MU College of Agriculture Announces "Quality Beef by the Numbers" Project

6 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, August 30 2012 Aug 30, 2012 Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:26:00 AM CDT August 30, 2012 in News
By: Elise Oggioni
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COLUMBIA - MU's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources announced a new project Thursday morning that hopes to boost the amount of high-beef produced in the state of Missouri. The project is called "Quality Beef by the Numbers" and is a joint effort by CAFNR and at least six Midwest beef producers and feeders. The project hopes to boost the amount of high-quality beef produced that grade either "choice" or "prime." The project also make it easier for communication between the university and producers. 

Representatives from the university as well as other agricultural agencies around the state, including the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, spoke about the positive effects this project will have on the cattle industry. The agriculture department says beef accounts for about half of Missouri's overall agriculture industry.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe said this project will help when the university needs input from beef producers for such things as drought relief and ways the university and college can prepare for other agricultural issues.

A $3 million grant was also awarded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to increase breeding efficiency. The grant will be used to determine if specific genes play a role in the breeding problems and other issues in the industry. This could mean an increase for farmers as well as stabilize food prices at the grocery store. Producers and feeders could also use this basic genetic information to address feed efficiency, disease resistance and growth.

Director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Sonny Ramaswamy, said this project has the potential to stabilize food prices.

"What land grant universities are known for are taking that knowledge and using it for innovation, and that is exactly what the University of Missouri will do," Ramaswamy said.

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