Teton Talks: Steps to Combat The Beef Industry Impact
There are many concerns about the growing environmental impact of American farmlands. The British medical journal, The Lancet, recently published a report compiled by a group of 30 scientists from around the world who study nutrition and food policy. In relation to America’s farmlands, the report’s authors made note of the different side effects of food production including; greenhouse gases, water and crop use, nitrogen, phosphorus from fertilizers, and the potential for biodiversity to take a hit. The authors state, “by managing all these factors…climate change-inducing gases could be reduced and enough land could be reserved to feed the world’s growing population.” (National Geographic, 2019). By reducing the use of gases through machinery like tractors, eliminating nitrogen, and taking other actions, American ranchers can turn these statistics around. Before you are convinced to go vegan and leave your love of beef behind, it is possible that the industry can adjust their standards in order to make a change. At Teton Waters Ranch, we strive to always be ahead of the industry, supporting practices that are in place to make a positive impact on the environment. Continue reading to learn about our agriculture practices and what Teton Waters Ranch’s partnered ranches do on their land.
With growing concerns of the industry’s carbon emissions, it is important to face the facts. “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of U.S. GHG emissions in 2017 were 28% electricity production, 28% transportation and 22% industry.” Animal agriculture represented 3.9% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. (Washington Post, 2017). As a participant of the beef industry, it is our duty to take action, address the problem and make a difference. Since founded in 2009, Teton Waters Ranch has only partnered with ranches that share our line of vision and morals. Amongst our beliefs is raising our cattle to be 100% grass-fed and finished, allowing them to graze as nature intended, without ever being confined to a feedlot.
New research has shown that properly managed grass-fed cattle are actually sequestering carbon versus emitting it. You may be wondering what exactly that means. Carbon sequestration is the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it back into the earth. The cattle do so with the support of regenerative agriculture
practices, by stomping on their own manure, and physically pushing carbon into the soil they increase soil health, improve water retention and promote biodiversity all at the same time. While discussing Regenerative Agriculture Jason Rowntree, Associate Professor at Michigan State University points out. “It can restore degraded land, something that can have benefits for future uses and generations. It also does what has made cattle a mainstay of human civilization. It converts grass to milk and beef by letting cattle do what cattle do best: graze.” In fact, this agricultural process can even have a “negative carbon footprint,” (Washington Post, 2017).
From minimizing food waste to plastic use, there are many ways to make your own contribution to help combat growing concerns of climate change and carbon emissions. Teton Waters Ranch is consistently making strides to help combat the industry’s reputation and negative contribution to the environment. By raising our cattle in a responsible way, we are here to tell our story and hope that our consumers listen and in response, purchase 100% grass-fed and finished beef. If we work together, It is possible to make a difference one step at a time.