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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™   blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active! Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time.  Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come! Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal

Sustainability: What Does the Data Say About the Beef Industry

Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson
National Cattlemen's Beef Association

Sustainability is now seen as responsibility. Sustainability is now continuous improvement.
Sustainability is about feeding people; doing more with less.

Zero impact is not possible. Start the conversation with this point.

Over the last 6 years, we have improved sustainability by 5%. How is this possible when we weren't even thinking about sustainability 6 years ago? Any technology improvement we have implemented has improved sustainability. Stackhouse-Lawson's father-in-law thought her sustainability research project was a complete waste of Beef checkoff dollars to define a word, sustainability, that outsiders created. When she thanked him for helping her project, he was completely taken aback. She then explained that the new sprinkler system he had installed improved the sustainability of his operation.

To meet the growing demand for beef by meeting environmental, economic and social concerns.

Food waste is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all of beef production.

Since 2005 emissions to water have been reduced by 10%. Consumers love this improvement.

Since 2005 beef production has reduced its water use by 3%.

Since 2005 there has been a 32% reduction in occupational accidents and illness.

Sustainability is a great opportunity for beef producers. We have a great story to tell.

  • Sustainability research has several benefits
  • Tell our story
  • Good science leads to a baseline
  • Supply chain focus in the right areas, e.g. food waste, for improvement

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. We have multiple generation operations. This is sustainability!

Decker's Take Home Message:
By focusing on profit and new technologies, we can improve sustainability of our cattle operations. Breeding objectives and economic selection indexes help our operations be focused on profit, an important component of sustainability. Are you accepting of new technologies? 


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