'Sustainability' bringing together beef industry

Jacyln Wilson-Demel of the Wilson Ranch from Lakeside, NE

Sustainability is one topic that is bringing groups of people together. Recently the Beef Checkoff, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Nebraska Cattlemen and other came together for a two day workshop on sustainability.

Jacyln Wilson-Demel of the Wilson Ranch from Lakeside, Nebraska was one of the producers selected represent the cow-calf sector. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Demel says sustainability workshop brought together around 50 people representing the entire beef supply chain.

During the two day workshop, participants saw the entire supply chain from beginning in touring a cow-calf operation, feedlot to a packing plant as well touring the US Meat Animal Research Center. Throughout the workshop there were also several roundtable discussions.

Land management and conservation are among the top two priorities. In visiting with representatives from packing plants, grocery stores and fast food chains, they have concerns for drought, the rising cost of production due to decreasing cowherd numbers, loss of pastureland as well as the future of beef production.

The beef check off is funding a full chain life cycle assessment of the beef industry, focusing on sustainability. The two year study will be published in 2014. Demel sees this study as beneficial tool to the whole supply chain in gauging how the beef industry is doing in reducing its environmental foot print.

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