Beef Sustainability 101 was held on July 9-10, 2013 at the request of McDonald’s Corporation and some of its suppliers to help key members of the McDonald’s Corporation beef supply chain better understand beef production, processing, value, and sustainability. The workshop was conducted by faculty and students from the Department of Animal Science, along with key beef industry members who provided their insight into production and marketing issues facing the beef industry.
Welcomes, introductions, and overviews of expectations were giving by Jessica Droste Yagan, Rickette Collins, Rob Cannell, Wayne Morgan, and Jeff Savell.
Jason Cleere, Associate Professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, gave an overview of the history of beef production in the U.S. including the purebred, dairy, commercial, stocker/backgrounder/feedlot, packer, and further processor. Ron Gill, Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist and Associate Department Head for Extension, discussed body condition scores of cattle and reviewed examples of different types of cattle at the Beef Cattle Center at the O.D. Butler, Jr. Animal Science Complex.
Dan Hale, Professor and Extension Meat Specialist, gave an overview of beef harvest including animal handling and welfare, and Jeff Savell, Regents Professor and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chairholder, discussed beef cattle growth and factors affecting carcasses including key points about breed impacts, growth curves, growth promotants, grain versus grass feeding, methane production, and land-mass requirements.
Eric Robzen led a discussion on sources, quantities, and seasonality of beef trimmings, and Davey Griffin, Professor and Extension Meat Specialist, gave an overview of beef carcass anatomy and meat cutting rules and methods.
The next day, the participants received safety instructions from Griffin and Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Center, before they were broken up into groups to fabricate one side of beef from different kinds of fed steers/heifers and dairy and beef cows.
After the fabrication exercise, Griffin and Wayne Morgan, Golden State Foods, led a discussion about what beef cuts and trimmings drive beef value.
That evening, a great discussion was held on beef production and sustainability issues. McDonald’s Corporation uses the approach that sustainability focuses on three E’s: ethics, environmental, and economic. Most of the participants felt that the two-day program helped them understand how beef production impacted these three areas and how these three areas impacted beef production.