Dan Severson on the Livestock Industry

The class was given a guest lecture on the livestock industry in Delaware and the U.S. Currently, Beef has the highest consumption per capita and 6 million dollars in sales, with cow and calf production, feedlots, stockers, etc. Hogs are in second place, with 2 million dollars in worth, with farrow to finish, where pigs are grown to their harvest weight and slaughtered. Sheep raised are worth 178,000 dollars, normally raised in backyard operations for their wool, hair, and goats are worth 81,000 dollars from direct markets, etc. Dairy cows are worth over 16 million dollars through milk, ice cream, and conventional farming practices. Livestock that is less popular but still used in the U.S. includes bees, bison, alpacas, llamas, rabbits, deer and many more. An important part of the livestock industry is marketing. By knowing the farmer that is raising your meat products and buying local, consumers can get the best quality meats they desire. The topic of organics and farm to table agriculture has become much more popular in recent years because consumers want the healthiest meats they can find, and ways to market can include grass-fed beef that is all-natural with no GMO’s. The future of this industry is to be considered as well. Technology in robotics is improving every day, which makes cultivating these animals much easier for farmers. A problem that is currently being faced is next-generation farming. The livestock and other family-owned farming operations are beginning to die because earlier generations are passing away, while the newer ones are looking elsewhere for work. Climate change is a worry too. Farmers are going to have to provide for a larger population on smaller areas of land when considering the best steps they can take to protect the environment. According to this lecture, the livestock industry has a very labor-intensive workforce that is in need of people to help improve this industry and its productions. Humans need meat after all!

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