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Agricultural News

NCBA Insider Explains Why Environmentally Conscious Producers are a "Triple-Win" for Sustainability

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 14:46:36 CDT

NCBA Insider Explains Why Environmentally Conscious Producers are a It’s a triple win: What’s good for the environment is good for the consumers….is good for cattlemen.

“Every time producers get more efficient and more productive, from making decisions about reproduction, getting your cows bred back to feed efficiency, that makes us more sustainable,” said Sara Place, a senior director with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. There's a lot of, what we can say, synergies there between when you get more profitable and you get more efficient, you do a better job of being a cattle caretaker, you're improving sustainability. That's a great story to tell as well, that those things move together, that we're dedicated about getting better.”

To watch a short video clip featuring Sara Place, a senior director with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, explaining why producers need to both think and talk about sustainably, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window, below.

Consumers need to hear that message in their “language.” For example, “upcycling” may be trendy today, but cattlemen have been upcycling all along.

“So, taking something that is of little or no value to people and making something of superior value,” Place said. “When we think about that from a standpoint of cattle, even grain-finished cattle, the majority what the cattle eat in their life is forage, right? Or, human inedible stuff, all the byproduct feeds that we use. That's something that we need to, in my opinion, emphasize more.”

Often the beef community is cast as being less efficient than other proteins, but Place explains that feedyard performance numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“Usually, what those ratios are showing us is dry matter pounds of feed to a pound of gain, which is one way to look at feed efficiency, but it masks the fact that, again, most of what cattle eat is not human edible food,” she explained. “It's forage, it's byproduct feeds, so when we actually look at the feed that theoretically could be eaten by people that we feed cattle, it's pretty much flat across the board comparing cattle, chickens, and pigs.”

Consumers crave beef. They need to know choosing beef isn’t at odds with their values.

“We have to be active in this space, we have to be telling what we actually do, benchmarking it, showing it to people,” Place concluded.

“A lot of times it's just those day-to-day conversations with people that you know. People in your communities, even in rural communities, we have a lot of misperceptions about agriculture.”

Place says the equation is simple: Keep doing better on your ranch, then talk about it.

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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