There are 26 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Environmental footprint".
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We’ve all been there: you’re at the grocery store searching for the perfect-sized, unbruised apple when your arm accidentally knocks an apple onto the floor. What happens to that apple, or the other bruised apples no one buys? Or the bread, eggs or dairy products that are beyond their sell-by date? Unfortunately, a lot are wasted, but more efforts are underway to curb food loss.
In advance of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) happening on Thursday, Elanco Animal Health and Agri-Pulse brought together livestock industry leaders, producers and government officials through a virtual forum last week to catalyze action and encourage stakeholder engagement with the livestock industry value chain and the private sector. As I listened, I heard the comments as a call to action for the private sector, and the feed industry in particular, to provide and account for the environmental and economic value of the solutions we provide in our livestock and poultry feed.
Have you ever walked through your plant on a weekend when no one was there and no production was happening? What did you see and hear? If you were lucky, you will be like the monkey and “see no evil, hear no evil.” But more than likely, you probably heard the low hiss of air leaks and saw evidence of steam leaks and steam trap malfunctions. Have you ever stopped to think about how much this “evil” could be costing your plant in wasted energy?
Have you ever been off-roading? My first experience engaging in this sport was when my brother and his family invited me to join them off-roading some of the more difficult trails in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina. Obviously, it wasn’t going to be easy, but at the end of the day, I learned the advantages of knowing when to “slam on the brakes” and push down hard on the “skinny pedal.” It was worth the effort.
At the Institute for Feed Education and Research, we’re actively working to launch the Sustainability Road Map project. Sustainability is something so embedded in agriculture, it almost seems unimportant to spend so much time and energy addressing the issue. I’ve been in agriculture all my life and have witnessed the huge strides made in all facets to produce more with less, while preserving our land and resources for the next generation. In the feed business, we all agree with the concept, but how do we show others we can back-up our sustainability claims?
The issue of sustainability is constantly evolving and fast moving, and the American Feed Industry Association’s organizational response and approach has been changing with it!
We have all seen the headlines and had the conversations at our children’s sports games, the county fair or church regarding agriculture and saving the planet.
“Sarah, you work in agriculture, right? I was thinking about eating less meat to save the planet – what do you think?”
Feed production is a significant contributor to animal protein’s carbon footprint, and retailer and
consumer pressures place greater demands on suppliers to explain where products come from
and how they are produced. In the 2021 Food and Health Survey, 42% of consumers believed
individual food and beverage choices have a moderate or significant impact on the
environment and 53% said it would have a greater influence on decision making if the impact
was easier to understand.
“Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 deaths per year, study finds.” It’s a catchy newspaper title reminiscent of a study from 2019 noting, “Corn pollution kills thousands of Americans a year, study finds.” These headlines surely grab your attention, but they don’t necessarily advance your understanding of the industry. Studies of this nature require models, models require a lot of assumptions, and model output and findings are only as good as the input.
It is an honor to begin my new role as chair of the American Feed Industry Association Board of Directors. The opportunity to serve in this position is both exciting and humbling.
Although I was raised in northern Indiana, my early years did not provide me with an awareness of the feed industry. Driving through soybean fields, eating sweet corn from roadside stands and the yearly visit to the “you-pick” strawberry patch was the limit of my exposure to the agricultural industry. My introduction ended up being through a random conversation leading to an entry-level job opportunity with a local agricultural equipment manufacturer, Laidig Systems, Inc. in Mishawaka, Ind. Over 40 years later, it is difficult to imagine serving a more rewarding industry.
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