Farmers and ranchers are celebrating Earth Day by doing what they do every day: farming and ranching. Whether it’s taking care of their livestock or getting ready for spring planting, farmers and ranchers aren’t only feeding their neighbors, this country and even the world, but they’re doing so in a sustainable manner.
Words like sustainability and environmental stewardship aren’t just buzz words but they’re every day action items that these hard-working men and women are implementing on their farms and ranches.
“Our industry takes care of the soils and we try to take care of all of our plants,” said Big Horn rancher Andrew Johnson. “And that's everything we have provided for our cattle to use and our wildlife. If you abuse your grass, you're not going to have a next year, so we have to take care of it and we always have. That's not a new thing by any means. It's something that's been done since day one.”
Over the last 70 years, U.S. farms and ranches have nearly tripled in production while the amount of resources used has remained stable. And for the cattle industry, that means turning grass into high-quality protein like beef for consumers to enjoy.
“The amazing thing is there's a lot of land in the United States that's tillable and there's a lot of land that's not tillable,” said Johnson. “If you look behind us, that's where these cows will go for the summer and there's no way you drive a tractor through there and farm any of that up. But, we can send our cattle up there to graze the grass and they're turning their forages into protein.”