Tag Archives: Beef

Efficiency and sustainability are important topics to beef consumers and the future success of the beef industry. These topics are also the theme of Nebraska Extension’s Ranching for Profitability session in 2019.

In January, Ranching for Profitability will be offered as a webinar that beef producers can join from any of 13 downlink locations across Nebraska, or from their home via the internet. A list of sites and registration information follows.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Mountain Time (6:30-9:30 p.m. Central). Expert university and industry speakers will address genetic changes in cattle breeds; consumer preferences at the meat counter; and protecting herd health.

Dr. David Lalman from Oklahoma State University will lead off the evening on the topic “Genetic Trends for Maternal and Growth Traits in Major Cattle Breeds.”  Lalman will explore the implications of the tremendous genetic change of the last 50 years to input costs and productivity for cow-calf producers.

Dr. Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability at meat-processing company JBS, will give a beef processor’s perspective on the kind of product sought by grocers and the food-service industry to meet consumer demands for “sustainably produced” meat. Understanding consumer desires will help producers understand ways to effectively tell how they efficiently utilize resources to sustainably produce beef.

Dr. Brian Vander Ley, Nebraska Extension Veterinarian, will wrap up the evening discussing “(Re)Moving the Needle on Herd Health.”

To attend a webinar host site, please contact the local Nebraska Extension office where you plan to attend by Jan. 15 to insure enough program materials are available.

Those who would like to attend from home can register for a remote webinar seat, by contacting their local Beef Extension Educator to receive program information and the webinar link.

Cost is $10 per person.  Those wishing to participate in the online meeting will need to pay their local Beef Extension Educator prior to receiving the webinar link.  Those attending a downlink site can pay at the door.

Please call to register for the webinar meeting at one of these locations.

Ainsworth (Brown County Courthouse), 402-387-2213;

Broken Bow (Mid-Plains Community College Campus), 308-872-6831;

Burwell (Garfield County Courthouse), 308-346-4200;

Curtis (NCTA Education Center Auditorium), 308-367-5284;

Columbus (Platte County Extension Office), (308)536-2691;

Kearney (Buffalo County Extension Office), 308-236-1235;

North Platte (West Central Research and Extension Center), 308-532-2683;

O’Neill (Holt County Courthouse Annex), 402-336-2760;

Rushville (Sheridan County Extension Office), 308-327-2312;

Scottsbluff (Panhandle Research and Extension Center), 308-235-3122;

Sidney (South Platte NRD Meeting Room), 308-235-3122;

Valentine (Cherry County Courthouse), 402-376-1850;

West Point (Cuming County Courthouse Meeting Room), 402-372-6006;

For questions about the “Ranching for Profitability” Meeting, please contact Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122 or aberger2@unl.edu.

The Wendy’s Company announced an industry-leading step that will allow the company to better understand and communicate how cattle for Wendy’s fresh beef* hamburgers are raised, facilitating advancements in areas such as animal care, antibiotics and sustainability. This comes on the heels of an earlier 2018 announcement on transitioning Wendy’s tomato supply to vine-ripened tomatoes exclusively from greenhouse farms, which was driven by the same Company commitment to providing the freshest, highest-quality food possible for its customers.

The news headlines Wendy’s annual update on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives spanning Food, Family and Community.

FOOD
“Quality is Our Recipe” isn’t just a Company tagline. Wendy’s takes extraordinary pride in serving and sourcing high-quality food to each and every customer.

DEMONSTRATING INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP WITH SUSTAINABLE, VERIFIABLE FRESH BEEF SUPPLY CHAIN. Wendy’s is proud to be the first restaurant chain to partner with the Progressive Beef™ program, an innovative animal care and sustainability program that is built on industry-leading best practices and third-party verification. Adoption of this program will be implemented in a significant part of its beef supply starting in 2019, with at least 50 percent by 2021, further delivering on Wendy’s commitment to enhanced beef supply chain accountability, transparency and traceability. The program focuses on three core areas:

  • Cattle Care: providing a safe, humane environment for cattle through staff training on management practices and hands-on veterinary care
  • Food Safety and Antibiotic Use: responsibly using antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian and with thorough record-keeping, strictly adhering to withdrawal times, utilizing HACCP principles and ensuring a clean and safe environment for the animals
  • Environmental Sustainability: responsibly utilizing natural resources while investing in the people who care for the cattle and the local communities through staff training and certification

Efforts in these areas are verified by USDA-approved auditors. Each audit is a report card, and the metrics involved play a key role in finding and making improvements.

Beyond finalizing the new partnership with Progressive Beef, Wendy’s has made progress on existing commitments related to its beef supply chain. In 2018, Wendy’s fulfilled its commitment to source 100 percent of its beef from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified sources– hitting this milestone a year ahead of schedule. Wendy’s also sourced nearly 20 percent of its beef from producers who have each tracked and reduced their use of medically important antibiotics. Wendy’s is committed to continuing our work quantifying antibiotic use in our supply chain and further reducing use of antibiotics where possible.

Wendy’s also regularly consults with outside experts from academia, animal agriculture, and veterinary medicine to support animal care and welfare decisions, and this year they expanded the council to include more external professionals.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Kevin Kester urged the Trump Administration to move quickly to tear down trade barriers for U.S. beef in Japan. Speaking at a public hearing on the potential economic impact of a U.S.-Japan bilateral trade agreement, Kester noted that reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers would benefit Japanese consumers and U.S. cattle producers. Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef, accounting for nearly $2 billion in sales in 2017. However, U.S. beef exports face tariffs as high as 50 percent under some circumstances.

“NCBA strongly supports prioritizing and expediting negotiations for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement,” Kester said in his comments. “The U.S. beef industry is at risk of losing significant market share in Japan unless immediate action is taken to level the playing field.”

A number of key U.S. competitors have negotiated agreements that provide their producers with preferential access to the Japanese market. For example, under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Australian beef exporters will enjoy a tariff reduction of 27.5 percent in the first year of the agreement for fresh and frozen products. In most cases, the countries who are part of CPTPP will see their tariff rates for beef exports decline to 9 percent over the next 15 years. In addition to CPTPP, Japan is moving ahead with a trade agreement that will give European Union beef producers similar terms to those negotiated in CPTPP.

“NCBA supported the negotiated compromise under Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because it reduced the massive tariff applied to U.S. beef, diminished the likelihood of triggering snap back tariffs, and established strong, objective, and predictable sanitary and phytosanitary standards and other rules-based trade standards,” Kester added. “We expect nothing less under a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement.”

Beef cattle producers have a wide range of selection tools available for use in selection of breeding stock. These range from visual appraisal to EPD (expected progeny differences) and selection indexes that leverage genomic technologies. Adoption of new technologies by the beef industry has dramatically changed beef cattle selection strategies and opportunities. Beef genetics and genomic tools continue to evolve at a rapid rate.

To aid the development of new selection tools and their adoption by producers, researchers seek to understand current attitudes and perceptions of industry stakeholders. Producers and industry participants are encouraged to take part in an online survey to help inform the development of a new beef cattle selection decision support tool. This work is part of the activities funded through a recent USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Critical Agriculture Research and Extension grant (2018-68008-27888) awarded to research and extension faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kansas State University, USDA-ARS US Meat Animal Research Center and a leading genetic evaluation software developer, Theta Solutions, LLC.

“Bull purchasing decisions need to account for differing marketing goals and environmental constraints to improve profitability and sustainability, but these are unique to each herd as producer-specific production goals and inputs vary considerably,” says Dr. Matt Spangler, project director and University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor.

Industry research suggests that current bull purchasing decisions do not appear to use all relevant information available. Spangler adds, “Our team of leading beef genetic researchers and extension specialists aims to develop and provide software that enables beef producers to make more profitable genetic selection decisions, integrating additive and non-additive genetic effects, available resources, and firm-level economics.”

The online survey of industry stakeholders will explore their knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of current and envisioned beef genetic selection tools. Survey responses will be anonymous and summarized to help develop new selection tools and training programs. The survey is accessible until December 31, 2018, at: https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aXJA9F3EyMfmSpf.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco. 2018 is the first year that U.S. beef and poultry exporters have access to Morocco’s market under the terms of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Morocco opened its market to U.S. poultry in August, 2018.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products.  New access to the Moroccan market for beef and beef products is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of U.S. agricultural products,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.  “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. beef and look forward to growing our shipments to Morocco.”

“Finding new markets for American agricultural products has been a priority for the Trump Administration from day one, and the opening of the Moroccan market is good news for our producers,” said Secretary Perdue.  “American beef is the best in the world, and once Moroccans get a taste of it, they’ll surely want more.”

In 2017, the United States was the world’s third largest beef exporter, with global sales of beef and beef products valued at $7.3 billion.  As of November 2018, U.S. exports of agricultural products to Morocco exceeded $512 million.  Initial estimates indicate that Morocco would be an $80 million market for U.S. beef and beef products. Morocco had prohibited imports of U.S. beef.

Under the  leadership of USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Amb. Gregg Doud and the direction of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ken Isley, U.S. and Moroccan officials met to negotiate a health certificate and the terms for the import of U.S. high quality and standard quality beef into Morocco.  Representatives also discussed improvements to the administration of Morocco’s wheat tariff-rate quota and other agriculture and SPS issues, and will continue this work through the agriculture and SPS subcommittees under the FTA.