Agritech: The cattle and beef industry have a vested interest in Texas A&M’s cloning research.
Consumers want a lot more from their beef, and the cattle industry is answering. Cloning research currently going on at Texas A&M has gotten the attention of Cattle Associations across the U.S., creating cattle that can be called “efficient beef.”
Consumer Demands Driving Cattle Industry Research
Consumer demands for beef have changed over the last few decades. As research continues to show the benefits of diets high in lean protein, the call for leaner beef has increased. Similarly, consumers are looking for foods that have a positive environmental impact. The cattle industry has to balance the call for leaner cuts and environmentally-positive beef with a growing world population that will require increased outputs from all sectors of the agricultural industry.
Cloned Cattle Aimed at Creating Efficient Beef
Texas A&M started a program with cloned cattle in an effort to develop improved beef that is more efficient. In early July, the university announced the program’s progress to-date. After harvesting seven calves in the program, they found the cloned beef had:
- 16 percent less trim fat
- Nine percent more rib-eye meat
- 45 percent more marbling
The cloned cattle were compared to averages found in a 2011 National Beef Quality Audit, according to an article in The Eagle. The cloned cattle will move into research studies that compare their development in commercial-like settings, now opposed to the strict controls of the university.
Cattle Associations are keeping watch on the developments of the science, as such cattle may be the future of the industry. Raising cattle that produce more quality meat using less inputs is a goal that would have world-wide applications.
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