America’s beef producers have been leaders in the area of sustainability. The Beef Sustainability Research program is proof of their commitment to producing responsibly raised beef to consumers across the globe. This Checkoff-funded program includes the assessment of sustainability using an approach that balances environmental responsibility, economic opportunity, and social diligence across the beef value chain. Research is conducted to provide the industry with science-validated sustainability indicators that serve as a benchmark of current status of the industry and provide a path forward of continuous improvement. The research encompasses the entirety of the beef industry from birth of the calf to the consumer, and the sustainability assessment marks the first and largest research project of its kind. The program is a proactive and innovative scientific approach to creating a sustainable beef product for a growing world population while gaining consumer confidence in beef.
Specific objectives include:
The intent of this fact sheet series is to provide high-level answers to some of the more challenging and complex issues related to beef sustainability. To provide further understanding, Animated Infographics have been created to briefly illustrate many of the key points related to the sustainability questions addressed in the Fact Sheets.
Does American beef offer social benefits beyond dietary protein for a growing global population? A recent study funded by the Beef Checkoff has calculated the economic value of the diverse social benefits derived from beef production in the United States and by state. Click here to view the fact sheets by state.
These videos provide concrete examples of what farmers and ranchers from disparate regions across the United States are currently doing day-to-day on their operations to be good stewards of the land, contributors to their communities, and responsible caretakers of their animals. They each measure continuous improvement according to their desired sustainability outcomes and resources available to their individual operations.
As part of the Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment, a nationwide characterization of regional beef production practices was conducted. Data on cattle production practices were gathered through voluntary surveys and on-site visits in 7 cattle-producing regions. These data provide information that is not readily available from other sources to help characterize representative cattle production systems used in the life cycle assessment of beef.
Explore this infographic to learn how sustainable beef production practices have efficiently met the growing food demand while also protecting the environment.
This two-page executive summary puts into context the science supporting U.S. beef cattle sustainability, including greenhouse gas emissions, upcycling, and the ecosystem services to the country uniquely contributed by U.S. cattle.
The goals of this Checkoff-funded study were to expand the original (phase 1) beef industry sustainability assessment to more accurately benchmark the eco-efficiency of the U.S. beef industry as part of an ongoing study of the U.S. beef industry.
This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the major specific changes or additions to the Phase 1 base case study that are reflected in the Phase 2 study.