The COVID-19 situation is stressful for all involved, including cattle producers, packing plants, distributors, retailers and consumers.
Dan Schaefer, emeritus professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, is an expert in beef production systems, meat quality and rumen microbiology. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been discussing U.S. beef cattle production systems, including industry organization, economics and cattle biology. He taught the department’s beef cattle production course from 1981 to 2019. He says that in that span of time, consumers never needed to be concerned about their supply of food. Instead, nuances came to the forefront, such as antibiotics, grass-fed, organic, local, and cell-cultured meat. Now, however, the nation’s industry is challenged to keep its doors open for business.