Mark McCully on Remembering the Consumer When it Comes to New Beef Industry Technologies

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Mark McCully about gene editing and more.

At the recent 2024 Cattlemen’s Conference at Oklahoma State University, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, caught up with the CEO of the American Angus Association, Mark McCully, and talked about gene editing of the Angus breed.

Looking back on the cattle industry many years ago, McCully talked about the strides that have been made in terms of technology and innovation. Now with gene editing, McCully said there is the ability to advance animal health, wellness, and more.

Many have different feelings about gene editing, McCully said, as some individuals are excited about what this technology can mean for the beef industry, while others fear its potential.

“I think it is a very timely discussion, but it is a complicated one, because it is very technical, and to some people, it becomes very scary,” McCully said.

One of the most important things to remember when adopting this technology is how the consumer will accept it, McCully said, because keeping the trust of consumers is vital.

“We have to think about how they are going to accept this technology,” McCully said. “They have choices of other proteins and so we need to make sure we always keep them in mind.”

McCully added that explaining the benefits of technology such as gene editing to consumers can have value, as today’s consumers are concerned with sustainability, animal health, and more- which can all be improved by gene editing.

“It is very important to keep the consumer front and center, and it is going to be very important that we talk about these things in the right way,” McCully said.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR 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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