Over the past several months, drought and wildfires have dominated the news cycle in the west. The Colorado River was recently declared to be at its lowest since the 1930s and another record-breaking fire season has blanketed dozens of states in devastation and smoke.
And yet again, beef is being portrayed as the culprit driving climate change and these extreme weather events. It would be convenient if the solution to climate change were as simple as eliminating beef. But it’s not.
Though methane may drive headlines, beef cattle only account for 2% of greenhouse gases in the U.S., according to the EPA. In fact, the U.S. has had the lowest GHG emissions from beef since the 90s.
So, if cattle aren’t ruining the environment, can they actually benefit it?
As a fifth-generation rancher, I know that beef cattle play a critical role in the environment and in balancing ecosystems.
My great-great-grandfather established our family’s ranch near Kit Carson, a small town on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, in 1907. Today, my three brothers, my parents and I run the Flying Diamond Ranch, honoring the legacy of our predecessors while also implementing practices that will carry our operation into the future.
We four siblings are all in our 30s and have families of our own now. We couldn’t be prouder to raise nine (going on 10) of the sixth generation of our family as land stewards.