New Research Shows Cattle Producers Doing the Right ThingTue, 28 Aug 2012 14:08:29 CDT
Results from the 2012 National Beef Quality Audit show that beef producers are overwhelmingly doing what’s right says Jason Ahola, a Colorado State University professor who helped author this year’s study. In the second part of a two-part Beef Buzz, Ahola says producers have some surprising reasons for implementing quality assurance practices.
“You would think most producers would say ‘I do it because I make more money,’ but that was third on the list by a long shot. Only about a third of producers said that. The vast majority of producers--over 80-some, 90-some percent-said ‘We do it because it’s the right thing to do’ and/or ‘I do it because I’m committed to continuous improvement.’
“They recognize there’s probably money on the table for them doing these things that they’re not getting because our beef system is so diverse and large. But they are still saying ‘It’s important for us to do those things to assure the consumer and maybe someday that money will trickle back more than it has today, but in the meantime, we’ll continue doing that because we’re committed.’”
Ahola says the surveys show animal well-being was a very high priority on producers’ lists. Healthcare and vaccinations play an important part in maintaining quality, but producers said they more highly value stockmanship and good animal handling skills. They say they think low-stress handling techniques make a world of difference to keep quality high.
Ahola says it is reassuring to see that producers are working hard to put quality on the forefront of everything they do, but he hopes that ways will be found to communicate those quality practices to the consuming public.
“These producers, the vast majority of them, are doing things right and they’re doing good things, but nobody really knows they’re doing things right and they’re doing things good. So this is a chance for them to somehow in this beef system to convey that information whether it’s documentation of it, telling the beef story, passing information to the next sector, incorporation of programs that documents this and markets it. Producers are losing out because they’re doing these things but nobody knows.”
Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s Beef Buzz. You can hear Part I of our conversation with Jason Ahola by clicking here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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