MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State Univ. and K·Coe Isom, a food and agriculture consultant, announced a partnership aimed at providing online sustainability education and training. The institute and K·Coe Isom also plan to host a beef sustainability knowledge summit.

The initiative adds beef sustainability training for producers through BCI’s existing Beef Quality Assurance platform. The program features the latest research on animal care, environmental, economic and community/worker engagement issues which will enable producers to decide if some practices in the program are a good fit to add to their operation.

“Through this partnership, we will focus on bringing world-class sustainable beef and management education and training programs for producers and food companies,” said Dr. Daniel Thomson, BCI director. “Nobody cares more about sustainability in the beef industry than beef producers. Beef consumers need a clear, unbiased source of information about beef sustainability.

“As servant leaders to the beef industry, we at Kansas State Univ. are obligated by the land grant mission to provide resources for ranchers, feedlot operators, packers, retailers, and others directly involved in producing safe, wholesome, responsible beef globally while providing beef consumers with the facts.”

The beef sustainability summit is intended to provide additional education, communication and dialog across the entire value chain. The summit also will serve as a platform for attendees to share the latest academic research, market trends, consumer communication ideas and best practices.

“In the coming decade, the food and agriculture industry will be facing significant challenges — shifting consumer preferences, natural resource scarcities, increasing demand for protein in emerging economies and more extreme weather events,” said Sara Harper, director of sustainability and supply- chain solutions at K·Coe Isom. “All of this adds up to an unprecedented level of market risk.”

Harper added that its partnership with K-State and US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef creates new opportunities for beef producers “to add to their knowledge on topics that we believe could significantly help them manage against these future risks.”

“We are excited to work with K-State and we hope others in the industry will join our efforts to bring good information to the public and to producers who may not always have the tools they need to communicate how they are improving on sustainability issues,” Harper added.