

Miranda Reiman:

Absolutely. I think you can sit in that financial report sometimes and think, man, there's a lot of numbers, but the main message I heard out of that was that we're in strong financial standing and that we've got a lot of optimism as we head to the future.

Barry Pollard:

That's correct. We presented a nice budget to the board, and I feel like it's very realistic. And there's troubling economic times, as we all know, based on the inflationary things that are going on and it forms the stock market. Those will continue to affect us to some degree, but we have a very broad based portfolio of reasonable things. We work with our directors and the organization we hire to help with that to help manage our money and try to keep it on a conservative basis. And so we have those funds necessary to move forward.

Miranda Reiman:

Excellent. Any closing thoughts as we wrap up Angus Convention?

Barry Pollard:

Oh, I'm really thrilled about a lot of the things that we can do. We have the strength financially to be able to look at other opportunities that may come to us through AGI or through breed improvement, and to be able to continue to manage the services that we need to provide to the membership and have access to finances that we can look at things that we can evaluate in the future for any of the entities that might improve their performance because we are the leaders in the beef world and we intend to stay there, and that requires financial strength and foresight.

Miranda Reiman:

Seems like an excellent note to end on. Thank you so much for your time today, and thanks for your service to the breed.

Barry Pollard:

Thank you.

Miranda Reiman:

Watch the upcoming January Angus Journal for more coverage from Angus Convention, and visit angusjournal.net to subscribe today.