Precision Agriculture One Piece of the Puzzle in Improving Sustainability of U.S. Beef IndustryMon, 30 Mar 2015 15:31:15 CDT
Kim Stackhouse-Lawson serves as the director of sustainability for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She recently has taken on additional responsibilities looking at global sustainability for the beef industry. Earlier in March, she spoke at the Noble Foundation's Texoma Cattlemen's Conference in Ardmore. Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Stackhouse-Lawson at the conference. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below for the full interview. She contends that globally- the U.S. has a wonderful story to tell.
"We are certainly the most efficient and most sustainable industry in the global sphere, so being able to step up there and take a leadership role and educate other countries on the good things that we are doing and help them drive toward their goals of more sustainable beef really sets us apart and allows us to lead in a very meaningful way," Stackhouse- Lawson said.
In comparing protein sources, the beef industry often comes under fire. Stackhouse- Lawson said that criticism is unfounded as research funded by the beef checkoff in 2010 shows a different story. She said in five years the U.S. beef industry has been able to improve overall sustainability by five percent. In looking at environmental and social sustainability, she said the U.S. has improved seven percent. Farmers have also been able to reduce their emissions or pollution in water by 10 percent, along with reducing energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water use.
Sustainability looks at the entire production process from the field to the consumer. Improvements in sustainability can be linked to the efficiencies in growing corn with less fertilizer and less water, while increasing crop yields. This also include improvements in animal performance and increasing the utilization of manure. Sustainability also includes post-harvest improvements at the packer level in capturing biogases and having retailers use less packaging. Stackhouse- Lawson said everyone along the value chain is working to be efficient, to innovate and improve financial gain, as efforts to reduce costs also improve environmental impact and social sustainability.
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. Click on the LISTEN BAR below 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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