Cattle Producers Must Take Part in Sustainability Conversation


U.S. beef cattle production has been a longtime scapegoat for global climate change. Environmental and animal rights extremist groups latched onto the idea that animal agriculture – especially cattle production, is a primary producer of harmful greenhouse gasses. Today, the world is beginning to know what cattle producers have known for decades: cattle production is not the climate-killer radical groups have made it out to be.

Kansas cattlewoman and chairman-elect for the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Debbie Lyons-Blythe, says she was hesitant herself to join the Roundtable. She says she believes representing the cattle industry at the Roundtable is the right thing to do but appreciates cattle producers who do not support engagement from the industry with this group.

“To some of the naysayers that are upset with me for being involved with the Roundtable, I will tell them they are not 100 percent wrong. There are a lot of organizations and groups that are very much against farming and ranching, who are throwing around the word ‘sustainability.’ That does not mean (sustainability) is not coming. We are definitely going to be forced to address this issue.”

She feels that by being directly involved in the discussion she is making sure the conversation includes and takes into consideration sustainability at the farm and ranch level.

“If we do not get involved today, we are going to have regulations (enforced) on us. If we can show today, that by having, for example, a grazing-management plan, we are sequestering carbon and already addressing those issues, that their addressing within different accords. So, we feel like that it’s very important, that as farmers and ranchers, we’re directly involved with this organization.”

At this stage in achieving climate neutrality, she said she is proud of the progress USRSB has achieved.

Lyons-Blythe will become Chairman of the Round Table at end of their annual meeting being held in Charleston, South Carolina, at the end of April.