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Beef, and the Earth


From the Barnyard | Mike Graves

There continues an ongoing debate over beef being good or bad; both in regard to our health and the well being of our planet. It should surprise none of y’all that we in the cow business will side with the beef industry in saying beef tastes great, is good for you, and good for our planet. It was a pleasant surprise for me to read a positive article in The National Geographic regarding beef in an ongoing series titled “The Footprint of Meat.” According to the article, “the portion of the grain harvested in the US consumed by animals in 1971 was “over 80 %”, today that number has plummeted to around 40% as yields of grains have soared, animal efficiency in feed conversions have greatly improved, and ethanol now consumes 35% of our grain.”
Author Robert Kunzig confirms what we’ve been saying here; we’re doing a pretty good job of reducing our carbon footprint in the beef industry while we feed a growing populace who, for the most part, don’t know the difference between a Holstein and a Hereford. It’s okay not to know, just trust ranchers to know.
Can we do a better job? Yes…We can, and have gone from maximum production to sustainability as our mantra.
Our cattle today spend more time on grass, and less time in the feedyard. We use our water in the most efficient manner we can, and reduce pollution and run-off.We can, and will do more.
My hope for us all is that we can keep an open ear and mind toward our neighbor, and they in turn trust that we are doing a good, though imperfect, job at feeding the world.
And that’s all I’ve got this spring morning, thank you for reading.
“Earth’s beauty seems completest, to them that on their deaths bed rest,
Gentle lady who smiles sweetest, as she clasps us to her breast!” F. Thompson 19th century
“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire! For when I was hungry, ye gave me no meat!” The red letters of Jesus Christ, Nazarian carpenter, son of the living, and only God, found in Mathew 25:42 of The Holy Bible.

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