Beef Buzz News
Cattle Producers Help Shape the Sustainability Conversation as Part of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Mon, 03 Jan 2022 11:35:45 CST
The sustainability conversation has been discussed for a long time in the U.S. beef industry. In the beginning, sustainability practices were coming from the top of the supply chain, which was not working well for beef cattle producers. Cattle producers responded by working with stakeholders up and down the beef pipeline, creating the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
Listen to Ron's conversation with Debbie here.
Debbie Lyons-Blythe, the chairman-elect of the board of directors for the USRSB, said the Roundtable works because it is comprised of stakeholders from all aspects of the beef supply chain, from producers to packers, folks in retail to civil society.
"The retailers and corporations were forcing (cattle producers) to fit into their idea of what sustainability is," Lyons-Blythe said. "When the Roundtable started to have their conversations, six years ago, it was obvious that producers were very much a part of that conversation."
Lyons-Blythe is a life-long cattle rancher and represents the Kansas Livestock Association on USRSB. She said she and the other members of USRSB are making sure sustainability measurements and agreements within the U.S. beef cattle industry are appropriate and make sense at the producer level.
USRSB has six key sustainability indicators which can be measured along the entire beef value chain, according to Lyons-Blythe. At the ranch level, sustainability is achieved through best management practices, she added.
"They are things that impact our ability to stay in business and manage our cattle and land appropriately," Lyons-Blythe said. "The number-one question on our list is, 'do you have a grazing-management plan?'"
Many producers do not at this point, Lyons-Blythe has discovered. At the same time, most do have a plan on how they want to graze their cattle. In cases like this, USRSB points producers to their local university extension offices or other regional resources that will help develop an educated grazing-management plan.
"A grazing-management plan looks very different in Wyoming looks very different than one in Georgia," Lyons-Blythe said. "We are not saying there are key things you need, other than needing a plan."
To learn more about USRSB, click or tap here.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Debbie Lyons-Blythe as they talk about sustainability in the U.S. beef cattle industry.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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