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Angus breeders learn the power of embracing innovation

Angus breeders learn the power of embracing innovation

Jeff DeGraff discusses accepting change in the beef industry

Black Angus

The breed is known for its capacity for good marbling.

Profound Angus passion, embracing innovative objectives, celebrating milestone achievements – all themes displayed at the National Angus Convention and Trade Show through legendary keynote speakers in Fort Worth, Texas earlier this month.

Jeff DeGraff, advisor to Fortune 500 companies and a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, delivered the innovation keynote address, driving the message of welcoming and accepting unfamiliar concepts.

“I want people to understand that innovation is more than technology,” DeGraff said. “It really has to do with understanding your blind spots, the opportunities that you're not seeing, surrounding yourself with people who don't think the same way you do to exploit some of these interesting opportunities that are often overlooked.”

In the beef industry, the idea of adapting current practices to improve future operations serves as a debated topic. DeGraff explained that for a business to be successful long-term, it must innovate, and to innovate, change must occur.

“In order to grow, you have to do something new or different, right,” DeGraff said. “So the notion is, it's not a question of if you're going to innovate, the question is how and when you're going to innovate."

DeGraff challenged Angus breeders and all agriculturalists to be leaders of industry progress. He stated if people in the industry avoid innovation, someone else will take the reins.

“The real question is this, will the incumbents in this industry be the ones who lead us,” DeGraff said. “Or will the nascent, or startups, in this industry be the one who lead the incumbents? Either way, you're going to innovate. It's inevitable.”

The 2021 National Angus Convention and Trade Show was held Nov. 6-8. For more news and information about NACTS, visit

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