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 unveiled this week at the university.
The partnership focuses on two key areas: online sustainability education and training and a new beef sustainability knowledge summit.
"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.
The partnership's online sustainability education and training component will add beef sustainability training for producers as an option they can access on the Beef Cattle Institute's existing Beef Quality Assurance platform.
The training shares the latest research on animal care, environmental, economic and community-worker engagement issues. It will help producers decide if some of these practices are a good fit to add to their operation, the partners said.
The second component is a beef sustainability knowledge summit. It will bring industry stakholders together to share the latest academic research, market trends, consumer communication ideas and best practices on 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.
"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.
"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.
"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," Wald said.
Founded in August 2007, Kansas State University's Beef Cattle Institute 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 Daniel Thomson, institute 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 University 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."