NCBA's Sara Place Tells Producers to Beat the Drum, Celebrate US Beef's Success in SustainabilityFri, 23 Feb 2018 11:09:44 CST
As people become more interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced, the issue of sustainability in food production continues to grow as a leading concern among consumers. Perhaps the biggest challenge therein, is trying to explain what exactly that is. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Dr. Sara Place works with beef producers to help answer that question. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, she remarked that really, the term means something different to everyone.
“There’s a lot of values infused in it and that’s what makes it so complicated and why we’re still having this debate about what it actually means,” Place said. “But that said, in terms of what it means to the cattle industry is producing safe and nutritious wholesome beef while paying attention to economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.”
In reality, Place says what consumers want in regard to sustainable production is probably very close to what producers are already doing - those practices that have been passed from one generation to the next as the right things to do as caretakers of land and livestock. Place says the US beef industry is in fact a leader in all areas of sustainable beef production already, especially when compared to other nations around the world. She promotes the importance of sharing that story and getting out in front of consumers’ concerns. First and foremost, she insists the industry must put its values upfront and define the term “sustainability” before those outside the industry does it.
“We have a really good story to tell in our efficiency in the US, whether it’s affordability of beef, the environmental impact or the carbon footprint of the industry,” she said. “We’re the leaders when it comes to sustainable beef production in the world and so we need to be a little more vocal about that and let people know how efficient we are.”
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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