Five Pillars of Feedlot Practices

5 PIllars of Feedlot Practices

“Beef Alliance leadership has carefully chosen to commit to focus on five initiatives that lay at the intersection of food animal production efficiency and consumer trust. We simply call these important initiatives our Five Pillars. Through this focus and commitment the Beef Alliance seeks to find the balance whereby the beef industry maintains the social license to use necessary technologies to keep the industry sustainable while assuring the end consumer that the beef they and their families are eating is wholesome and safe.”

Mike Thoren


Judicious & Responsible Antibiotic Use

The first priority for Beef Alliance members is the health of the cattle in our care. We are committed to the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics and other technologies to help raise healthy animals, and to prevent, treat and control animal health challenges.

To demonstrate the commitment to judicious and responsible use, we will conduct collaborative research to identify opportunities to enhance stewardship, and explore more efficient and effective antimicrobial use. We will also record antibiotic use and withdrawal times, and verify those records through a third party audit. Finally, we will engage with strategic partners to protect access to appropriate production technologies. 

caring for cattle
feedyard manager surveying feed quality

Animal Welfare

Sound animal care practices, based on research and practical experience, are fundamental and ethical responsibilities – critical to the health and well-being of the animal, to the safety of cattle handlers, and to food safety and quality. 

We have a documented and implemented animal welfare program that meets the BQA Feedyard Assessment. These programs allow us, and our employees, to learn from and train alongside veterinarians and animal behaviorists. Documenting and verifying our animal welfare programs through a third-party audit helps us continuously improve our ability to provide for animals while they’re under our care.


In order to enhance transparency and to meet consumer interests and demands for knowledge and verification of where their beef comes from, we are committed to traceability from the time cattle arrive at the finishing yard until they are harvested.

There are many definitions of traceability in the beef industry. For the Beef Alliance, we are setting realistic, measurable goals for traceability. Animal health treatments will be traceable to the animal. Using individual animal ID for this purpose will help verify the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics. We will trace the delivery of feed to an animal group. Physical movement within the feedyard will be traceable at either the individual animal ID or group ID level. Every animal follows a unique path from ranch gate to plate. Beef Alliance traceability goals will help us tell the chapter at the feedyard.

feed delivery
feeder calves

Veterinary Training & Oversight

Raising healthy cattle in a safe and comfortable environment is a top priority, and veterinarians are critical in this responsibility. Veterinarians are on the front lines of cattle health and well-being – providing guidance and serving alongside feedlot staff 365-days a year to care for the health and welfare of cattle.

Beef Alliance staff veterinarians and consulting veterinarians participate in and complete the Beef Alliance Veterinarian Training Program, a program designed to provide enhanced learning and training opportunities and further develop the critical role our veterinarians play in cattle feeding operations.

Third Party Verification

Building trust in the beef supply chain is critical to the long-term sustainability of the cattle feeding sector. We are embracing their role in the supply chain and will verify specific feedlot practices to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and continuous improvement.

Documenting practices related to the judicious and responsible use of antibiotics, animal welfare, traceability, and veterinary training and oversight is the right thing to do. Verifying these practices by an independent, third-party audit provides an additional level of confidence that we are setting a high standard and driving positive change for the cattle feeding sector.

verification of feedlot practices

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4805 Vue de Lac Place
Manhattan, KS 66503
(785) 320-5509