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Beef Buzz News

John Butler with the Beef Marketing Group Communicates to Consumers that the Beef Industry is Sustainable

Wed, 18 May 2022 09:46:13 CDT

John Butler with the Beef Marketing Group Communicates to Consumers that the Beef Industry is Sustainable  Ron Hays, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster is back with John Butler, CEO of the Beef Marketing Group, as he talks about the Lookup Program, by Elanco and how the data it provides can help challenge management on an operation to make improvements.

Butler feels that when it comes to our sustainability story in the beef industry, we are doing a good job of explaining those efforts to consumers.

"We just really have to roll up our sleeves and get to areas that an old guy like me is not necessarily used to, and it's in the arenas of social media and being able to get to influencers that impact this changing consumer that we have, and understanding their demographics and telling them that our products are not only nutritious and safe and wholesome but that we really are positive contributors to this whole sustainability conversation," Butler said. "We have got to do it through good communication avenues to get that message across because there are others that are on the other side of the fence that are working hard to get us out of business."

With individuals who wish animal food production was not a part of a lifestyle or culture, Butler said education is a big job and must be done through proactive communication.

John Butler said they may even be able to get additional data information coming into the beef marketing group in the Beef Marketing Group's various feedlots located in Kansas and Nebraska, which will allow them to have more ways to determine their carbon footprint.

"That is important to our packer that we work with, Tyson Fresh Meats," Butler said. "It is also important to their customers."

With the program, Butler said they provide input into their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reports. By communicating what they are able to achieve with the Uplook program to their customers and even the customers of those customers, Butler said value is generated back to the supplier.

The Uplook program, which is put out by Elanco, is designed to help crunch mass data information, which will help cattle operations compute their real-time carbon footprint.

"We are sort of the guinea pig," Butler said. "What we did is we took the information system product they already have called Benchmark, where they are collecting a lot of raw data from our feed yards, and then regurgitating that and producing reports for us that we can use in management."

Now, Butler said, they have taken the data which includes what they feed, how they flake the corn, what ingredients go in, the weight of the cattle coming in, how much water cattle consume, and more, to develop reports focused on things that are important in a sustainability space such as methane emission.

Butler said a year and a half ago, one of their feedlots was hit by a tornado. When the mill went down and they had to change the ration, Butler said they were able to see that the carbon footprint went up when they were not able to roll the corn.

"So, that's an example of things we can learn from," Butler said. "It's not going to be perfect all the time and there are going to be environmental issues that come up, but if we get that information, now we can see how we can improve."

Because they have not had this raw data and information before, Butler is looking forward to being challenged as management to improve.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and John Butler on the Lookup Program and how it can aid in increasing sustainability.

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.



Listen to John Butler on Using Data to Improve Sustainability in the Beef Industry
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