This week, the Colorado Livestock Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association kicked off the ‘Better with Beef’ campaign, a consumer and citizen-facing educational initiative telling the story of why Colorado is ‘Better with Beef.’
Misleading labels and marketing schemes continue to confuse the public and we believe it is necessary to set the record straight when it comes to the environmental sustainability of beef production in Colorado. The ‘Better with Beef’ campaign will provide Colorado’s consumers with facts about beef production backed by peer-reviewed research.
Colorado’s agriculture industry is an integral and vibrant part of the state’s economy. As a multi-species organization, we understand the value of diversity in agriculture and believe wholeheartedly that more options for consumers are always better. We understand that consumers want a variety of healthy food options that are produced with minimal environmental impact.
The beef industry has a compelling story to tell about environmental sustainability. In its latest research, the Environmental Protection Agency found that beef production, including the production of animal feed, is responsible for only 3.3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. This is dramatically lower than the often-misapplied global livestock figure of 14.5 percent.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, corn used to feed beef cattle only represents approximately 9 percent of harvested corn grain in the U.S. By comparison, 37.5 percent of corn acreage in the U.S. is used for producing fuel ethanol.
The Beef Lifecycle Assessment, conducted by the USDA, found that on average, it takes 308 gallons of water to produce a pound of boneless beef. Previous reports have estimated upwards of 24,000 gallons.
CLA has a long history of working cooperatively with our Governor’s office, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Health and Environment and our state legislators to foster a business environment that provides for the long-term sustainability of the livestock industry in Colorado. We believe that when industry and government work together to problem-solve; incredible progress can be made.
Follow the story of “Better With Beef” online at BetterWithBeef.org and on social media with #BetterWithBeef.