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Ag Facts: Cattle, Corn, Greenhouse Gases, Hormones, Heart Disease

post.jpg "Barbed wire was the first piece of technology in the cattle industry. In the last 50 years, beef production has doubled. One out of six jobs in the U.S. are in the agriculture industry today.” These were just a few of the fun tidbits offered by Gary Sides, a beef and feedlot nutritionist with Pfizer Animal Health, who I had the opportunity to listen to just a few weeks ago in Sioux Falls, SD. His presentation was about technology in the beef cattle industry, and there are a few facts and figures I want to share with you.

Did you know?

-Pastures, maintained primarily by cattle ranchers, provide habitat for 75% of America’s wildlife.

-Beef cattle consume just 5% of the world’s total grain production, and they account for less than 3% of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions.

-There are 8 nanograms of estrogen found in an untreated steer; there are 11 nanograms in an implanted steer.

-Peas contain 2,000 nanograms of estrogen, soybean oil has a whopping 1 million nanograms, and one birth control pill has the same amount of estrogen as 125,000 lbs. of beef from an implanted steer.

-While Americans have a million choices about the foods they eat, 23,000 African children die each day from starvation and malnutrition.

-U.S. capita consumption of sugar is 150 lbs. each year. Saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Studies show that refined carbohydrates like sugars are a major risk factor for high cholesterol, heart problems and diabetes.

-Half the fatty acids in lean beef are monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy type found in olive oil.

Hopefully, one or all of these facts and figures will trigger a positive conversation about agriculture this week. Share these BEEF Daily Quick Facts provided by Sides with someone new today using Facebook, Twitter or email.

boy-and-his-bottle-calf-by-amy-leslie.jpg Notice: Because of technical difficulties with the newsletter, I have opened up the polls for the BEEF Daily Fall Harvest Photo Contest until today, Nov. 30. Send in your vote for the best photo in the finalists group, and help your favorite photographer win fun prizes. Click here to view the complete album.