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Cargill Collaborates With Industry to Enhance Producer-led ‘Beef on Dairy’ Crossbreeding; Heather Tansey and Dale Woerner Discuss

Cargill Collaborates With Industry to Enhance Producer-led ‘Beef on Dairy’ Crossbreeding; Heather Tansey and Dale Woerner Discuss


MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Friday, July 2nd, 2021

Sustainability and transparency remain two of the top priorities in our industry, especially as consumers continue to demand these practices as they shop the store. Often in the field, producers are leading efforts that help shape and advance the industry as a whole—Cargill is no different. Recently, the company announced it is collaborating with industry partners to create the Dairy Beef Accelerator, a three-year program to accelerate learning and support producers in better understanding the opportunities of ‘beef on dairy.’

Heather Tansey, Sustainability Director, Protein and Salt, and Animal Nutrition and Health, Cargill“Connectivity across the beef and dairy supply chains is critical to further understanding the potential impact of beef-on-dairy crossbreeding,” Heather Tansey, Sustainability Director, Protein and Salt, and Animal Nutrition and Health for Cargill, stated. “We have a role to advance understanding of the practice by investing in research while providing support to remove barriers for interested producers.”

One effort that comes to light is the case with dairy-beef crossbreeding, or ‘beef on dairy.’ The producer-led practice has the potential to help the North American beef and dairy industries advance efficiencies of the supply chain and address climate change while continuing to provide consumers with high-quality protein, noted the statement.

Cargill announced it is collaborating with industry partners to create the Dairy Beef Accelerator, a three-year program to accelerate learning, and support producers in better understanding the opportunities of ‘beef on dairy'

An early outcome of this project is research conducted by Texas Tech University, which provides additional insight into the sustainability impact of the practice, as well as benefits to beef and dairy producers. The study demonstrates promising benefits for producers, the environment, and consumers. For example, initial research indicates:

  • Compared to purebred dairy calves, ‘beef on dairy’ calves can provide higher-quality beef products without impacting current milk production efficiencies
  • ‘Beef on dairy’ calves show greater feed efficiency (compared to purebred dairy calves), which lowers the environmental footprint associated with their production
  • Increased feed efficiency significantly reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Increased volumes of higher-grading beef carcasses, providing feedyard operators more access to value-based marketing opportunities as well as pass-back as beef on dairy calves are more valuable in the marketplace for dairies than purebred dairy calves

Dale Woerner, Ph.D., Cargill Endowed Professor in Sustainable Meat Science, Texas Tech University“Producers are at the forefront of leading the industry as [a] whole, advancing both the efficiency and resilience of the food system,” said Dale Woerner, Ph.D. and Cargill Endowed Professor in Sustainable Meat Science, Texas Tech University. “The beef and dairy industries have the opportunity to work together to produce even more efficient beef animals. Crossbreeding dairy cows to complementary beef sires can advance sustainability by reducing the environmental impact and improving profitability.”

As noted in the release, the Dairy Beef Accelerator will provide resources to help interested beef and dairy producers begin their journey to ‘beef on dairy’ over the coming years. In addition, it will also create opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and sharing of experiences with the practice.

The initiative builds up to Cargill’s BeefUp Sustainability initiative, a commitment to achieve 30 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reduction across our North American beef supply chain by 2030.

How will our industry continue to drive innovation and transparency forward? Deli Market News will report.

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