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Cattle Industry Overview

Below you will find a brief overview of the cattle industry. You will learn more about:

  • Cattle as nutrient upcyclers
  • Careers in the cattle industry
  • Cattle industry facts and figures

This portal provides a mix of information providing education on the cattle industry.  This portal is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about the topic.

Cattle are Nutrient Upcyclers

What is “upcycling”? When cattle graze, their ruminant digestive system turns things humans can’t eat, like grass, other forages, and byproducts - such as distillers grain, cottonseed, and beet pulp - into high-quality protein and micronutrients for human consumption – a process called upcycling. (Beef. It's What's For Dinner)
Learn more by visiting an article written by Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 


Beef Grades
The infographic below shows the grades of beef (developed by Beef. It's What's For Dinner.) Learn the difference between beef grades Prime, Choice and Select, what to look for when buying beef and how to understand the label.


Beef grades infographic

From Birth to Steak - A Look At Where Your Beef Comes From
Learn about the different stages as cattle move from calves to weaning, finishing and processing where it becomes nutritious and delicious food.

From birth to steak cattle lifecycle

Careers in the Cattle Industry

Meet Will Epperly, 2022 World Champion Auctioneer! Hear how Will got started auctioneering, why the auction method is so successful and what his work will be as world champion. Spoiler alert, Will discusses his Champion position and how he plans to be active in legislative advocacy.


Meet Dr. Emily Winebarger Hoss and listen to her discuss what it is like to be a veterinarian, how she came to realize her passion for animals and her journey through vet school. She also offers advice for others seeking the same education.

Livestock Grader

Livestock graders serve the purpose of assuring that accurate grades are placed on livestock or meat that is sold according to standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Visit the Ag Careers site to learn more about the position, the education required, responsibilities and where you would likely work.

Cattle Industry Facts and Figures

Beef Cattle Production and Lifecycle
Learn the three general categories of beef cattle production, and how beef cattle are bred and raised to withhold different roles within the system to help maintain the industry.
Read the entire blog.


Beef cattle production system infographic   Beef cattle lifecycle infographic

Learn about Beef Facts from a national perspective.

Beef facts infographic

Fun facts about cattle.

Fun facts about cattle infographic

Questions?  A Knowledge Center team member is ready to assist you!

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Important Notice and Disclaimer

These materials are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, financial advice, tax advice, or investment advice on any matter. These materials may not be current and up-to-date. You should not act or refrain from acting based on these materials or the information they contain without seeking legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction or other appropriate professional. Farm Credit of the Virginias, ACA expressly disclaims any liability for all acts and omissions taken or made in reliance on these materials or any information contained in these materials.