The business of raising beef with welfare in the forefront


  • Tera R. Barnhardt Animal Welfare Consulting & Research, LLC Johnson, KS 67855



cattle handling, animal welfare, consumer demand


Understanding consumer expectations of animal welfare and social responsibility can seem like a topic too broad for our producers to focus on while engrossed in the day-to-day opera­tions of farms. However, it’s paramount that producers under­stand that our consumers extend us a social license to operate our farms when displaying confidence in purchasing our prod­ucts. Furthermore, producers have a social responsibility to protect the brands of our largest consumers because they are often built on a specific beef product. Think about your favorite place to order a burger. They are very in tune with what their consumers’ preferences are and they purchase a lot of ground beef. We have a responsibility to this organization to protect their interest in the beef industry if we want them to continue purchasing beef raised and processed in the United States. If we are unable to do that, they will undoubtedly find an alterna­tive product, either through development or marketing, that the consumer will demand. With this responsibility in mind, veterinarians can work with producers on continuous improve­ment of animal welfare practices in order to maintain that con­fidence from consumers.