OSU Cattle Plan: A needs assessment for the beef and dairy industries in Oregon

Cattle and calves, dairy products and milk, and hay are consistently among the top agricultural commodities in Oregon annually. Sales of these commodities have fluctuated over time as a result of a number of factors including international trade, competition, government regulation and changes in public perception. Over 53% of Oregon land is federally managed and the cattle and calves sector is particularly reliant on grazing access to federal lands, and as a consequence, these producers are subject to numerous environmental considerations and competing uses on grazing allotments. 

With the increase in market, regulatory and production pressures on these industries, the College of Agricultural Sciences recognizes the importance of periodically assessing industry needs. Identifying areas of strength and programmatic gaps is important so those gaps can be filled and strengths can be brought to bear on the most critical needs of our stakeholders. Finding new ways to connect and coordinate expertise and partnerships is also important to maximizing our impact. The recent release of new national agricultural priorities and roadmap make it timely to conduct this Oregon focused cattle industry assessment now. 

This plan was developed in partnership with the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, Oregon Beef Council, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

It is another example of how the College is invested in the resilient, sustainable future of agriculture as we apply rigorous science to the most pressing issues. The plan developed to assess the needs of the industry will guide all of our efforts in making strategic investments in faculty positions and research infrastructure as we strive to continually live up to our mission to make tomorrow better.

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