Checking In on the Beef Checkoff - Taking the Mystery Out of Sustainable Beef ProductionWed, 09 Jan 2019 10:57:07 CST
Checking In on the Beef Checkoff is a new series the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and the Oklahoma Farm Report is proud to offer in partnership with the Oklahoma Beef Council. Over the next several weeks, we invite you to join us as we highlight some of the efforts being undertaken by the Beef Checkoff to promote beef on behalf of producers. This week, Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council, visits with us about the concept of sustainability in the beef industry and how the Beef Checkoff is helping consumers understand how it is practiced by producers. Listen to Buckmaster speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about this topic, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
According to Buckmaster, sustainability is a shared concern among consumers, producers and the media - all trying to define exactly what it means and how it can be implemented in the beef industry. Buckmaster says the Beef Checkoff has worked extensively on this task. Truth be told, she says producers for the most part already perform sustainable practices on their operations. This has prompted those involved with the Checkoff to educate consumers on how that is being done and teaching producers how to demonstrate and communicate their sustainable actions.
“The Beef Checkoff continues to work towards really shifting that sustainability conversation in a different direction. One of a positive view of the beef industry and production practices,” she said, touching on what she likes to emphasize to accomplish that. “I think there are three key points I like to comeback to. One is - compared to 1977, today’s beef farmers and ranchers produce the same amount of beef with 33 percent fewer cattle. We’ve been able to do this because of better animal health and welfare and improved genetics and nutrition.
“A second point is that US beef also has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world - 10 to 50 times lower than some nations. Additionally, the US cattle herd only accounts for two percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions.”
While sustainability can be a confusing topic for consumers, Buckmaster says the Checkoff is working diligently to help strengthen their understanding of what is done by producers and why, as they strive to produce the world’s safest, highest quality and most sustainable beef supply.
Learn more about the Checkoff’s efforts to educate the public on sustainable beef production or for more stories about what your Beef Checkoff is doing, visit www.oklabeef.org.
Hear OK Beef Checkoff Executive Director Heather Buckmaster talk beef sustainability, click below.
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