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US CATTLE                          extremely complex.”                                  The Midwest Cattleman · September 9, 2021 · P10
      continued from page 3              Social Sustainability:             audits also
         •Demonstrate          climate   What Consumers (Don’t)             create mul-
      neutrality of U.S. cattle pro-     Know                               tiple layers
      duction by 2040.                      Sustainability is a complex     of account-
         •Create and enhance op-         topic, and one reason for that     ability    to
      portunities that result in a       is because people have dif-        transform
      quantifiable increase in pro-      ferent  values. During  a pre-     knowledge
      ducer profitability and eco-       sentation at the 2021 Alltech      into contin-
      nomic sustainability by 2025.       ONE Ideas Conference, Sara        uous      im-
         •Enhance trust in cat-          Place, chief sustainability        provement,”
      tle  producers  as  responsible    officer at Elanco, addressed       says Heath-
      stewards of their animals          sustainability and beef pro-       er   Donley,
      and resources by expanding         duction.                           vice presi-
      educational opportunities in          “One person may prior-          dent of op-
      animal care and handling           itize animal welfare above         erations at
      programs to further improve        an environmental footprint;        Progressive
      animal well-being.                 another may prioritize the         Beef.
         •Continuously        improve    affordability of food above all      The three
      our     industry’s    workforce    other issues,” Place says. “It’s   pillars     of
      safety and well-being.             not that one person is right       NC B A ’ s
         The framework for the pro-      or wrong, it’s just the reali-     announce-
      gram was developed by the          ty that this is the challenge      ment start
      Sustainability  Goals Task         we’re dealing with in a plu-       with      the
      Force, a committee made up         ralistic society when it comes     foundation
      of cattle producers nominat-       to sustainability.”                that cattle
      ed from 17 states. Smith says         Shawn Darcy, senior direc-      production
      the committee was formed of        tor of market research at Na-      must  be  fi-
      aggressive and opinionated         tional Cattlemen’s Beef  As-       nancially
      cattle producers who pushed        sociation, shared some data        sustainable
      hard to create a position that     insights to uncover gaps in        for produc-
      demonstrated leadership for        consumers’ knowledge about         ers,     and
      the industry.                      how their food is produced.        when producers can achieve        preciates how producers have
         Ashley McDonald, senior            While issues of animal          economic sustainability, it       come to the table to demon-
      director  of  sustainability  for   welfare are growing in im-        feeds their environmental         strate stewardship and sus-
      National Cattlemen’s Beef          portance to consumers, their       and    social    sustainability   tainability, it is now time for
      Association,     spoke     about   top    considerations     about    goals, says Jason Sawyer,         corporations to step up.
      the initiative with “AgDay’s”      proteins are still issues like     associate professor and re-          “We’ve got to make sure
      Clinton Griffiths. “One thing      taste, safety and  value.  The     search scientist with King        we’re part of the solution,”
      that’s really important is it’s    good news: 62% say they            Ranch Institute for Ranch         Norton  says.  “We  are with
      not just about a climate goal,     find  cattle  producers  very      Management        with Texas      you.”
      an environmental goal, it’s        credible.  There’s room for        A&M — Kingsville. Sawyer          Drovers
      not even the economic goal.        cattle producers to take con-      spoke about the relationship
      It’s about all of them, because    trol of the story.                 between the three pillars.
      sustainability truly is a bal- Environmental                            Sawyer outlined multiple
      ancing act between every- Sustainability: Many                        plans, emphasizing there are
      thing that we do,” McDonald  Paths to Climate                         at least three paths with one     CANADA’S BEEF
      says. “And we hope to convey  Neutrality in 2040                      aggressive and a couple mod-      continued from page 3
      that the decisions  that pro-         Programs such as Progres- erate efforts that will lead to            The U.S. beef cow herd has
      ducers make on their farms  sive Beef are also positioning  climate neutrality.                         now declined by nearly 1 mil-
      and ranches, every  day, are  themselves to demonstrate               Economic Sustainability:          lion head or 3% since July 1,
                                                       leadership       in  Demand                            2018. The Canadian beef cow
                                                       sustainability.        David Norton, president         herd has declined 6% since
                                                          “Our commit-      of Sysco’s Specialty Meat         2017.
                                                       ment to social       Service, and Kristine Rich-          Like American  producers,
                                                       responsibili -       mond, head of sustainabili-       Canadian cattlemen are opti-
                                                       ty inspired us       ty and ESG, with Darden, a        mistic for higher cattle pric-
                                                       to create and        company that owns restau-         es in 2022 and 2023. Much
                                                       apply  meaning-      rants such as Capital Grille      of that optimism hinges on
                                                       ful metrics to       and Longhorn Steakhouse,          western Canadian ranchers
                                                       internationally      expressed appreciation for        seeing improvements in pas-
                                                       recognized  sus-     livestock producers and the       ture and range conditions.
                                                       tainability indi-    essential role they play feed-    Canadian ranchers said they
                                                       cators such as       ing the world.                    expect to retain more heifers
                                                       animal  welfare,       “The demand for beef con-       with the latest survey finding
                                                       antibiotic    use,   tinues to walk through our        655,000 replacement heifers,
                                                       efficient use of     front doors,” Richmond says,      or 24,000 more and the first
                                                       natural resourc-     explaining restaurant sales       year-over-year increase since
                                                       es and employee      this year were 14% above          2017.
                                                       safety.  Internal    pre-pandemic levels.
                                                       and certification      Norton says while he ap-        Drovers
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