The video on this page is a snapshot of cattle and beef production in the U.S.
Beef cattle serve a unique role in the agri-food system by providing consumers with a high quality protein. In the U.S. cattle often graze in pastureland that is not suitable for many other crops, but they are able to sustain grasses and forages that conserve the land and feed the cattle. A significant amount of cattle ranches are in the Western U.S., but beef production is widely dispersed.
Believe it or not, the cattle raised in the U.S. did not originate here. Cattle were slowly imported starting with Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. Much of the cattle raised for beef today are crossbred to optimize quality meat production while also ensuring that the animals are well adapted for the environment. Happy cows produce yummy meat!
- Cattle are herbivores and only have a bottom row of teeth.
- The U.S. produces 25% of the world's beef with only 10% of the cattle.
- There is no bias in beef production, meaning the meat you purchase can come from any gender, age, and breed.
- There are over 500 breeds of cattle in the world.
- With good grazing practices cattle can have a positive effect on the environment.