Cattlemen’s Corner: Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review | TSLN.com

Cattlemen’s Corner: Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review

On April 1, the Beef Checkoff released “The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review: Connecting Our Vision and Values,” which is a first-of-its-kind inside look at cattlemen’s influence on communities across the nation, the economy, public health, and the environment. Nearly 74 percent of people say they are very or somewhat interested in knowing more about how beef is raised and who raises it, so cattlemen decided to make that education possible. We invested our beef checkoff dollars to gather information from research, public opinion surveys, farmer and rancher interviews and input from third-party experts to create this starting point for continued discussion about the beef community’s values and vision for the future.

The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review comes at a critical time, as people become more and more disconnected from agriculture and food production. We’re fortunate people are very interested in knowing more about the people that raise their food and how we raise it, providing us the opportunity to tell our story. Each year we hear more and more negative press against farmers and ranchers; the accusation that we’re all just in it for the money and we don’t care about our animals. We know that is just not true – 90 percent of cattlemen reported that protecting the health of the cattle is their number one job. Why else would we do calf checks round the clock in a blizzard?

Built on a statement of seven fundamental principles adopted by beef producer leaders at the annual Cattle Industry Convention in February, the Review details our commitment to preserving the environment, raising healthy cattle, providing quality food, enhancing food safety, investing in our communities, embracing innovation and creating a sustainable future for generations to come. It addresses the business of producing beef and the challenges we face, most of which we can’t control, like the markets and weather. The Review also addresses the importance of producing safe, quality beef – cattlemen have invested $30 million since 1993 in beef safety efforts and the entire beef industry as a whole invests $550 million annually to beef safety efforts. It highlights our efforts to constantly improve the Beef Quality Assurance program and safe cattle handling education. The Review also addresses very important consumer concerns, such as the use of antibiotics in our cattle, disease control, greenhouse gas emissions, and finishing cattle in feedyards. A few other interesting facts include:

• U.S. cattlemen provide 20 percent of the world’s beef with only 7 percent of the world’s cattle; there are half as many farmers and ranchers today feeding a population that has more than doubled.

• Between 1977 and 2007, the “carbon footprint” of beef shrank 18 percent as farmers and ranchers raised 13 percent more beef with 13 percent fewer cattle. When compared to 1977, each pound of beef raised in 2007 used 20 percent less feed, 30 percent less land, 14 percent less water and 9 percent less fossil-fuel energy.

For the consumers that choose to believe animal activists, whose mission is to abolish animal agriculture, the facts presented in the Review should be a pleasant surprise. As cattle producers, we are not only charged with feeding the nation and the world, but also educating consumers on the work we do to preserve natural resources while providing safe, wholesome food. Thankfully, we now have another tool, “The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review,” to help us spread our message. To access the full review, visit http://www.explorebeef.org.

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On April 1, the Beef Checkoff released “The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review: Connecting Our Vision and Values,” which is a first-of-its-kind inside look at cattlemen’s influence on communities across the nation, the economy, public health, and the environment. Nearly 74 percent of people say they are very or somewhat interested in knowing more about how beef is raised and who raises it, so cattlemen decided to make that education possible. We invested our beef checkoff dollars to gather information from research, public opinion surveys, farmer and rancher interviews and input from third-party experts to create this starting point for continued discussion about the beef community’s values and vision for the future.

The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review comes at a critical time, as people become more and more disconnected from agriculture and food production. We’re fortunate people are very interested in knowing more about the people that raise their food and how we raise it, providing us the opportunity to tell our story. Each year we hear more and more negative press against farmers and ranchers; the accusation that we’re all just in it for the money and we don’t care about our animals. We know that is just not true – 90 percent of cattlemen reported that protecting the health of the cattle is their number one job. Why else would we do calf checks round the clock in a blizzard?

Built on a statement of seven fundamental principles adopted by beef producer leaders at the annual Cattle Industry Convention in February, the Review details our commitment to preserving the environment, raising healthy cattle, providing quality food, enhancing food safety, investing in our communities, embracing innovation and creating a sustainable future for generations to come. It addresses the business of producing beef and the challenges we face, most of which we can’t control, like the markets and weather. The Review also addresses the importance of producing safe, quality beef – cattlemen have invested $30 million since 1993 in beef safety efforts and the entire beef industry as a whole invests $550 million annually to beef safety efforts. It highlights our efforts to constantly improve the Beef Quality Assurance program and safe cattle handling education. The Review also addresses very important consumer concerns, such as the use of antibiotics in our cattle, disease control, greenhouse gas emissions, and finishing cattle in feedyards. A few other interesting facts include:

• U.S. cattlemen provide 20 percent of the world’s beef with only 7 percent of the world’s cattle; there are half as many farmers and ranchers today feeding a population that has more than doubled.

• Between 1977 and 2007, the “carbon footprint” of beef shrank 18 percent as farmers and ranchers raised 13 percent more beef with 13 percent fewer cattle. When compared to 1977, each pound of beef raised in 2007 used 20 percent less feed, 30 percent less land, 14 percent less water and 9 percent less fossil-fuel energy.

For the consumers that choose to believe animal activists, whose mission is to abolish animal agriculture, the facts presented in the Review should be a pleasant surprise. As cattle producers, we are not only charged with feeding the nation and the world, but also educating consumers on the work we do to preserve natural resources while providing safe, wholesome food. Thankfully, we now have another tool, “The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review,” to help us spread our message. To access the full review, visit http://www.explorebeef.org.

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