Good and Getting Better: Key Improvements Being Made by Cattle Industry
The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review (CSR) is a Beef Checkoff-funded report highlighting the commitment cattle producers demonstrate in the areas of animal welfare, beef quality, sustainability, and community involvement. The CSR gathers data from an independent 2017 telephone survey of beef producers to deliver a comprehensive profile of the U.S. beef community today. The report and survey were coordinated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff program.
The CSR shows that improvements have been made in all four of the cattle industry areas studied. The report and information will be presented within a national news release to national media outlets, as well as sent to key national media by the NCBA communications team, as a Beef Checkoff contractor.
“We want consumers to know we aren’t just farmers and ranchers, but also animal caretakers, nutritionists, small business owners, environmentalists, and members of our communities,” said Joan Ruskamp, Cattlemen’s Beef Board chairman and co-owner of J & S Feedlot in Nebraska. “This report is a way to benchmark our progress, celebrate our successes and identify opportunities for improvement.”
A few brief, yet key takeaways from the survey include:
- The well-being of cattle is the top priority for 95% of producers.
- 97% of cattle farmers and ranchers believe producing safe beef is crucial to the future of the industry.
- About 95% of producers say conservation of land is extremely important to them, while 86% manage their operations in a way that protects the quality of natural resources, including wildlife and biodiversity.
- Over 90% of cattle operations are family owned, and 78% of farmers and ranchers say they intend to pass their operations on to future generations. In fact, 58% of current operations have been in the family for at least three generations.
“When consumers understand the level of care that goes into the production of their beef, they feel better about enjoying it,” said Ruskamp. “This report helps show that [producers’] attention to the needs of our animals, land, and relationships parallel the concern our customers have for the beef they eat.”
To view the full report, go here.
The Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.