Concurrent Session III: Sustainability From Pasture to Plate

Concurrent Session Sponsored by:

Sustainability encompasses a vast array of interconnected elements spanning the three pillars of environmental, social and economic sustainability. Hear the latest updates on topics from environmental impacts, animal welfare and care-taker well being to sustainable packing impacts on meat performance. Balancing sustainability from pasture to plate is essential for the viability of the industry into the future.


Environmental Sustainability Speaker: Sara Place, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Colorado State University

Environmental impacts along the livestock supply chain are a key component of the sustainable production of animal source foods. Additionally, livestock can be affected by the environment, for example through thermal stress. This presentation will focus on the environmental impacts of livestock production systems, including greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water use. Additionally, the impacts of climatic change on livestock production will be briefly addressed.

The Interface Between Caretaker and Animal Well-being as a Critical Component of Sustainability
Speaker: Lily Edwards Callaway, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Colorado State University 

Promoting animal health and welfare, as well as the well-being of people and the community, is essential to sustainable beef production systems. There is an inextricable link between animal welfare and caretaker behavior – the actions, knowledge and attitudes of caretakers can both positively and negatively impact welfare and productivity outcomes in production animals.  Additionally, poor animal welfare conditions and certain challenging management strategies (e.g., euthanasia) can cause job-related stress leading to both job dissatisfaction and mental health impacts for caretakers. Understanding caretaker perspectives is essential to evaluating current animal care practices with the intention of making improvements for both the animals and the individuals that care for them. To have a truly robust approach to advancing sustainability within productions systems, attention to animal welfare and caretaker well-being needs to be equitably addressed within program frameworks.


Performance and Sustainability of Beef Packaging in the Retail Supply Chain
Speaker: Keith Vorst, Ph.D., Director of the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium, Iowa State University

Increasing pressure from consumers and regulators to provide more sustainable options is no longer a trend and is now considered a normal business practice. The beef industry will feel the impact of this regulatory and consumer pressure to provide more sustainable practices, including packaging. This research includes a meta-analysis of beef packaging to provide a framework utilizing LCA models to identify sustainable packaging systems with short and long-term strategies to improve sustainability across the supply chain.