After a bit of a delay I’m happy to report I’ve gotten through Course No. 5 on environmental stewardship and beef cattle production. This section covered common misconceptions and consumer concerns about global warming, sustainability and erosion as well as facts about wildlife habitats, efficiency of land use, regulations, and more.

The assignment questions encourage you to put into your own words why protecting the environment and conserving resources is important to you, how you minimize your operation’s impact on the environment and why you are proud to be an environmental steward.

The homework involved talking to a local teacher which was easily accomplished via e-mail. I spoke with a suburban high school environmental science teacher who seeks out many avenues of information for his students and is open to the idea of having folks from the meat industry come in and talk about livestock production and the environment.

My key take home points are easy enough to remember and included:

  • Cattle producers have a deep respect for the land.
  • Grazing animals in the U.S. more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food.
  • Animal agriculture contributes minimally to the production of total greenhouse gases in the U.S.
  • America’s beef producers are producing more pounds of beef with fewer resources than at any time in history.

One more course and I’m finished with the program. Course 6 will describe the Beef Checkoff, its programs and how it works.

The only thing I’m disappointed in is that on April 8, there will be an MBA Commencement and Training event in Kansas, but I’ll be at the Academy of Veterinary Consultants meeting that day. So, I’ll just have to wait for one of the other commencement days after I finish Course 6 so I can say I have a Masters of Beef Advocacy!