CEO commentary by Mike McMorris
One of the big challenges facing the livestock sectors is their impact on the environment, the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) in particular. All sectors will need to show a reduced emission of GHG in the coming years.
A big question though is “What exactly are we measuring?”
Dr. Vaughn Holder with Alltech gave an excellent presentation at the recent Beef Farmers of Ontario annual meeting and he showed quite clearly that metrics matter.
Using GHG per pound of retail beef product, the beef sector appears terrible compared with other foods. Dr. Holder showed, however, that looking at the whole picture, taking into account the facts that: cattle eat mostly food that is inedible to humans; beef is well balanced and nutrient dense food and that the GHG from cattle feed into a carbon cycle, the GHG per unit of balanced human food looks much different, in a good way.
We know the livestock sector will be called upon to help with climate change. We can and will do that, but it will be critical to agree to the measuring stick in advance.
Check out LRIC’s webinar featuring Dr. Holder, as well as a white paper on the topic, on the LRIC website.