Snapshot of rancher perspectives on creative cattle management options

TitleSnapshot of rancher perspectives on creative cattle management options
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsElias EH, Aney S, Duff G., Gifford C, Spiegal S., Cibils AF, Steiner J, Estell RE
Date Published11/2020
ARIS Log Number375559
KeywordsBeef production, climate change, Heritage cattle, precipitation, Precision livestock farming, Supply chain

A major challenge to successful management of livestock production in the western United States (U.S.) is coping with the extremely variable weather that dramatically affects forage availability. In addition, temperatures have already increased across the western U.S. and will continue to do so, creating even more challenging environmental conditions for future cattle production in the semi-arid and arid west . The Sustainable Southwest Beef project is a new Coordinated Agricultural Project led by New Mexico State University poised to identify viable options for arid lands ranchers and the U.S. beef industry as environmental challenges continue. The 5-year project is being conducted by a diverse team of nearly 30 research, education and extension specialists, focusing on three creative management strategies: precision ranching, heritage breeds and alternative supply chain options. A group of ranchers from the western U.S. advises the team (Figure 1). The Sustainable Southwest Beef team introduced the project to roughly 125 ranchers, feedlot operators and others connected to the beef cattle industry at the 2020 Southwest Beef Symposium in Amarillo, Texas and collected initial rancher perceptions of the three creative management strategies.