Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Presented at Range Beef Cow Symposium XXII, November 29, 30, and December 1, 2011, Mitchell, Nebraska. Sponsored by Cooperative Extension Services and the Animal Science Departments of the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.



Over the last several years US beef production has experienced significant growth in globalization. This globalization is sometimes hard to define but in general the US has seen US beef companies open businesses in foreign markets as well as foreign companies establish business in the US. The type of global beef businesses range from suppliers of beef genetics via semen and embryos to processors and distributors of finished high quality beef products. Likewise raw materials, feed and production technologies may be sourced all over the world. This paper will discuss several of the factors that describe this globalization. Fundamentally beef exports contribute significant value to the US beef industry. Beef export value can be influenced by cattle genetics, nutrition, animal handling, food safety, product specification, production and processing efficiency and other factors.

Feeding the World

In an ever changing world we see a decline in agricultural land but greater agricultural production efficiencies, an abundance of technology and many other factors that contribute to farmer’s and rancher’s ability to provide food to a growing world population. The National Geographic Magazine (Kunzig, 2011) showed that in 1960 there were about 3 billion people on earth which grew to 7 billion in 2011 and estimated the population will be 8 billion in 2030. This magazine further estimates that global food production will need to increase 70-100% in the next 40 years which will require numerous scientific advancements, many government policy shifts and societal change. The National Geographic article also indicates that the world gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980 was $28.9 trillion and grew to $72.5 trillion in 2011 and estimated the GDP in 2030 to be greater than $150 trillion. About every 20 years the GDP doubled. The increasing GDP coupled with a growing population would indicate a portion of the world population will have more disposable income and purchasing power for high quality food. Many societies will have the opportunity to move from a cereal based diet to more of a meat based diet. These factors provide a great future for increased consumption of beef products.