An expanding middle class with a growing appetite for beef is good news for the cattle industry, one expert told farmers at the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention last week in Des Moines.

The middle class is expected to grow by 3 billion people globally by 2030, said Brett Stuart, economist and co-founder of Global AgriTrends. China’s middle class is expected to double by 2022 to 600 million people.

He said the United States isn’t the only country experiencing record beef prices as a result of tightening supplies and growing demand. It’s a "global phenomenon," he said.

"We are truly in uncharted waters," Stuart said. "The key driver is our global market today."

Beef production has grown in India as a...