The world population is expected to reach between 9 and 10 billion people by 2050. Additionally, rising incomes and increasing urbanization is expected to substantially increase global demand for animal protein (meat, milk, eggs, and fish) in the coming decades. Simultaneous to increasing animal protein demand, the productivity of animal agriculture will likely be constrained by climate change and variability, and the availability of natural resources (e.g. water). Additionally, there is increasing interest, in the United States and globally, in the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of animal agriculture. In the face of this challenging situation, our sustainability research is concerned with meeting the food security and sustainability needs of the coming decades.
Dr. Ryan Reuter
My research focuses on evaluating new technologies to improve the sustainability of beef grazing systems. We conduct experiments in both wheat pasture and warm-season perennial grass grazing systems to test new delivery systems of supplemental nutrients and compounds. We also develop and evaluate sensors, equipment, and devices that enable precision management of grazing cattle. We can monitor greenhouse gas emissions of grazing cattle using our GreenFeed equipment. The overall goal is to create a win-win for both ranchers and consumers by increasing the efficiency of beef production on grazing lands while simultaneously reducing beef production’s carbon footprint and impact on the environment. We plan to achieve this through technology-enabled precision management.
Dr. Blake Wilson
I feel that the use of efficiency-improving and growth promoting technologies in beef production are vital to the success of the industry. As a result, I plan to continue to research the use of these technologies across all stages of beef production and expand upon this line of research to investigate the impact of the use of technologies on the sustainability of beef production and animal welfare over the lifetime of the animal. I would also to investigate the stacking or additive effect of the use of production technologies to find out the impact of utilizing technologies at each stage of production.