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Shrinking the stretch-out IRA

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When is the last time you recall a piece of legislation passing the House of Representatives by a 417-to-3 vote? It’s rare, but it happened with the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act just before Memorial Day. As of this writing, the Senate has not passed the SECURE Act, but with such bipartisan support, it appears likely to become law.

If you have invested in any type of qualified retirement account, you will be affected by this new law. This refers to IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, 401(k), 403(b) and more, but for this purpose, I’m referring to them all as individual retirement accounts, or IRAs.

How IRA law works today

The government wanted us all to take more responsibility for our own retirement needs and said that within some limits, we can deduct a sum from our taxable income (take a current income tax deduction) if we deposit it into an IRA. The IRA can be invested in practically any type of financial instrument. None of the growth in this IRA (interest, dividends, capital gains, etc.) will be taxed as it occurs. We cannot draw money out before reaching 59.5 years old, lest we be charged heavy penalties. When we reach age 59.5, we can draw money out without penalty, but we pay income tax on every dollar. This assures that in the end, we are taxed on the original money invested, plus all growth.

The completely-tax-deferred growth can last until age 70.5, but then we must start drawing out a little bit each year, paying tax on the withdrawals. The amount we must withdraw is based in part on our age and statistical life expectancy. If we don’t need the withdrawn money to live on, we can still reinvest what is left after tax but in a more traditional taxable investment.

An IRA has been a good way to defer taxable income into future years when, retired perhaps, you will be in a lower tax bracket.

If you die before you have withdrawn the whole IRA, your designated beneficiary can receive the account, make annual withdrawals and pay the taxes. If the beneficiary is your spouse, the spouse can take the IRA as if it were his or her own and defer any withdrawals until they reach age 70.5 — or withdraw and pay the taxes more quickly, if they choose. But any other beneficiary’s withdrawals (required minimum distributions, or RMDs) are based on their age and life expectancy. This is where the concept of a “stretch-out IRA” comes from.

Let’s say you die leaving an IRA to your daughter, age 51, or an asset protection trust for her. In the year after your death, she must withdraw 3% (1/33.3, because her statistical life expectancy is 33.3 years) of the account balance and pay income taxes on that amount. All the money not withdrawn (97% of the account) is still growing tax-deferred. She can always withdraw more, pay the taxes, and be done with it. But if she wants to maximize tax-deferred growth, in year two she is only required to withdraw 1/32.3, and in the next year 1/31.3, and so forth until finally she withdraws the last dollar from the IRA in the 34th year.

You might say, “But Roth IRAs are tax-free.” Yes, and the RMDs for an inherited Roth IRA mirror the pace of RMDs from a taxable IRA. Tax-free growth for 34 years is fantastic.

What would change?

So, what difference will the SECURE Act, if passed, make for you and your family?

The good news is that it changes the age cap. Currently, you can make tax-deductible contributions to an IRA only until you reach age 70.5. That age cap would be removed. Second, instead of having to start drawing money out and paying taxes on it in the year you reach 70.5, you won’t have to begin taxable withdrawals until age 72.

Bad news? Most beneficiaries who inherit your IRA will lose the option of stretching out the tax deferral more than 10 years. The IRS needs the tax revenue within 10 years, and it can’t wait for it to trickle in over 34 years. Some minor exceptions apply. For instance, a beneficiary under the age of 18 would have to withdraw only a very small RMD each year until age 18, and then withdraw all that is left within 10 years.

Are IRAs still a good tool? Probably. But for beneficiaries, they’re not nearly as good as they used to be.

Ferguson is an attorney who owns The Estate Planning Center in Salem, Ill. Learn more at thefarmersestateplanningattorneys.com.

Intensifying pasture management pays

Rancher Sage Askin
LEASED LAND: Rancher Sage Askin doesn’t own any deeded land, so it’s imperative that he takes care of the dry rangelands and irrigated pastures he and his wife, Faith, lease in eastern Wyoming.

Sage Askin says an intensively managed rest-rotation system on rangelands has significantly improved groundcover, which has bolstered the “solar panel” and, ultimately, plant growth. A key to that work is keeping cattle on the move.

“In the rangelands, when plants are actively growing in the spring, we move relatively quickly [every one to three days] through about 100-acre paddocks — with herds ranging between 300 and 400 cow-calf pairs or yearlings,” says Sage, who leases ranches in eastern Wyoming with his wife, Faith.

This only holds true for pastures slated to be grazed in the spring; pastures are never grazed at the same time each year, and some pastures receive a full year’s rest.

“This is definitely invigorating the native-grass community, both cool- and warm-season,” Sage says. “According to the USDA, big bluestem is one of the most palatable warm-season grasses. We didn’t see any big bluestem until recently, and now we’re seeing establishment in multiple places on the main ranch we lease. To me, this is a big indicator of the overall health of rangelands.”

Increases in forage production and the stocking rate have enabled the Askins to expand their business. They now have five enterprises: custom grazing 450 to 750 cow-calf pairs each year, custom grazing stockers, leasing cows, running sheep on shares and developing a heifer program. The latter involves breeding and selling their own heifers, which currently number 110.

“We believe we are developing a strong skill set to successfully manage land and get more profits per acre out of the land, compared to traditional, status quo ranching,” Sage says.

Next year, the couple plans to start moving cattle twice per day on rangelands from May to July and will also boost the stock density.

“To get our density up, we are now using even bigger herds, up to 600 to 900 yearlings in a pasture,” Sage says. “Stock density is a very powerful tool that can multiply the effect of each of the other grazing tools. If we change up the timing of use, it’s a good thing. If we do it with added density, it compounds the changes even faster.”

Harold Stroh
CONTINUING EDUCATION: Harold Stroh poses for a picture during the four-day Jim Gerrish Management-intensive Grazing School last year in Wyoming.

 

Successful ranchers aren’t reductionists

Continuing education is an important tool for the Askins and for Harold Stroh, who runs a much smaller operation in Wyoming.

Sage paid his way through college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from the University of Wyoming, along with five minors (soil science, wildlife and fisheries biology, forestry, agroecology, and reclamation and restoration ecology).

He took one semester off from school for an internship on the Rex Ranch, a large outfit in north-central Nebraska that practices Allan Savory holistic-style grazing management.

“In college and today’s business world, you naturally go toward being a reductionist, being very, very good at one thing,” Sage says. “That’s good in some fields; but to be successful in ranching, you need to think in terms of the whole, in terms of the big picture, rather than being a reductionist.”

Sage and Faith are alumni of Dave and Kathy Pratt’s Ranching for Profit School, which preaches that healthy lands lead to happy families and profitable businesses.

Faith, who graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management, also attended one of Jim Gerrish’s four-day Management-intensive Grazing schools.

They both grew up in agriculture families, but learning from others has broadened their skills — everything from grazing management to business decisions.

“It’s been rewarding to encompass our personal lifestyles with the ecology of our entire ranching system, and managing for the integrity of that system as a whole — not just one thing,” Faith says.

Stroh is a newcomer to ranching, so education has been critical. He reads agriculture-related magazines and books; learns from local folks, including ranchers and employees with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Niobrara Conservation District; and attends workshops — among them, Gerrish’s MiG school.

“Jim is a proponent of intensively managed grazing systems and believes in taking only one-third to one-half of the grass in a paddock, and then getting out,” Stroh says. “Time is what matters. It’s not the number of head out there, it’s the time.”

Sage adds, “That has become our modus operandi, too. We take only a third, whether the grass is actively growing or has gone dormant, and have seen excellent animal performance.”

Waggener writes from Laramie, Wyo.

Weaning time considerations for beef

University of Wisconsin-Extension cattle grazing
PREWEANING PREP: Preparing calves in advance of actual weaning has benefits well worth the effort.

By Amanda Young

We have reached the time of year when many cow-calf producers are preparing to wean their calves. This also means your calf crop is about to undergo one of its most stressful stages of life. Cow and calf stress can be displayed through increased vocalization, walking fences and reduced feed intake. These behaviors can lead to reduced daily gains, increased health problems and increase death rates.

Some of the stress associated with weaning includes the change of diet, termination of nursing, separation from the dam, a new environment (feed, water and shade sources) and the need for new social structure following the removal of the adults from the group.

Take precautions

No matter the separation method you choose, precautions can be taken to maintain performance and reduce illness during this stressful time. Preparing calves in advance of actual weaning has benefit well worth the effort. The following are three steps you can take to help your calf crop succeed.

1. Develop vaccination program. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best vaccination regimen for your herd. The immune system is often suppressed during times of stress, and because of this, many veterinarians suggest that vaccination protocols and management procedures such as branding, castrating and dehorning be completed well in advance of weaning. This not only lessens the stress at weaning, but also improves immune response to the vaccines and anthelmintics.

Additionally, do not forget to keep proper vaccine handling methods in minds. The highest-quality vaccines and antibiotics are useless if not handled and administered properly.

2. Introduce proper diet. Introduce calves to their postweaning diet before weaning. Make sure the postweaning diet is appropriate for the age of calf, including forage quantity and quality, and contains a vitamin-mineral mix and plenty of fresh, accessible water. Make sure they can safely reach water and know how to drink it. If the calves are unfamiliar with drinking water from a trough, let the water overflow a bit so it makes a trickling sound.

3. Wean before moving. Wean your calves in the pen or pasture in which they are currently being housed, and move the cows to a new location, if possible. If you wean in a pen or pasture in which your calves are not familiar, they must handle the stress of not only being separated from the dam but also finding their new source of food, water and shade. If you have to move calves to a new location, make sure they are familiar with the waterer type and feeder styles available.

Help your calves get off to a strong start after weaning by being aware of the stressors they are facing on weaning day. Make your weaning plans well in advance, and think through the methods and precautions you can use on your farm to reduce the stresses of weaning. The quicker your calves can adjust to their new normal, the faster they will grow and the healthier they will be.

Young is the agriculture Extension educator in Dodge County, Wis. This column is provided by the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Wisconsin Beef Information Center.

Farm-to-school grants receive record funding

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A student in Brandon Valley School District, South Dakota, receives a healthy school lunch. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has offered flexibility which allows for low-fat flavored milk options rather than fat free only.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $9 million in Farm to School Program grants that will increase the amount of healthy, local foods served in schools and create economic opportunities for nearby farmers.

This year marks an all-time high of funding and projects in the program, with grants supporting 126 selected projects across 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. These projects are expected to serve more than 3.2 million students in more than 5,400 schools.

“The farm-to-school grants announced connect schools with the farmers, ranchers and producers in their communities,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Everybody wins with Farm to School. USDA is proud to help the next generation better understand where its food comes from while strengthening local economies.”

This record-breaking year for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program was made possible by increased funding from Congress for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, which enabled USDA to award 52 more grants than the previous high of 74 grants in 2016. Grants range from $20,000 to $100,000 and fund equipment purchases and experiential learning activities, including planting school gardens, offering taste tests to children and organizing field trips to local farms and food producers.

Farm-to-school activities strengthen local economies. USDA’s 2015 "Farm to School Census" found that in the 2013-14 school year alone, schools purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and food manufacturers. Schools provide producers with stable markets and long-term revenues, and the program introduces students to agricultural career paths.

“Our nation’s food supply depends on more young people entering the field of agriculture as farmers retire,” Perdue said. “Farm to School inspires young people to consider careers in agriculture and food systems.” 

Since 2013, the USDA Farm to School Program has offered annual grants to schools, school districts, nonprofits, state agencies, agricultural producers and Indian tribal organizations to plan, implement or provide training on farm-to-school activities. USDA's Food & Nutrition Service is committed to working with schools and agricultural partners to ensure that healthy habits take root in early childhood.

Take caution and don't cut grass too close

Christine Gelley grass mowed too close
TOO CLOSE: This grassland was mowed too close.

By Christine Gelley

All of us have a bad habit here or there that we have developed over time. Bad habits are often questionable actions that can cause some stress, but rarely have direct negative consequences immediately afterward. Usually, the negative consequences are compounded over time into large problems, and that is when we realize we have gone wrong.

A bad habit that many grass managers have in lawn and hay systems is cutting it too close. By “it,” I mean the grass. There are some misconceptions about what the best height is to cut grass. It can also be confusing, because ideal cutting height varies with the type of grass. The common denominator is that many homeowners and haymakers are cutting the grass too low and inducing stress responses on the plants that cause us issues down the road.

Type of grass determines mowing height

Depending on the grass species, variety and environmental conditions, mowing height and frequency can vary greatly. The turf grasses that grow on a professional golf course are drastically different from the turf on a children’s soccer field. The most common plants in tallgrass warm-season pastures or shortgrass cool-season pastures are drastically different. In all cases, we want to be aware of where new growth occurs on the grass stem, and how deep the root system goes.

The region on the stem where new growth emerges is called the apical meristem. Grasses will grow back best after a cutting if the apical meristem is not damaged. If the apical meristem is mowed off, the plant must produce a new shoot, called a tiller, to regrow. This draws additional nutrients from the root system. This is true in lawns, hay and grazed pasture.

If grasses are regularly mowed or grazed too short, root energy reserves can be easily depleted, causing nutrient deficiencies and low stand persistence. Low persistence makes your grass stand look patchy.

Weeds soon fill in those patches. Often people get into a cycle of cutting it too close and then fertilizing, irrigating, and/or applying herbicides to try to remedy the damage.

In those cases, the problem is not soil fertility or water in the soil or that new weeds are suddenly invading. More likely, it is reduced ability of the plant to draw the nutrients and water from the soil. Together, regular soil tests and stand evaluations can help you troubleshoot problems that arise.

Christine Gelleythriving grass


HEALTHY MOW: This grassland was mowed at the correct height and is thriving.

 

Remove one-third of leaf

A general rule for lawns is that when you mow, you should only be removing one-third of the total leaf area. That means if the grass is 6 inches tall, mowing it to 4 inches, or from 3 inches to 2 inches, depending on your grass. In hay production in cool-season pastures (examples are orchardgrass, tall fescue, etc.), mow or graze before seed heads develop, down to 3 to 5 inches. In warm-season pastures (examples are switchgrass, sorghum-sudangrass, etc.) mow or graze down to 8 to 10 inches if you expect regrowth.

Don’t ‘scalp’ grass

The idea that the lower you mow, the more grass you get is misguided. The lower you go, the more stems you remove than leaves, and the more soil material and rocks you kick up as you mow. That is not good for your grass, soil or equipment. Mowing or grazing grass too low is called “scalping.” Don’t scalp anything you expect to live afterward.

Setting your mower deck and cutter bar high enough for the grass you are managing can be a challenge for some machinery. If you cannot adjust it as high as you need, consult an implement dealer to investigate if additional components can be installed to raise the height.

Collars for cutter bar lift cylinders or high-clearance skid shoes may do the job. Sometimes adjusting the cutter bar angle can increase cutting height. Getting this situated will take some trial and error. Be cautious as you mow, and watch for side-drift or improper trailing of the implement. When making adjustments with collars or shoes, always power off the machine, park on a level surface and engage safety locks. 

Over time, mowing at a higher height in the canopy will improve the health of your grass stand, reduce the presence of weeds and improve the quality of your soil, giving you thicker stands of desirable grasses. To learn more about mowing heights for your lawn or hay, feel free to contact your county Extension office, or the author through email at [email protected].

Gelley is an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator from Noble County, Ohio.

 

 

Stock dog demonstrations show value of canines on ranch

Curt Arens sheep in pen
MOVING THEM AROUND: Stock dog demonstrations allow HHD guests to see the evolution of training that goes into developing a useful, strong stock dog for the farm and ranch. Handlers show audiences dogs that are in the earliest stages of training and those that have specific skills already developed.

A good cattle dog can make life on a livestock farm much easier. But how does your farm dog stack up? And how do you train your young dogs to be useful helpers in working livestock on your farm or ranch operation?

Those questions could be answered at the popular Stock Dog demonstrations, running daily at Husker Harvest Days, Sept. 10-12 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., along the north side of Flag Road just outside the exhibit field. Thanks to Tim Gifford, Gifford Border Collies of Harrisburg, Neb., and a member of the National Cattledog Association and U.S. Border Collie Handlers Association, audiences can learn how to train cattle dogs to work stock, using the natural instincts the dogs already have.

The Stock Dog demonstrations will vary from young, inexperienced dogs to seasoned older dogs, to give visitors a chance to see a wide range of experience in action. Gifford has been working with stock dogs for more than 12 years. He has been on the ranch all of his life, so he also knows livestock.

Today, he runs a cow-calf herd and backgrounds calves, and he uses dogs extensively in his operation. “I use my dogs to gather cattle, move cattle from pasture to pasture or sort cattle in an alleyway,” Gifford explains. “I work alone a lot with my dogs.”

Gifford also travels around the country for cattle dog trials and competitions, as well as for training clinics and workshops like those at HHD.

Visitors to the Stock Dog demonstrations can expect to learn how to properly raise a puppy that can become a successful ranch dog, and how a working dog can be useful to the farm and ranch. “Everyone starts out with a puppy that seems a little out of control,” Gifford says. “But it is fun for audiences at Husker Harvest Days to see the progression of training, and how the dogs come along.”

Have pros work with your dog

Now in their ninth year at HHD, Stock Dog demonstrations also provide a unique opportunity for you to bring your own dog to be worked by professional dog handlers. This gives your dog the chance to work with experienced dog handlers and trainers, to bring the dog along on the training journey. If you bring your own dog, remember that the dog must stay in the demonstration area and is not allowed on the HHD exhibit field. If you are interested in bringing your own dog or would like more information on the Stock Dog demonstrations at HHD, contact Gifford at [email protected] or call 308-631-0387. There will be a fee to work your dog, and you must sign a waiver.

 

Protect yourself when buying machinery on the internet

Pinkypills/Getty Images online purchase
OWNERSHIP: As a buyer, farmers are advised first to ask to see the purchase invoice or other purchase documents from the dealership or prior owner to establish ownership.

The internet has changed many farming practices, including the purchase of machinery. It is now common to buy machinery through online auctions and advertisements on websites.

One issue that has arisen regarding online purchases is verification of ownership. Machinery is not titled, so it is not always easy to determine ownership. Even without titles, there are a few ways to help ensure you are buying machinery with good title.

Potential problems

Let’s start with a scenario to explain the potential problems with an online purchase. Buyer sees a tractor listed for sale on a website for $100,000. The tractor is exactly the make and model Buyer has been looking for, and it’s at a good price. Buyer pays the purchase price and receives the tractor. Later, however, Buyer receives a letter from a leasing company stating that the tractor was leased, that the leasing company is the owner of the tractor, and that the tractor must be returned. Buyer also finds out that the seller was in financial difficulties and was engaging in unscrupulous behavior.

Bypassing difficulties

What could Buyer have done to help prevent this issue? First, ask to see the purchase invoice or other purchase documents from the dealership or prior owner. The seller should be able to provide you something verifying that he is the valid owner of the machine. If the seller is unable to provide any documentation, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t own the machine, but it certainly should put the seller on notice of potential problems.

Another fairly easy proactive step to take is to check Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. When a lender provides a loan for a piece of machinery, it typically files a UCC notice stating that it has a lien on that specific piece of equipment. In Ohio, the filing can be found by going to the Ohio Secretary of State website and searching for the owner’s name. If there is a lien on the piece of equipment you are interested in purchasing, you should be able to find the UCC filing. If you don’t find the seller’s name, you should also check for the seller’s spouse’s name and any business entity names that the seller may have. The item you are purchasing may have been purchased under a name related to the seller or a business entity owned by the seller.

Background checks

A background check on the seller can also be beneficial. The background check does not need to be done by a private investigator or other paid service. The easiest background check to do is to contact people who know the seller. If the seller is far away, this may not be practical. Doing an internet search on the person’s name and location can also provide valuable information. If the person has a history of bad business dealings or complaints by other buyers, it likely will show up on an internet search. Also, if the county in which the seller lives has court records available online, a search can be done on the seller’s legal history. Any criminal actions or civil lawsuits in the county will be on the record. A seller with many lawsuits against him or criminal actions for bad business practices should be avoided.

Online escrow services

Another issue related to online purchases can be sending payment before receiving the machine. Sometimes payment and delivery or pickup do not happen simultaneously. When purchasing an item and the item will be delivered to you, the seller may demand payment upfront. It’s hard to blame the seller for wanting payment first to avoid not being paid. On the other hand, the buyer may not want to send money first and risk not having the item be delivered.

To overcome this situation, there are online escrow services. The buyer deposits the purchase price with the escrow service, and the seller can confirm the funds are available. When the buyer receives the item, the funds are released to the seller.

Contact Moore, an attorney with Wright & Moore Law Co. LPA, at 740-990-0751 or [email protected].

Farmers will get at least $15 per acre in trade aid

Mike Wilson Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at Commodity Classic

Reuters is reporting that the minimum payment to farmers under the next round of trade-related federal aid will be $15 per acre. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tells Reuters that full details will be released this week.

Climate change expected to increase cost of farm programs

leolintang/iStock/GettyImagesPlus Landscape of meadow field with the changing environment concept of climate change

A new study from USDA’s Economic Research Service explores how climate change may impact the cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

The report, Climate Change and Agricultural Risk Management Into the 21st Century, uses statistical, geophysical and economic models to explore how climate change could affect future costs of farm safety net programs. The cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program, Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and other programs have cost an average of $12 billion annually over the past decade, according to the report. The federal government’s cost exposure is expected to increase as weather averages and extremes change over the coming decades.

Analysis was conducted for three different pathways:

  1. The direct impact of climate on yield risk
  2. The indirect effect of yield risk on price risk
  3. The impact of changed average yield, production, and price on the total value insured

What did the study find?

  • Changes to total liabilities are more influential than price volatility and yield volatility on the cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program’s premium subsidies, though all were found to be significant.
  • All climate change scenarios considered suggest that climate change will lower domestic production of corn, soybeans and wheat relative to a future scenario with climate identical to that of the past three decades. All else equal, this implies that prices would be higher than they would otherwise, which implies higher premiums and higher subsidies.
  • Yield volatility increases under most (but not all) climate scenarios and crops, increasing the frequency and/or depth of losses, and thus increasing premiums and subsidies. On the other hand, changes to price volatility differ by crop and scenario.
  • Much depends on the severity of future warming. This study compares two scenarios representing differing future rates of greenhouse gas emissions and, consequently, differing severities of climate change. Under the moderate emissions scenario, the cost of today’s Federal Crop Insurance Program would be about 3.5% higher than under a future with a climate similar to that of the recent past. Under the higher emissions scenario, this cost increase is 22%.
Source: USDA ERS, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

McDonald's strives too refine, replace and reduce antibiotic use

Golden Arches

U.S. consumers annually eat about 600 million pounds of beef at McDonald’s. The company released a policy late last year intended to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in raising cattle – with plans to set reduction targets next year.

To develop the standards, McDonald’s reports it worked with ranchers and veterinarians to strike a balance between animal care and responsible antibiotics use that helps preserve effectiveness for both humans and animals.

“We revised our vision for antimicrobial stewardship, which really talks about how antimicrobials should be handled in the future. It defines our three Rs, which is refine, replace and reduce,” said Ernie Meier, McDonald’s director of quality systems, U.S. supply chain management.

According to a statement released last December, McDonald’s will measure current usage of antibiotics across its diverse, global supply chain. Based on the findings, it plans to establish specific reduction targets by the end of next year.

U.S. farmers and ranchers have a jump-start on the effort. Industry-wide practices to improve antibiotics use have paid off, according to the Food and Drug Administration. FDA figures show a 33% decrease from 2016 to 2017 in domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antibiotics used in food animal production.

“McDonald’s has adopted the policies that we have around antimicrobial stewardship because it’s the right thing to do for the animals,” Meier said. “A sick animal has to be treated, and there’s no reason why that animal should not be cared for in a compassionate and humane way. That animal and the meat that animal is going to produce is healthy and safe for human consumption.”

McDonald’s says it remains committed to continued responsible antibiotics use through its policies for beef, dairy beef, chicken and pork.

“Customers want to know and trust what McDonald’s is doing, and so we have a lot of information that’s on our website around sustainability, which includes animal welfare, it includes antimicrobial stewardship,” Meier says.

Source: National Institute for Animal Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.