Carbon Myopia in the Beef Industry

Carbon Myopia in the Beef Industry

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With California Ag Today, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

Sustainability means different things to different people. So what’s that definition for the beef industry? Samantha Werth, director of sustainability with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association…

“For us, that comes down to the animals, the people, and the planet.”

She says sustainability discussions have to start with a producer’s ability to survive financially…

“In anything that we're doing, we're looking at what are the opportunities to get support and what are the ways that we're going to improve profitability for a producer if we're implementing sustainability practices.”

A large number of people outside the beef industry have their own ideas about beef sustainability…

“We get that. A lot of people are coming in and kind of thinking through, hey, we call it carbon myopia, right? The focus is really on how we reduce methane emissions from cattle or how we enhance carbon sequestration. And there are a lot of things that we actually can do and are doing in terms of how we just manage our animals already. So, we kind of try to focus those conversations on what's viable for a producer, and here's maybe why some of the things you might ask aren't viable, but here's a compromise, or here's a workaround that will work.”

Defining sustainability in the beef industry, that is Samantha Werth, director of sustainability with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

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