29 CALF News • February | March 2022 • www.calfnews.net about 90 percent of the people, like this “old goat,” were cooking at home. As restrictions eased, that number has only fallen about 10 percent, significantly higher than the pre-pandemic rate of 50 percent. Amstein anticipates the trend will continue as most consumers who have tried it are satisfied with online purchasing. In conjunction with this scenario, more people are aware of protein alternatives and sustainability issues. “I believe strongly that sustainably managed livestock systems must play a critical role in global food and nutrition security,” Amstein said. “But to successfully feed a growing world population, it is also clear we need to scale up sustainable production that minimizes environmental impacts.” To have a successful cattle industry, ranchers need grass and clean water. Often, the water that their cattle drink comes from the same place as the water their family drinks. In addition, cattle cost money and, as their primary sustainable resource, ranchers are concerned their cattle remain healthy. The Millennials, who are spending billions of dollars on food, are also concerned with sustainability. Amstein said, along with stories and in the world. Improvement in feedstuffs, genetics and manure handling leave the U.S. livestock’s carbon footprint the lowest of any country. In comparison, global animal agriculture accounts for 14.5 percent. Let’s look at some interesting U.S. facts: Today’s 9 million U.S. dairy cows supply 60 percent more milk than the 16 million cows in production in 1950. This is the same amount of milk as five cows in Mexico or 100 cows in India with the same, or less, methane production per cow. Technology in the dairy sector has enabled farmers to capture methane released in manure holding ponds, which is converted into renewable biofuel. This can account for 30 percent of a dairy’s methane production. Improvements in growth rates and feed efficiency in U.S. livestock are cutting back on methane emissions, due to constant pressure in genetic selection and advancement in reproductive technology. Research into the enhancement of quality in feedstuffs contributes to greater digestibility by livestock, resulting in lower methane emissions. Feed additives and pharmaceuticals that contribute to the greater health of livestock promote faster growth, adding to the efficiency of the U.S. herd. A Panel Discussion A frank discussion rounded out the lecture. Mitloehner’s comments included his frustration with the press. “It is very frustrating when media picks what to print,” he said. They are reluctant to point out that beef has a low environmental impact and converts otherwise indigestible plants into protein. The public needs to know. He also conveyed that a shocking 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S., a number that obviously contributes to food inefficiency and increased production of greenhouse gasses. ColinWoodall of NCBA reminded the crowd that we need to listen to the consumer.“Sustainability” is top of their mind. NCBA research indicates that animal welfare is a bigger concern than the environment. The use of social media is crucial to reaching consumers of all ages, and the word“sustainability” means different things to different people. Galen Erickson conveyed that our science needs to be precise. We need to remind consumers how agriculture, particularly cattle, mitigate carbon emissions. Panelists related that the United Kingdom needs to accept technology such as implants, and the Food and Drug Administration needs to approve methane-reducing feed additives that are currently being tested. Woodall came back and said these issues are not going away. The international community, down to the consumer, is looking at methane emissions. Producers do not want to be regulated more, we need to solve our problems ourselves and tell our own stewardship story. He said the government knows that if they are going to be successful in climate issues, they need agriculture. Our solutions must include everyone from ranchers through migrant packing plant workers. CLIMATE CHANGE Continued from page 27 appropriately labeled packages stating the amount of protein in each cut, many consumers want transparency. She said 86 percent of Millennial mothers are concerned about knowing more about their meat. “These moms say, ‘I will pay more for a product that is transparent because I want to know what’s going into it’ because trust and truth are held very high in the decisions they make,” Amstein said. “They want to know the truth, and they want to know that they can trust us and everything that we are doing.” Recapping “Beef-Eating Trends,” I believe that Midan Marketing and Danette Amstein have provided the Kansas Livestock Association possibly a “road map” of where to steer their next marketing efforts. For me with my newsprint ink smudges and the rustling of paper, I find some glimmer of hope as their research provided contradictive and positive numbers to what many would like us to think animal agriculture’s future is. As an “old goat” I just may let someone else pick out my meat and join the online purchasing group. Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D. Parting Shot Mitloehner closed by reminding us to fight inaccurate or biased information being released by media outlets. It is a constant battle that will never end, and we must always be aware of consumer perceptions. Science is always about facts.