It was a tough business climate for stockmen in 2008, said Brian Nagel of Springfield, first vice president with the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association.
The market downturn was due to a negative combination of factors, including high summer input costs, last fall's "economy blowout"
and a lower demand for high-end meats, he
"It really tests your risk management skills, let's put it that way,"
Those skills might include employing sophisticated business strategies such as hedges and puts - purchasing options to buy or sell at a specific price - and the careful purchase of insurance policies.
"You just kind of hope you can buy them right, sell them right and guess the market a little bit," Nagel