A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Contemporary Choices in Livestock Production

Contemporary Choices in Livestock Production

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Theme Overview: Contemporary Choices in Livestock Production

Mary Clare Ahearn

The highly productive livestock agri-food system results in low consumer prices, but many express their views, through their purchases and the policy-making process, about other aspects of the system. Decision makers in the agri-food supply chain and policy arena are addressing these consumer-driven challenges in a variety of ways, depending on the issue.

The U.S. Gestation Stall Debate

Lee L. Schulz and Glynn T. Tonsor

While modern swine production systems rely on confinement production, there are calls to reduce or eliminate the use of gestation stalls. To understand the economic aspects of this debate, this article reviews the structural evolution of the industry, the underlying legal framework in animal welfare, and adjustments in impacted markets.

U.S. Implications of the Smithfield Acquisition by Shuanghui

Tian Xia

The purchase of Smithfield by a Chinese company, Shuanghui, stirred concerns about domestic pork supplies and food safety in the United States. The Smithfield acquisition has important implications for the U.S. hog and pork industry and consumers through changes in U.S pork exports to China, food safety, and market competition.

Economics of Antibiotic Use in U.S. Swine and Poultry Production

Aude Teillant and Ramanan Laxminarayan

Antibiotics are commonly used in food animals to treat and prevent disease, and to promote growth. In doing so, these practices are contributing to antibiotic resistance in humans. Policy-makers need to evaluate the economic value of antibiotics to the livestock industry versus the potential health cost of increasing antimicrobial resistance.

Consumer Demand for Organic Milk Continues to Expand-Can the U.S. Dairy Sector Catch Up?

Catherine Greene and William McBride

The U.S. has experienced recurrent shortages of organic milk since it gained popularity with consumers in the 1990s. Even prior to enforcement of stricter pasture rules in 2011, organic dairy farms did not cover total economic costs. Lower feed grain prices and diversity in the business models could help expand the U.S. organic dairy sector.

The Horse Slaughter Conundrum

Dan Lawler and L. Leon Geyer

The horse slaughter debate is characterized by differing views on the role of the horse. Some argue that it is a profitable international commodity, while others contend that it is a companion animal. Horse welfare, economic opportunity, and human health serve as complicating factors to an already complex issue.