Meat Scientist Gary Smith Highlights the Progress Made in the Beef Industry Since Landmark StudyTue, 17 Apr 2018 12:12:55 CDT
Meat scientist Gary Smith builds bridges between beef-industry segments. He credits a 1990s report by economist Chuck Lambert for initially showing what’s at stake.
“He identified about $12 billion worth of lost opportunities, things that we were not doing correctly in the way that we go through the beef supply chain and produce the end product of beef,” said Smith, a visiting professor at both Texas A&M and Colorado State University. “And also the byproducts that are generated when we harvest the cattle.”
To watch a short video clip featuring Gary Smith speak about his recent help reviewing the beef industry’s progress in the 38 years since Chuck Lambert’s “Lost Opportunities” paper, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.
Smith and Kansas State University economist Dustin Pendell recently reviewed Lambert’s study and the series of National Beef Quality Audits it launched, to see how much progress has been made.
“We've never really looked at 7 of the 11 causes of those losses and so we had an opportunity ... to put together the numbers for some things like reproductive performance, death loss, feed efficiency, weaning weight, and so on,” Smith said. “And it's really interesting that what we've done in those 38 years is, we have really capitalized.”
The review found a savings of $426 million per year based on progress seen in the Beef Quality Audits, plus more out on the ranch and at retail.
“And we've also made almost twice that much progress in the things that are either production related, cow/calf from weaning, really, to slaughter, and also some things that we've done at the retail level that have helped us,” he explained. “And so, all in all, the consensus of experts is we've saved an additional $1.1 billion by just simply trying to identify the things that we need to improve upon and using programs like the BQA to accomplish that.”
But money left on the table added up to 12 billion in 1990 dollars, so there’s much more to be done.
“We now need to try to work more with the people at the start of that cycle, the beef supply chain, and the people at the very end as retailers,” Smith remarked, “and figure out some problems that we presently have that we need to work on in order to capture even more of those lost opportunities.”
Source - Certified Angus Beef
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