Beef Buzz News
TCFA's Ben Weinheimer Says Cattle Producers Need to Tell Their Story Through the US Roundtable for Sustainable BeefMon, 16 Dec 2019 16:18:28 CST
From the early days of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, who represent feedlots in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, have been involved with the Roundtable. Vice President for TCFA Ben Weinheimer, who serves as chair of the group, tells us the reason TCFA decided to become part of the USRSB, "Well, I think we all know that we have a tremendous amount to be proud of in the beef industry. We definitely know where the global leader and sustainable, responsible beef production, and so it just made sense for us to be involved in this effort. And really be able to communicate all the good things that are cattle producers do to care for the environment, care for their people, be part of their communities, and produce the best beef in the world."
USRSB obviously is an offshoot of the Global Round Table for Sustainable Beef. Still, Weinheimer says there's a difference between the worldwide group, and the U.S. Group, " So if you rewind about ten years ago the bigger conversation around beef sustainability was really was driven more at the global level, but that really just kind of set the stage for all of us within each our countries to really focus on our own beef production systems. So as we worked about five years ago to help stand up the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, that's exactly what it's about. It's about our U.S. production system. It's about our practices on the ground that we implement every day to do those things that are best for the cattle, best for the environment, and best for our people."
Weinheimer says detractors within the business sometimes do not understand the Roundtable, but says they try to find common ground "You know I think it's like a lot of things that you have a tendency to be concerned about something if you don't understand it. What we've been able to do within the round table is to engage with some of these organizations that maybe have historically been on opposite sides of the table, but instead, we've brought them to the table. We've given them an opportunity to really learn about U.S. beef production and what we do. Because even as you look at cattle producers and conservation organizations, we have a tremendous amount in common when it comes for caring for the environment and caring for natural resources, and really a vested interest in maintaining cattle out on pastures for the good things that they do for the ecosystem, biodiversity, and wildlife. There's a lot of mutual benefits and common interests when it comes to cattlemen and conservation organizations. It's really something about you know giving them a chance to come in and learn about that, and you know have a chance to really better understand what it is that we do every day."
As far as sustainable solutions for the industry, Weinheimer says they have finally deciphered what the framework of sustainability looks like, "So through this effort of the Roundtable, we just recently approved a sustainability framework. That framework has finally put to bed this question about what is the definition of sustainability. So we know now that that's really a focus on being economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially responsible. But more importantly, if you put that it just day to day terms for what it means for our cattle producers, it's about profitable farmers and ranchers that are good stewards of the land, that they care for the animals, and that they have an obligation to be responsible stewards of the natural resources."
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Ben Weinheimer as he talks with Ron Hays.
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