By Blair Fannin, Texas A&M University
Texas A&M AgriLife and Colorado State University researchers are teaming to evaluate production practice risks to beef trade, develop educational materials and programs to assist producers with meeting requirements for exporting to China, and helping the U.S. beef industry capitalize on future export trade revenue.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service has awarded Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Colorado State University $750,000 to develop the program.
“One purpose of this joint project is to develop and disseminate best practices to help U.S. beef industry members meet the requirements for marketing beef to Chinese markets,” said Dr. Russell Cross, professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University in College Station.
“Those best practices will be based on a series of answers to research questions regarding the types of production practices that could inject compliance risks in exporting beef to China,” said Dr. Keith Belk, professor of animal sciences at Colorado State.
Joining Cross on the research team are animal science faculty Drs. Kerri Gehring, Ashley Arnold and Penny Riggs, all in College Station. Collaborating from Colorado State are Belk and animal science faculty Drs. Hua Yang, Jessica Prenni, Terry Engle and Dale Woerner.
“This is truly an international project,” Cross said. “This effort will help the U.S. fully access the Chinese market, which has the potential for billions in added revenue for our beef industry. However, we must better understand China’s requirements, such as limits on chemical residues.”
To achieve full access to Chinese markets, the U.S. beef industry will have to utilize appropriate production practices to comply with requirements, especially those related to growth-promoting compounds or compounds for which there is zero tolerance in China.
At least eight industry trainings will be held after completion of the research phases of the study. Additional trainings will be held for USDA Foreign Agriculture Service personnel, and will be in online and face-to-face formats.
“This is a team effort with some of the best researchers you can assemble from Texas A&M and Colorado State Universities,” Cross said. “We are looking forward to developing the training materials and seeing these best practices implemented throughout the beef industry.”