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Agricultural News

Beef Has Smaller Environmental Impact Today, According to Sustainability Expert Dr. Jude Capper

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:08:55 CST

Beef Has Smaller Environmental Impact Today, According to Sustainability Expert Dr. Jude Capper

She’s active in the world of social media, known as Bovidiva. Dr. Jude Capper has become a well-known expert on livestock sustainability and she shares that message on her blog, Twitter and Facebook. She grew up in England and has spent time working for Cornell University, Washington State University and has been involved in the cattle industry in Bozeman, Montana. She’s now an independent livestock sustainability consultant in England. She was in our nation’s capital this week to talk with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the sustainability of the beef cattle industry in this country. Capper said the beef industry has a great story to tell in making significant gains over the last 40 years.

“What those gains mean is that we’ve improved carcass weight per animal over that time and we’ve also cut the total number of days that any animal needs to come to market,” Capper said.

Dr. Capper published her findings in 2009 in showing how much progress has been made over previous generations. In comparing data from 1977 to 2007, she said it showed the amount of improvement made with advances in feeding, breeding, housing and caring for cattle. In 2007, she said it took 12 percent less water, 30 percent less land and carbon emissions were 16 percent lower per pound of beef. She said those are really great achievements on behalf of everybody in the cattle industry.

Today’s U.S. beef industry is able to produce more beef with a smaller environmental footprint than ever before. While the numbers are incredible, she said it’s important the beef industry doesn’t just rely on scientific-data in telling the story. She said it’s important to lead with the data and the science, because without that the industry doesn’t have a message that resonates with people. But the industry can’t lead with science alone, by doing that consumers don’t think producers care.

“We have to find that common ground,” Capper said. “We have to help people understand that we care about the land, the animals, the water and the air and that overall we want to make the world in ten years, 20 years, 50 years, a better place for our kids and our grandkids.”

Capper said the beef industry has done a great job in combining new technologies while showing compassion. That a winning combination in sustainability. In being able to produce more beef using less water, less land and fewer resources overall, that has a two-fold benefit with a lower environmental impact and a lower economic cost to the producer, retailer and consumer. She said that keeps beef affordable for everyone.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Dr. Jude Capper on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

Click here for Dr. Jude Capper’s blog.

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.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Jude Capper
right-click to download mp3


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