TSCRA member Donnell Brown, rancher from Throckmorton, and TSCRA Director Jason Peeler, feedlot owner, San Antonio, participated in a panel discussion Thursday in Austin covering topics concerning animal welfare, consumer choice and their perception of beef production. The panel included a wide range of beef producers from both large and small operations, as well as representatives from feedlots, higher education and animal handling and welfare organizations.
Hosted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and the Texas Farm Bureau, Food Dialogue events are designed to bring together farmers, ranchers, industry experts and consumers for discussions on some of today’s most pressing topics related to food and food production.
Participants included Betsy Ross, Ross Grassfed Beef and CEO of Sustainable Growth Texas; Dr. Ron Gill, professor and Texas AgriLife Extension livestock specialist at Texas A&M University; Adele Douglass, Humane Farm Animal Care; and Chad Lemke, McCollum-Lemke Ranches, Mason. Evan Smith, editor in chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune moderated the forum.
Thursday’s discussion centered on the concept of humane animal treatment and how it has become an important factor in the consumer perception of food safety and quality. The panelists all agreed that humane animal treatment is an integral step in providing a safe product to consumers, no matter the size or method of the operation. Some suggestions that came out of the discussion focused on the reinforcement of education and training of everyone involved in beef production, increasing production transparency to consumers and educating consumers to dispel false perceptions regarding the safe, quality product ranchers are providing.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) consists of more than 80 farmer – and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.