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The Beef Checkoff Program has released The Cattlemen's Stewardship Review: Connecting Our Vision and Values, a first-of-its-kind inside look at cattlemen's influence on the nation's communities, the economy, public health and the environment.
"Our jobs as cattlemen are complex, and it takes an entire community of people to responsibly bring beef from our pastures to your plate," said Richard Gebhart, Oklahoma cattleman, University of Tulsa professor and vice chair of the checkoff's Joint Issues Management Subcommittee. "After reading this, people might be pleasantly surprised to learn that they have more in common with the values and vision of cattlemen than they previously thought."
The Cattlemen's Stewardship Review comes at a time when people are more disconnected from agriculture and food production, yet have an increasing interest in knowing more about who raises food. In fact, nearly three out of four people say they want to know more about how beef is raised and who raises it, according to Checkoff research.
Built on a statement of seven fundamental principles adopted by U.S. cattle farmer and rancher leaders at the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention in February, the review details cattlemen's commitment to preserving the environment, raising healthy cattle, providing quality food, enhancing food safety, investing in communities, embracing innovation, and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.
The review is broken into five sections, which showcase key accomplishments of U.S cattle farmers and ranchers, including:
-- U.S. cattlemen provide 20 percent of the world's beef with only seven percent of the world's cattle.
-- Since 1993, cattlemen have invested $30 million of their beef checkoff dollars in safety improvements.
-- More than 90 percent of feedyard cattle raised in the U.S. today are influenced by Beef Quality Assurance (BQA), a checkoff-funded program that sets guidelines for animal care and handling.
-- Between 1977 and 2007, the carbon footprint of beef shrank 18 percent as farmers and ranchers raised 13 percent more beef with 13 percent fewer cattle.