Feedlot Nutrition Pioneer Honored with Industry Achievement AwardMon, 13 Aug 2012 10:21:25 CDT
Kenneth Eng, a widely known pioneer in feedlot nutrition, will be the recipient of the 2012 Industry Achievement Award. Eng will be the first nutritionist so honored.
A native of Nebraska, Eng earned his PhD at Oklahoma State University and then went to Texas A&M to establish the country’s first graduate program in feedlot management.
Eng went on to become a nutrition consultant to feedlots across the U.S. He said that in the beginning, seven independent consultants handled about 65 percent of the cattle in the country’s feedlots.
He left the consulting business in the late 1980s to focus on his own beef production businesses.
“I was just lucky to be part of a talented group,” Eng said. “We were, for various reasons, quite a ways ahead of our time at that time.
“If you had a good nutrition consultant at that time then, you were doing things that were at the forefront of the industry. And they were not widely accepted otherwise-steam-flaked grains, high-concentrate rations, higher protein levels, addition of feed fat and various additives. And they were not widely used then. It all seems simple now, but it was sort of new-well, it was new technology.”
As the new technology became widely adopted and continues to improve, Eng said we need to be on the lookout for a potential downside.
“The cattle are getting so much better and so much larger, which may come back to bite us at some point in time because I think we’ve gotten over in the cow business so they gain better, but they don’t necessarily convert better. And they also have the potential for producing a lot more beef than, perhaps, we can market profitably. We’ll see.”
He said the feedlots’ success has boosted customer perception and demand for quality.
“Whoever complains about a bad steak anymore? It’s a rare event. And I think we’ve done so much to improve the meat quality of beef. And we must be, otherwise we couldn’t command this premium that we’re getting compared to chicken and pork, etc. Of course, part of that is these are highly inheritable traits. And, so, you can make genetic improvements easier.”
Eng will speak at the 2012 Feed Quality Forum in Grand Island, Neb., August 28th and in Amarillo, Texas, August 30th. More information on the forum is available by clicking here.
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