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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are You Going To Eat Beef On Earth Day?

By Korben Dallas

The beef industry marked the 2009 Earth Day celebration under the theme, "America's Farmers & Ranchers ... Everyday Environmentalists." U.S. beef producers observe Earth Day every day by helping preserve a healthy, safe, clean and sustainable environment for food production and for use by future generations. I think I'm going to just have a nice big burger for Earth Day this year.

From ExploreBeef:

America’s beef farmers and ranchers are committed to protecting the environment. Cattlemen and women incorporate a variety of best management practices to ensure the beef industry is in compliance with environmental requirements. For America’s cattle farmers, the land is their livelihood and their legacy. They carefully follow science-based best management practices to protect our country’s natural resources for future generations. In fact, ranchers have led conservation efforts proving that raising cattle and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand.

The beef industry honors leaders in conservation efforts with an annual award. The Environmental Stewardship Award not only recognizes farmers and ranchers who have successfully combined natural resource conservation efforts with good business practices, but it also encourages application of new environmental best practices across the entire industry. Beef cattle farmers and ranchers practice natural resource management activities including soil tests, brush and weed control programs, grazing management plans, minimum or conservation tillage systems and range quality and grass utilization monitoring.

Clean, plentiful water is critical for the economic survival of the industry. Beef farmers protect this valuable resource because it’s vital to the success of their business, and it’s a government requirement. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act sets forth requirements for protecting our nation’s water resources, especially for confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Sometimes referred to as “factory farms” by anti-industry activists, larger feedlot operations actually are subject to strict regulations and constant government scrutiny. Most large feedlot owners have a dedicated environmental engineer either on staff or on contract to ensure their operation is in compliance.

Good management of natural resources on farms and ranches across the country isn’t a choice; farmers and ranchers know that protecting the environment now protects the business for future generations. (ExploreBeef)
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