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Iowa Minute: Upcycling is a key sustainable farming practice for livestock farmers

Did you know that livestock farmers are part of a sustainable farming model that recycles (or "upcycles") plant waste? Cattle, hogs, and other livestock can eat plant matter that is inedible to humans. That plant waste would otherwise end up in landfills. Livestock, on the other hand, can convert it into high-quality protein that humans can then enjoy, like meat and dairy. With innovations in technology making livestock farming more sustainable than ever, it's an exciting time to look in on agriculture.

 

 

Iowa Minute Transcript

Laurie Johns: Ah, nostalgia. Fun place to visit, hate to live there. Just like innovation has improved things like our phones, it's also improved agriculture.

Did you know livestock farming today is more sustainable and better for the environment? Animals are healthier, consume less water, and did you know that cattle can eat a whole list of things we can't?                      

Dr. Dan Loy, Iowa State University Department of Animal Science: Corn stalk residue, the byproducts from the ethanol industry, soy hulls, oat byproducts, if it weren't for cattle those co-products would either be used as fertilizer or they would end up in landfills somewhere. That's a process that people call upcycling, and so that's really what they're doing: taking resources that would be a waste and turning them into a valuable, high-quality protein that everyone likes to consume.

Laurie Johns: And some people enjoy consuming this. Did you know that cattle also eat the byproducts from brewing beer? Ah, the sustainability of Iowa agriculture. With your Iowa Minute, I'm Laurie Johns.



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