As a cattle producer, I’m proud that today’s beef industry looks much the same as it did 100 years ago. Cattle drives are still commonplace. Ranchers still rely on horses to work the herd. Cattle spend much of their time on rolling pastures. And, the cowboy spirit is alive and well.
They say the West wasn’t won on a salad, and it’s true. American beef is a longheld tradition in this country. Whether it’s a romantic dinner date, the celebration of a new job promotion or a gathering of friends during a summer barbecue, steak is a favorite among Americans, and grain-fed beef is king, growing in popularity around the globe.
Behind every quality steak is a quality rancher who cares. Animal care, environmental stewardship, food safety, nutrition and taste are backed by strong family values, time-honored traditions and a deep-rooted faith that drives us to keep moving forward in production agriculture, even when the going gets tough.
And, while this blog is dedicated to covering beef topics, there are times when I feel it’s important to diverge into other areas, as well. For example, did you read my response to Chipotle’s latest commercial, an obscene piece of propaganda that demonizes the pork industry?
I’ve got to give props to the pork folks -- after all, a filet mignon goes from succulent to divine when wrapped in bacon, right? Today’s pork producers share the same values as beef producers; we are families working hard to put safe, wholesome products on the dinner table. While we are sustainably improving our efficiencies to feed a growing world, I realize modern agriculture production isn’t perfect, and retailers are starting to place demands on producers to change the way they do business. Last week, McDonald’s Corp. announced that it would ask its pork suppliers to outline their plans for phasing out the use of sow gestation stalls.
Our latest poll at BEEF magazine asks readers the following: “Is McDonald’s announcement on phasing out gestation stalls a good idea?”
With 216 votes in already, 65% say, “Yes, if consumers want it and it’s best for the animals.” 32% say, “No. It isn’t better for the animals. And, 6% aren’t sure.
What’s your take? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.