We Love Our Meat AND Potatoes
Monday, June 20, 2016
When it comes to agriculture, we love all of it. Meat and potatoes, corn and soybeans, apples and oranges.
So when a tweet from a Bayer Crop Science account suggesting we could reduce our carbon footprint by eating less meat we were a bit surprised. In short, we made a mistake and we're sorry.
We know many of you were upset, too. And we understand why.
Know this: it does not reflect our feelings or our commitment to growers, farmers and ranchers of all kinds. The fact is Bayer is committed to agriculture, representing both the crop and animal health aspects of the industry.
Livestock production is a key part of agriculture — and our business at Bayer. Ranchers and farmers that provide feed for them are our customers, friends, family and even employees. For more than a century, our animal health division has established itself as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of veterinary products used for treating disease, preventing disease and improving the quality of life for cattle, swine and poultry.
We have nothing but respect and admiration for the livestock producers who dedicate their lives to agriculture. As stewards of the land and animals, we see producers every day survive on back-breaking hard work, dedication and guts, all while working to conserve and protect the natural resources they rely on. It’s not just what producers do; it’s who they are. As our friends at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association note on their FactsAboutBeef.com website, “Improving the sustainability of beef is of the utmost importance to the cattlemen and women who are working to ensure the longevity of the industry and are committed to continually improve how beef is responsibly raised.”
In reality, livestock actually has a shrinking environmental footprint. For example, the carbon footprint for beef was reduced by more than 16 percent from 1977 to 2007. And compared to 1944, U.S. dairy producers have reduced the carbon footprint per gallon of milk by 63 percent, using 77 percent less feed, 90 percent less land and 65 percent less water. We’ve also seen improvements in crop yields, machinery, irrigation, fertilizer management and animal nutrition that have improved on-farm sustainability. These are facts we must share and you can find more at www.factsaboutbeef.com and www.beefresearch.org/beefsustainabilityresearch.aspx.
At the end of the day, it will take all of us, including both crops and livestock, to feed a growing population, expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Bayer through both its Crop Science and Animal Health divisions, is committed to working together with farmers and producers to step up to this challenge.