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The Future of Sustainable Beef

By Hugh Aljoe
Producer Relations Manager

Posted Feb. 1, 2017

The beef industry continues to improve efficiencies and enhance production, which results in a more sustainable product for consumers. The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), formed in March 2015, is leading the effort to address sustainably produced beef. USRSB members include representatives of the entire U.S. beef value chain from cattlemen to retail organizations, allied industry partners to academic institutions and beef industry associations, all of whom are committed to making the U.S. beef value chain more sustainable. Their vision is for the U.S. beef value chain to be the trusted global leader in environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef. After two years of USRSB activity, the future of sustainably produced beef is taking form as they progress toward tangible outcomes within the three critical components: 1) Sustainability Indicators and Goals for Progress, 2) Sustainable Solutions, and 3) Verification. The USRSB is working to provide realistic solutions for producers, the beef supply chain, the environment and consumers.

The 2017 Texoma Cattlemen's Conference, set for Feb. 24 at the Ardmore Convention Center, will focus on this growing effort. The keynote address will be presented by John Butler, CEO of the Beef Marketing Group and current USRSB president, and Townsend Bailey, director of supply chain sustainability for McDonald's.

The conference will be moderated by Ron Hays, Oklahoma's voice of agriculture, of the Oklahoma Farm Report. The conference and trade show opens at 8 a.m. The program will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Registration is $40 per person, which includes lunch. Special pricing is available for students and government personnel. Please visit noble.org/agevents or contact Danielle Pacifico at 580-224-6376 to register or to request additional information.

Keynote Speakers

John Butler

CEO of the Beef Marketing Group and current USRSB President

Townsend Bailey

Director of Supply Chain Sustainability for McDonald's

McDonald's, which markets 900 million pounds of beef annually, began purchasing a portion of their beef from verified sustainable sources in 2016. They are currently investigating traceability and scalability in the U.S., engaging collaborating partners throughout the entire beef supply chain, and developing realistic targets for purchasing sustainable beef. BMG has implemented a rigorous, verified quality management system (Progressive Beef) within their feedyards that focuses on process control, food safety, animal care, sustainability and responsible antibiotic use. Butler and Bailey will discuss what sourcing sustainably produced beef means for the U.S. beef value chain.

Moderator

Ron Hays

Oklahoma's Voice of Agriculture Oklahoma Farm Report

Sessions

Morning

Updates on Noble Foundation research and demonstration project. Hear about initial observations and results from the implementation of new technologies, and learn what is on the horizon for beef producers with technological advancements and the emerging applied sciences.

Afternoon

Panel discussion with company executives about their contributions toward the future of beef sustainability within their sector of the beef value chain.

Derrell Peel, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist will discuss what is projected ahead for beef producers and the beef industry in the 2017 cattle market outlook.

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