Earth Day may come once a year for many, but for my family and other farmers and ranchers, Earth Day is every day.
Our family farms (“big ag” makes up less than 3 percent of U.S. farms) were “green” before it was cool. We reduce, reuse and recycle. In 30 years, we’ve reduced feed usage by 20 percent, water usage by 14 percent, land usage by 30 percent, fossil fuel usage by 9 percent and carbon emissions by 18 percent and all while increasing beef produced per animal by 31 percent.
We reuse byproducts that would have been wasted from grain production (fiber byproducts) and ethanol production (distillers).
We recycle sunshine into steak. Without livestock grazing and recycling grass, 800 million acres of U.S. range and pastureland would be useless for food production.
All of these ranching families have a big heart for the environment and the animals we raise. Ranching families have long recognized sound husbandry practices based on research and decades of practical experience are critical for the well-being of cattle, health and productivity. This has helped food production increase at least 70 percent in 50 years rather than using more land. That’s animal welfare and sustainability. Read more…