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Content about Policy

February 4, 2015

Is the race to commit to sustainability outpacing the processes and tools in place?

Dawn Robinson, Regional Director, Latin America, Proforest, talks about the context, drivers, and trends of sustainability. Ms. Robinson highlights some of the standards and tools that are available to help support sustainability efforts.

She closes with some of the challenges, including audit fatigue / duplication, exclusion of smallholders, and the race to commit maybe outpacing the processes and tools in place.

February 4, 2015

The "S" word is over used and, from a farmer perspective, the word is lost in the conversations.

Karl Williams, Director, FAI Farms with Benchmark Holdings, talks about farmers can measure sustainability. He suggests the "S" word is over used and, from a farmer perspective, the word is lost in the conversations.

Mr. Williams uses the model of the three Es (Economics, Ethics, and Environment) throughout the presentation, highlighting how real farmers are accomplishing sustainability. He suggests there only needs to be a set of simple measures in order for there to be a meaningful conversation.

February 4, 2015

How is the farming of global beef coming together with the discussions around sustainability?

Sustainability is something agriculture is working to understand, measure, and take action on. This is being done from a variety of angles and groups. The 2014 Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), November 2 -5, 2014, São Paulo, Brazil, provides information on the types of sustainability efforts occurring in and around beef.

February 4, 2015

We can not separate ourselves from the land; We are the land, and the land is us.

Tre’ Cates, Chief Operating Officer/CFO, Savory Institute, points out how holistic management provides the management tools to understand nature and work with it. Mr. Cates says that the opportunity is to recognize that what is happening on farms is something that can increase the livelihoods of people, through holistic management of the world’s grasslands.

February 3, 2015

How does the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform work?

Brian Lindsay, Project Leader, Beef Working Group, explains what the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform is about and how it developed. The collaboration group was created in 2002 by the food industry to promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. Mr. Lindsay shares how the definition of sustainability was developed and what members do to help support the initiative. Mr. Lindsay concludes with an outline of the SAI timeline and goals.

February 3, 2015

What does beef sustainability looks like in Canada?

Cheryl Copithorne-Barnes, Chair, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, presents what beef sustainability looks like in Canada. Ms. Copithorne-Barnes details the governance and execution of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and how it must operate in its mission.
February 3, 2015

Dos & don'ts on doing beef lifecycle assessments.

Dr. Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability Research, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, shares the dos & don'ts discovered in the USA on doing lifecycle assessments. Dr. Stackhouse says it is important to remember that "Zero impact is not possible": there are tradeoffs and food production will result in an impact and the the goal is improvement over time.

Dr. Stackhouse concludes with the importance of having good science as a baseline for sharing beef sustainability stories over time.

February 3, 2015

Can science help consumers with respect to food and agriculture? Maybe not.

Kim Essex, Senior Vice President, Director, North American Food Practice, Ketchum, shares the stories that science does not always resonate well for consumers with respect to food and agriculture. Using the lead around the idea of "if only everyone recognized farmers' need to feed the world", Ms. Essex looks at what Food 2020 looks like and the messages that consumers hear.

Her take aways: 1) Be a listener, 2) Acknowledge concerns, and 3) Take actions that demonstrate authenticity and accountability.

February 3, 2015

How can one develop sustainability indicators?

This panel discussion with Dr. Marty Matlock (University of Arkansas), Dr. Kim Stackhouse (National Cattlemen's Beef Association), Brian Lindsay (SAI Platform), and Karin Kreider (Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance) addresses challenges in sustainable beef. Two of them: 1) how to develop sustainability indicators and, 2) what is the role of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

January 9, 2015

Sustainability is a new buzz word and everyone would have their own definition. This presentation shares the story of the development of a working definition to that covers the many points of views and goals.

Cameron Bruett, JBS Chief Sustainability Officer, aims to challenge the views of sustainability and understand the risks and opportunities. Sustainability is a new buzz word and everyone would have their own definition. Mr. Bruett offers a series of stories on working with many groups to help develop definition of "sustainability" that covers the many points of views and goals.

Sustainability - But What Does it Mean? - Cameron Bruett, JBS Chief Sustainability Officer, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA

January 9, 2015

Many people met on the trade missions don't trust the US Government, and some don't even trust their own government. But they do listen to and believe the producers who are on the mission trips.

Dean Black, as a member of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Board, shares his experiences on several trade missions to Japan and China. He mentioned that many people they meet on the trade missions don't trust the US Government, and some don't even trust their own government. But they do listen to and believe the producers who are on the mission trips.

Beef Trade Missions - Dean Black, Somers Iowa, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA

January 9, 2015

Why is beef sustainable important today and what factors contribute to "sustainability"?

Dr. Sara Place, Sustainable Beef Cattle Systems, Oklahoma State University, presents as to why beef sustainable is important today and what factors contribute to "sustainability".

Dr. Place offers perspectives on the various aspects of sustainability and what people believe about them. Her take away is that all stakeholders have very different ways of looking at a problem and there is a need to understand them to work toward supporting sustainability solutions.

January 9, 2015

What are the economics of the fed cattle markets and the issues with thinning cash trade?

Dr. Stephen Koontz, Colorado State University, talks about the economics of the fed cattle markets and the issues with thinning cash trade. Dr. Koontz's key take aways: "Free markets are not free": markets require and consume resources and are expensive.

Dr. Koontz suggested that producers need to make market function & survival the result of an industry-level decision & not something that "just happens".

January 9, 2015

Environmental Defense Fund is one group that listens and works in a practical aspect to achieve beef sustainability.

Maggie Monast, Environmental Defense Fund, introduces the EDF as one group that listens and works in a practical aspect to achieve beef sustainability. Ms. Monast shares some of the EDF initiatives that focuses on sustainable sourcing and the supply chain structure to meet the needs of people, prosperity, and the planet.

How is the EDF working with the beef industry? By working directly with the whole supply chain and supporting the activity with data & information.

January 9, 2015

How is McDonald's creating a path to sustainable beef?

Susan Forsell, V.P. Sustainability at McDonald's Corporation, talks about McDonald's journey to sustainable beef. Ms. Forsell outlines their sustainability framework and the collaboration efforts from everyone in the value chain. Ms. Forsell shares how their sustainability pilot program in Canada is working and what their next steps will be in the rest of the world.

McDonald's and Beef Sustainability - Susan Forsell, V.P. Sustainability at McDonald's Corporation, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA

January 7, 2015

Companion animals use antimicrobials and can be impacted by resistance. Dr. Bender suggests that clinicians need to be aware and encourage good antimicrobial stewardship practices.

Dr. Jeff Bender, Chair for the AVMA Task Force for Antimicrobial Stewardship in companion Animal Practice, provides an overview of antimicrobial resistance in companion animals and what kinds of stewardship approaches are being implemented. Dr. Bender suggests that clinicians need to be aware and encourage good antimicrobial stewardship practices.

January 7, 2015

“We are all connected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.” says Dr. Tom Friedan, CDC Director. Dr. Chiller emphasizes that antimicrobial resistance is a global problem and needs global solutions.

Dr. Tom Chiller, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opens his presentation with a quote from Dr. Tom Friedan, CDC Director, that brings focus to antimicrobial resistance: “We are all connected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.” Dr. Chiller emphasizes that antimicrobial resistance is a global problem and needs global solutions. These solutions need continual communication, consistent monitoring and reporting, and response teams to take action.

January 7, 2015

What is the US FDA's strategy on the use of important antibiotics in food producing animals? Dr. Flynn mentions that all uses of antibiotics are contributing to resistance issues and that any conversation and solution set must take this wide use into consideration.

Dr. William Flynn, Deputy Director for Science Policy, Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, provides an update on the US FDA's strategy on the use of important antibiotics in food producing animals and its effect on FDA Guidance #213. Dr. Flynn mentions that all uses of antibiotics are contributing to resistance issues and that any conversation and solution set must take this wide use into consideration. Collaborative approaches are going be much more effective if everyone is at the table and working in the same direction.

January 7, 2015

Consumers pay attention when they hear "antibiotic resistance". Images of killer bacteria and the real possibility that medicines will stop working are on their mind. What are some of the policy and science conversations occurring across the world on antibiotic use?

Consumers are concerned about antibiotic resistance and are demanding action from farmers and ranchers. Physicians worry that antibiotic over use in human health will also be impacted. To help understand the issues, researchers and experts from all aspects of human and animal health came together to continue the dialog and make plans for change around the use of antibiotics.

December 30, 2014

How much water do you believe you use in a day? Do you know how much you actually use?

Dr. Shahzeen Attari - Perceptions of Water UseWhat Do You Believe About Water? Dr. Shahzeen Attari, Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs, shares consumer and market research on what people believe about water usage in everyday settings and the impacts those beliefs have on setting water policy and practice. This presentation is from the 2014 conference on Defining Indiana's Water Needs: Research & Solutions [agenda], held December 12, 2014, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

December 2, 2014

Genetic engineering is not a technology that is going to replace standard breeding methods. Rather, it will add access to genetic variation, increasing the pool of genetic diversity that can be worked with.

Transgenic, or genetic engineering, of animals continues to evolve. Genetic engineering is not a technology that is going to replace standard breeding methods. Rather, it will add access to genetic variation, increasing the pool of genetic diversity that can be worked with.

October 17, 2014

Today people running farms must be out their sharing what happens and stay connected with consumers. Dr. Lusk suggests getting in the game to tell how farms run, explain the trade offs of being an agriculture business, and give consumers control.

Politics of Food Dr. Jayson Lusk, Professor of Agriculture Economics at Oklahoma State University, provided an economist's view on food. He shared his thoughts on the future of food and the path it is taking. It used to be true that what happened on the farm stayed on the farm.

September 7, 2014

What does a logger have to say about how farmers & ranchers approach to connecting with consumers, legislators, and larger public?

Bruce Vincent – Listening Is A Great Way To Improve Your Food/Farm ConversationsBe Active, Get Out & Connect Bruce Vincent, 3rd generation logger from Montana, says it is key to listen and then act when talking with the public about farming, ranching, and the environment.

June 9, 2014

Is the U.S. really ready for outbreaks like porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv)?

PEDV - Next Steps - Dr. Liz Wagstrom, National Pork Producers Council, from the 2014 World Pork Expo, June 4 - 6, 2014, Des Moines, IA, USA.

Dr. Liz Wagstrom, National Pork Producers Council, provides a policy and political point of view on the resources needed for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) research, management, and eradication. Dr. Wagstrom details the dollars being requested from the US Congress to support the USDA, National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) & Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).