By Sara Harper, K•Coe Isom
K·Coe Isom and the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University will work together and with the beef industry to provide educational and communication resources on sustainability topics under an agreement which was unveiled Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the university.
The partnership focuses on two key areas:
Online sustainability education and training. This project will add beef sustainability training for producers as an option they can access on the BCI’s existing Beef Quality Assurance platform so they may learn from the latest research on animal care, environmental, economic and community-worker engagement issues and decide if some of these practices are a good fit to add to their operation.
Hosting a beef sustainability knowledge summit. This summit will provide a vehicle for bringing multiple stakeholders together to share the latest academic research, market trends, consumer communication ideas and best practices on the key categories of animal care, economic, environmental and worker-community engagement issues related to the beef industry. The purpose of the summit will be to further education, communication and dialogue across the entire value chain.
“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. All of this adds up to an unprecedented level of market risk,” said Sara Harper, director of sustainability and supply-chain solutions at K·Coe Isom.
“Together with K-State, we’re creating new opportunities for beef producers to add to their knowledge on topics that we believe could significantly help them manage against these future risks,” Harper said. “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.”
“K·Coe Isom’s roots originated in rural communities throughout Kansas, and over the past 85 years, we’ve worked with operators that impact one out of every five head raised in America,” said Jeff Wald, CEO of K·Coe Isom. “We are truly excited in launching this strategic initiative with the BCI. As certified accountants and business consultants, K·Coe Isom brings years of expertise on financial and tax management, beef feedlot financial benchmarking, feed yard auditing and supply-chain sustainability solutions. Our firm has a history of being trusted financial and business advisors for our clients, and shepherding their confidential data continues to be a vital function of our role in serving them well.”
Founded in August 2007, the BCI creates a collaborative environment to provide beef producers with the most current education, research and outreach available.
“Through this partnership, we will focus on bringing world-class sustainable beef and management education and training programs for producers and food companies,” said Dan Thomson, director of the BCI. “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 K-State 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.”