Cattlemen’s Workshop

Focusing on Calving and Re-breeding.

Monday February13, 2012

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

OSU Klamath Basin Research andExtension Center

3328 Vandenberg Rd.

Klamath Falls, OR

Come Learn from Industry Leaders:

Tess White, Alltech, “Tools for Improving Cow/Calf Health”

Chanda Engel, Oregon State University, “Gestational Management of Beef Cows”

John Herkner, Pfizer

Jason Chamberlain, Wilbur Ellis, “Total Nutrition Management Program”

Please RSVP to Tess White at 541-429-1522 or Chanda Engel at 541-883-7131


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Central Oregon Forage Day Program

Central Oregon Forage Day, Video Downlink

Saturday January 28, 2012

OSU Klamath Basin Research & Extension Center–Research Station Conference Room

Contact: Chanda Engel 541-883-7131

The OSU Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center will be downlinking, through interactive video, the Central Oregon Forage Day program, to be held on Saturday, January 28, 2012.  The program will be held in the conference room at the OSU KBREC Research Station Site (6941 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR).  The program will run from 8:30 am until 4:30pm.  Timely research on Nitrogen Fertilizer application, Annual Grass Weed Control, Pocket Gopher research, and Salt Tolerant Forages are just a sampling of the topics that will be offered.  The Forage Day is sponsored by the Central Oregon Hay Growers’ Association in cooperation with Oregon State University Extension Service.  A $10 registration fee will be collected on site. Please RSVP your plan to attend by calling 541-883-7131. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Chanda Engel at 541-883-7131.  4 Pesticide Re-cert credits have been applied for (2 in the a.m. and 2 in the p.m.)

Program Schedule

8:30      Registration

9:00      Applying the Right Nitrogen Fertilizer– Don Horneck, OSU Extension Service,       Hermiston

9:30      Annual Grass Weed Control in Grass Forage* – Dan Comingore, Wilbur Ellis, Co., Madras

10:00     Fertilizer Update – Don Horneck, OSU Extension Service, Hermiston

10:30     Alfalfa Seeding Rate Effects on Alfalfa Production – Mylen Bohle, OSU Extension Service, Prineville

11:00     Pocket Gopher Control Research* – Steve Orloff, U. of California Farm Advisor, Yreka

11:30     Alfalfa Breeding: Past, Present, and Future* – Tom Miles, Producers Choice Seed, Idaho

12:00     Roundup Ready vs. Conventional Alfalfa Varieties: Results of a Survey and Field Experience* – Steve Orloff, U. of California Farm Advisor, Yreka

12:30     Lunch

1:15        Input Costs and Yield Decisions Using Enterprise Budgets That Include Ecosystems – Bruce Sorte, OSU Extension Service, Hermiston

2:00        Salt Tolerant Forages – Tom Miles, Producers Choice Seed, Idaho

2:30        Break

2:40        Oregon Department of Agriculture Update* – Laurie Gordon, ODA, Bend

3:30        Weed and Pest Control Panel* – Mike Knepp Wilbur Ellis Co (Madras), Scott Simmons, Round Butte Seed Growers (Prineville), Rod Fessler, CHS (Madras)

4:20        Wrap Up

4:30        Adjourn

*4 Pesticide Re-cert credits have been applied for (2 in the a.m. and 2 in the p.m.)

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The Cost of Owning and Operating Farm Machinery

The Costs of Owning and Operating Farm Machinery in the Pacific Northwest 2011  PNW 346

By: Kathleen Painter, Analyst, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Idaho, Moscow

What size of machinery is most economical?
How much machinery is needed for a given acreage
and/or crop mix?
Should machinery be leased, rented, custom-hired, or
Should new or used machinery be purchased?
How long should machinery be kept before it is replaced?

If you have been wondering about any of these questions–you may want to check this publication out.

View entire publication (pdf) with interactive table of contents

View table of contents (pdf)

View the text (pdf)
Ownership costs
Operating costs
Timeliness costs
Total and per-unit-of-work costs and their relationship to machine use
Machinery cost projections
Adjusting costs to fit your situation
Estimating costs for operations involving two or more machines
View Appendix A: Machinery Costs Tables (pdf)
Tillage Equipment
Seeding Equipment
Forage Harvesting Equipment
Crop and Grain Harvesting Equipment
Other Equipment
View Appendix B: Remaining On-Farm Value (RFV) Tables for Tractors and Other Self-propelled Equipment (pdf)
RFV of small tractors
RFV of medium tractors
RFV of large tractors
RFV of grain combines
RFV of skid-steer loaders and all other vehicles
View Appendix C: Machinery Cost Survey Results (pdf)
Tillage Equipment
Seeding Equipment
Forage Harvesting Equipment
Crop and Grain Harvesting Equipment
Other Equipment




© 2011 University of Idaho                                                          Revised 2011
Pacific Northwest extension publications are produced cooperatively by the three Pacific Northwest land-grant universities: Washington State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Idaho. Similar crops, climate, and topography create a natural geographic unit that crosses state lines. Since 1949, the PNW program has published more than 550 titles, preventing duplication of effort, broadening the availability of faculty specialists, and substantially reducing costs for the participating states.Published and distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by University of Idaho Extension, the Oregon State University Extension Service, Washington State University Extension, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

The three participating extension services offer educational programs, activities, and materials without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, as required by state and federal laws. University of Idaho Extension, Oregon State University Extension Service, and Washington State University Extension are Equal Opportunity Employers.

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Supplementation of Heifers on Winter Range:

Protein vs. Energy?
John Paterson, Professor of Animal Science
Montana State University

The cost of energy supplements can be less than that for protein supplements. Which one is better for the productivity of replacement heifers grazing on native range? This past summer with the above average rainfall in Montana, we have seen forage samples that are low in both protein and total digestible nutrients (TDN).  Work from Oregon showed that protein content of native range was higher during years when rainfall was below normal compared to years when rainfall was above normal. This observation suggests that producers need to pay careful attention to meeting the nutrient requirements of cows and especially replacement heifers by investing in a forage analysis.  Dr. Joe Wallace a well respected range nutritionist from New Mexico State University conducted experiments with yearling range heifers to compare the response when supplemented with either a 41% protein supplement vs. a 9% protein-energy supplement. In addition, he wanted to determine how gains and pregnancy rates were affected if he fed the supplements once a week or two to three times per week. He did this knowing that supplementation costs include labor and vehicle costs in distributing the supplements.  The first experiment compared performance of yearling heifers (average initial weight of 470 lbs) fed a cottonseed cake supplement three times per week vs. heifers fed the same supplement once per week.  Heifers supplemented three times per week were fed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while those fed once weekly were fed on Tuesday. This experiment was conducted over two years and in the first year heifers received 7 lbs of cottonseed cake once weekly vs. 2.3 lbs of cottonseed cake three times/week. In the second year, heifers received 10 lbs of cake once a week vs. 3.5 lbs of cake three times per week. The results of these two trials are presented in the following table.

Growth rates were not affected by supplementing heifers once a week vs. three times per week. Fall pregnancy rates did not differ between treatments. The reason that there were lower pregnancy rates in the second year was because many of the heifers had not reached puberty when the trial was conducted. The major finding of this research was that once a week supplementation reduced transportation and labor costs by 60%. The second study was conducted to compare yearling heifer response when fed one of three supplement treatments: 1) cottonseed meal cake fed twice a week at 7 lbs/feeding; 2) a grain cube containing 9% protein fed twice a week at 6.4 lbs/feeding and 3) the same grain cube fed daily at 1.9 lbs/head/day. The results of this 156 day experiment are presented in the following table.

Total gains were much better for heifers fed the protein supplement twice weekly (80 lbs of gain) compared to heifers fed the 9% protein grain-cube twice weekly (lost 59 lbs) or fed the cube daily (gained 22 lbs). The most interesting results were that source of supplement had a dramatic effect on first service conception rates. While all the heifers fed protein supplement conceived during the first 21 days, only 59% of the heifers fed grain cube twice weekly conceived during the first 21 days. The heifers which were fed grain daily were intermediate (81%). Overall pregnancy rates for heifers fed protein or energy supplements twice weekly were not different, but were significantly higher than heifers fed the grain supplement twice weekly. Summary. The results of these two experiments showed that reproduction of heifers fed protein once per week were similar to heifers fed protein three times a week. However, when fed a grain cube twice weekly, first service and overall pregnancy rates were poorer that feeding the grain cake daily. First service conception rates favored (significant difference; P<0.05) protein supplementation (41% protein) rather than grain cake (9% protein).

Questions?  Give John a call at 406.994.5562 or email at

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UpComing Program: 2011 Beef Industry Tour

New Concepts and Sustainable Approaches on Reproductive Management and Genetics of Beef Cattle

Wednesday, December 7  2011


4:00 – 4:30 pm Basic Concepts on Cattle Reproduction and Genetic Management Tim Deboodt – Oregon State University, Crook County Extension
4:30 – 5:00 pm Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Reproduction in Beef Females David Bohnert – Oregon State University, EOARC – Burns
5:00 – 5:30 pm Temperament and its Effects on Production and Reproduction in Beef Cattle Reinaldo Cooke – Oregon State University, EOARC – Burns
5:30 – 6:00 pm Break Refreshments Provided

6:00 – 6:45 pm Implementing Reproductive Technologies into Beef Cattle Operations Tom Geary – USDA Agricultural Research Service, Miles City, MT

6:45 – 7:30 pm Improving EPD Accuracy by Combining EPD Info with DNA Test Results Alison Van Eenennaam – University of California, Animal Sciences – Davis

Schedule and Location

Wednesday, December 7  2011

Klamath County Extension Office

3328 Vandenberg Road, Klamath Falls, OR

(Presenters will not be on site, this will be an interactive downlink)

There will be a $5 registration fee/person,  pre-registration is highly recommended.

The Beef Industry Tour is being partially funded by the Western SARE.

For more information and pre-registration, please contact Chanda Engel at the OSU KREC 541-883-7131


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Prevent Hay Fires

Given the cost/value of hay, the crazy weather conditions this year and the incidence of a few local hay stack fires in the past couple of months, I thought this brief article from ehay weekly was worth re-posting.

Follow This Advice To Prevent Hay Fires

With this year’s wet conditions in many parts of the country, growers need to be vigilant for signs of hay overheating, which can lead to fire, says J.W. Schroeder, dairy specialist with North Dakota State University Extension. He recommends these steps to minimize the risk:

  • Check hay regularly. “If you detect a slight caramel odor or distinct musty smell, chances are your hay is heating,” says Schroeder. “At this point, checking the moisture is too late; you’ll need to keep monitoring the hay’s temperature.”
  • If you suspect hay is heating, insert a simple probe into the haystack to monitor the temperature. You can make a probe from a 10′ piece of pipe or electrical tubing. Sharpen one end of the pipe or screw a pointed dowel to one end, then drill several ¼”-diameter holes in the tube just above the dowel. Drive the probe into the haystack and lower a thermometer on a string into the probe. Probe several parts of the stack and leave the thermometer in place for 10 minutes at each site.
  • Before surveying the tops of stacks, place long planks on top of the hay – don’t walk on the hay mass. Always attach a safety line to yourself and have another person on the other end in a safe location to pull you out should the hay surface collapse into what likely is a fire pocket.
  • Use extreme caution when fighting a fire in hay that’s been treated with preservatives containing ethoxyquin and butylated hydroxytoluene. They can produce deadly hydrogen cyanide gas at about 240 degrees F (115 degrees C).

    If you suspect a fire could develop, spread bales in an area away from other feeds and buildings. Temperatures above 175 degrees in hay mean a fire is imminent. The smell or sight of smoke means a fire is burning somewhere in the hay. “In any of these cases, call the fire department immediately,” Schroeder advises. “Do not move any of the hay. This would expose the overheated or smoldering hay to oxygen and may result in a fire raging out of control.”

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Reduce Winter Hay Needs By 33%

I came across this article this morning.  Hay supply is tight and demand is high, all over the country right now.  Making adjustments to some management and feeding practices can help reduce the costs and losses associated with feeding hay and help improve the bottom line–Some thought provoking ideas for all beef producers to ruminate on.  Check out the tips from an article by Wes Ishmael!

Reduce Winter Hay Needs By 33%

Aug 26, 2011 7:00 AM, By Wes Ishmael, BEEF Contributing Editor

Drought or not, proven strategies can reduce winter hay needs by almost a third.

Hay supplies were already going to be short this year, as folks with tillable ground swapped more acres for corn and other row crops. Then came the historic drought in the Southern Plains and Southwest that engulfed at least 25% of the nation’s beef cowherd. The mass exodus of cows from the Southern Plains this summer may be followed by a second sell-off this fall if opportunities for fall forage evaporate, too. “Many Southwestern cattle ranchers have totally run out of options and the hay situation through the mid-section of the U.S. has become colossal,” say analysts with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). “Hay brokers from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are beating the bushes as far as 1,000 miles away in search of any quality of bales to fill needs in parched areas. Delivered alfalfa has been quoted up to $300/ton,” they say. So, whether or not you run cows in the drought areas, you’re impacted by it, but there are ways to reduce the impact.

Decrease hay needs We can reduce winter hay needs by almost a third by using two of these three strategies: feed an ionophore, limit-feed hay and reduce hay waste,” says David Lalman, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension beef cattle specialist.

• Feed an ionophore. In a recent OSU study, cows receiving common prairie hay and 2.0 lbs./day of supplement (30% crude protein) with 200 mg/day of Rumensin® – the only ionophore labeled for use in breeding cows – gained 30 lbs. That’s about a half of one body condition score (BCS) over 58 days. The cost of feeding the ionophore was 2¢/day. In previous research, Lalman says Rumensin in cow rations reduced feed intake by about 10% without affecting performance. “In Texas, we’re looking at about $3/day to keep a cow,” says Ron Gill, Texas AgriLife Service Extension beef cattle specialist. “Rumensin will improve feed efficiency by 10-15%. With the cost of rations today, it sure wouldn’t hurt to include it.”

• Limit-feeding hay. Upfront, Lalman explains limit-feeding isn’t a viable option for producers already facing the double whammy of thin cows and no forage, nor is it for older cows and heifers. For producers with cows of a BCS of at least 4-5, though, limit-feeding hay offers similar benefits associated with limit-feeding other rations to other classes of stock. It improves feed efficiency, increases digestibility and decreases waste. Based on previous research, Lalman says giving cows access to hay for 6 hours/day – by fencing off hay feeders for example – rather than unlimited access, reduces intake by 20-25%. If access can’t be restricted, Lalman suggests estimating the amount of hay cows require daily and then reducing it by 25%. Across 85-90 days, Lalman says research indicates that cows limit-fed hay will gain less. If it’s a viable option, though, Lalman emphasizes the strategy means the opportunity to reduce hay needs by 25%.

• Reduce hay waste. Though Lalman is quick to point out that any type of hay feeder is more efficient than using none at all, the fact is that different types of the common bale ring feeders yield dramatically different levels of waste. For instance, an open-bottom bale ring – no sheeting around the bottom – means about 21% of the hay put into it is wasted, according to OSU research. “Losing 21% of prairie hay that costs $150/ton gets expensive,” Lalman says. Compare that to bale rings with a cone insert. Waste associated with those are about 5%. Just adding sheeting to the bottom of an open-bottom bale ring reduces waste from 21% to about 13%, Lalman says. Bottom line, by using two of these three strategies, Lalman explains, “I’m confident we can get up to about 30% savings in hay.” That’s before considering other basics and options that often sit on the shelf until necessity demands reconsideration.

Know, don’t guess “If there was ever a year to test hay and other feeds, this is it,” says Dale Blasi, Kansas State University Extension beef cattle specialist. Blasi suggests taking a composite sample of 10% of the large round bales from the same field – four cores/bale. He says to sample hay separately if it comes from obviously different parts of the field. Knowing the hay’s specific nutritional allows producers to build supplements more precisely and economically, Blasi says.

Likewise, Blasi suggests segregating cows and heifers based on nutritional need and matching them to the quality of feed available. For instance, he explains, “Feeding cows according to BCS is always a good idea. It takes more management, but segregation allows you to be more precise in meeting the nutritional needs of the cows, which gives you the opportunity to do so at less cost.” Alternative feeds are worth considering, too, Blasi says. In his neck of the woods, folks are looking hard at things like ammoniated wheat straw and drought-damaged corn silage, in addition to standbys like distillers grains. “Take a good inventory of what you have. Be realistic about what you’re going to have and account for waste,” Blasi says. “You could argue that with the number of cows liquidated this summer, there will be more feed available this fall. But my concern is what the winter is going to be like.”

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ReadyAG—Disaster and Defense Preparedness for Production Agriculture

Are you Ready Ag?
Fire, flood, feed contamination, foot-and-mouth disease. Farm and ranch disasters can come without warning. Is your crop, livestock or poultry operation secure? Is it biosecure?
A team of Extension professionals from across the US came together to develop an educational tool to assist farm and ranch managers become better prepared for any disaster The tool is called ReadyAG—Disaster and Defense Preparedness for Production Agriculture.
Before disaster strikes, ReadyAG can help farmers and ranchers plan and prepare to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all types of damaging incidents. ReadyAG is designed to help identify vulnerabilities and prioritize actions to make agricultural operations more resilient and sustainable in the face of adversity.
ReadyAG begins with a general preparedness assessment then has commodity-specific sections including cattle, crops, dairy, fruit and vegetable, swine, and poultry. The assessments can be filled out online and will automatically populate a customized action plan to address items identified as vulnerabilities with a high priority to mitigate.
Farmers and ranchers who access the ReadyAG workbook will be encouraged to take the following steps:

  • ·        Identify vulnerable areas of production and management
  • ·        Prioritize areas to strengthen
  • ·        Create an action plan specific for an operation
  • ·        Develop an accurate inventory of assets
  • ·        Identify and engage local critical services
  • ·        Find additional helpful resources

The ReadyAG workbook can be found at
The project was funded by a USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) Special Needs project. Extension faculty and staff from Cornell University, Oklahoma State University, Rutgers—the State University of New Jersey, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Vermont, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Maryland contributed to the development of the ReadyAG assessment.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. More information is available at: <> .

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Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle

This is a great symposium for producers interested in beef cattle reproduction, the cost is $175.  You can register online and access the full program schedule at the link posted above.

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Prime Cuts: What Does “Sustainable” Ranching Really Mean?

I found this article interesting, as the word sustainable has been grating on me lately.  I couldn’t really put my finger on the cause until reading this article.  I finally realized, it is the lack of a sound definition that means the same to everyone—when we hear the word “sustainable” we all have a specific image in our minds, but probably not the same image.  So check out this Re-posted from the Prime Cuts Newsletter produced by MSU Beef Cattle Specialist  John Paterson.

What Does “Sustainable” Ranching Really Mean?

This past week I have listened to presentations from individuals who are trying to define what “sustainable” agriculture involves.

I believe if consumers would ask fourth generation producers, they would learn what it means to manage a sustainable ranch.


One of the people that I have always respected in agriculture is Dr. Gary Smith, formerly an Endowed Professor of Meat Science at Colorado State University.  Dr. Smith through his weekly blog, “Where Food Comes From” ( provides various definitions of what agricultural sustainability entails.

“Sustain”, “sustainable” and “sustainability” have no clear meaning when used singularly. Dictionary definitions include: (1) “sustain”, as a verb, means: (a) to provide with nourishment, (b) to keep going, (c) to hold up, (d) to hold up under, (e) to maintain, (f) to keep in existence, (g) to suffer, (h) to prolong, (i) to support as true, legal or valid, or (j) to prove or corroborate; (2) addition of the suffix “-able” (i.e., “sustainable”) makes it an adjective; and (3) addition of the suffix “-ability” (i.e., “sustainability”) makes it a noun. Used singularly, the term “sustainability” means “the ability to do something,” where something is any of the items in 1(a) through 1(j) above.

In the past five years, the most common usage of “sustainable” and “sustainability” has been in the context of (1) agricultural production practices (e.g., depletion of stored energy and water resources, level of risk to public health, inhumane treatment of animals, unfair treatment of farm workers); (2) the environment (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, human actions causing climate change and global warming, carbon footprints); and (3) food security (i.e., supplying enough food for a larger human population).


Definitions of “sustainability” over the past four years include: (1) The management of animal agriculture so it can be maintained indefinitely (Pew Commission, 2008);(2) Because farmers/ranchers have historically wanted to keep their farms/ranches going, they believe sustainability depends on considerations of economics, environmental stewardship and societal ramifications (Dave Daley, California State University-Chico, 2008); (3) The idea that there are alternatives to exploiting the natural resources without regard for the consequences (TIME magazine, 2009); (4) Sustainable food is good, clean, fair, good for you and the environment, and produced without harm (Culinology, 2009); (5) Natural, local, low carbon, clean energy and climate-saving (PORK magazine, 2009); (6) Eating foods that will help me lead a life that is good for my body and the environment (Strategy One, 2009); (7) The food industry’s current approach to sustainability is to balance environmental, economic and social considerations throughout the supply chain (Institute of Food Technologists, 2009); (8) Animal agriculture’s large-scale structure (fewer but larger operations) has benefited sustainability because of increased productivity using far less labor, land and natural resources (James MacDonald, ERS-USDA, 2009); (9) The Worldwide Sustainability Product Index encompasses – as aspects of sustainable product production – energy and climate, natural resources, material efficiency, as well as people and community (Wal•Mart, Inc., 2009). (10) Sustainable farming is a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances the rural communities (Prepared Foods, 2010); (11) Sustainable beef is environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and economically viable (Global Roundtable For Sustainable Beef, 2011); and (12) To convince consumers that our products are environmentally friendly, we will assume corporate responsibility for assuring that all agricultural raw materials and packaging materials must come from sustainable sources produced with low greenhouse gas emissions and not produced on land from a deforested area (McDonalds Inc., 2011).

Lynn Kurtz (Food Product Design, 2009) reported “In food and agriculture, the organic movement seems to have co-opted the message, with an ‘if it’s not organic, it’s not sustainable’ assertion despite the argument by many that organic agriculture alone is not sustainable because it doesn’t meet our present needs and may not fulfill those of the future in terms of food production and economics.” Kurtz further stated that “The latest buzz is about sustainability in consumer goods. As consumers become more educated about the environmental, social and economic implications of food and beverage choices, their health and wellness motivations dovetail with larger societal concerns. A close relationship develops between sustainability and emerging definitions of food quality, as consumers use sustainable attributes to infer food quality, and food quality to infer sustainability.”


Liz Sloan (Food Technology, 2009) reviewed nine consumer surveys and reported that: (a) 54 to 82% of shoppers say they consider “sustainability” in making food-buying decisions but the majority said the term was nebulous and they really didn’t know what the term means; and (b) when asked what they think “sustainability” means, their responses included natural, green, organic, locally grown, humanely treated, climate saving, environmentally friendly, small carbon footprint, energy-saving, free range, fair trade, fair worker treatment, socially responsible and corporate responsibility. Prepared Foods (2010) reported that nearly 70% of US consumers consider sustainability when choosing food products at the grocery store, and that “sustainability”, to most, translates as green, fair and ethical food production.

So, what does “sustainability” mean? I’m not sure. To a large extent, the definition of the term has been wordsmithed so much by those who wanted to use it to promote a cause, defend a position or sell a product that it has no unique or singular meaning. If I had to choose one, I favor that of the United Nations (2009) – “Sustainability involves a combination of economic, social and environmental factors to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Thanks Dr. Smith.

Questions?  email at

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