The Untold Story of the US Beef Industry - NCBA's Dr. Sara Place Adds "Upcycling" to the NarrativeMon, 18 Feb 2019 12:23:38 CST
Dr. Sara Place is one of the leading voices when it comes to telling the cattle industry story about sustainability. She’s the Senior Director of Sustainable Beef Production Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. On a regular basis, she is in front of stakeholder groups proactively providing information about the sustainable story for the beef cattle producers of this country. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, she remarked on what a good story it is to share with both producers and consumers.
“What’s fundamental in this whole sustainability field is to have the science, right,” she said. “So, that’s really what I focus on is making sure we have good scientific information to benchmark where we are at today and to provide those proof points for people that have questions about cattle - where they’re raised, what they eat, what their environment impacts are or in some cases how those impacts are over blown.”
One of the hardest questions that Place has had to attempt to answer, though, is exactly what sustainability is. Defining the term has been a major topic of discussion just within the industry, let alone the world outside of agriculture. However, Place contends that it is simply another word for what is already being done by producers. She commends the industry for taking a strong and proactive role in working to make that definition - rather than deferring to the definitions of others. Essentially, the industry consensus is that sustainability means producing a safe, high-quality product and doing so with in a consciences way in respect to social and environmental responsibility while at the same time remaining economically viable. While that story is being shared more and more, the part of that narrative that is being left out is the industry’s capability to “upcycle” otherwise worthless resources. In other words, producers use cattle to turn unproductive or unused rangeland and scrub into beef and other quality biproducts for human consumption.
“The cattle industry brings tremendous value to humanity in general, on the environmental side and the human nutrition side,” she said. “Just the nutrition density of beef is a huge advantage. That comes back to that upcycling. These animals take resources that are not in competition with human food and turn it into a superior product with nutritional value and desirability.”
Listen to Dr. Place and Hays full discussion on sustainability within the beef industry, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to you by the American Angus Association. America's breed.
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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