Cargill launches a cross-industry collaboration to accelerate dairy-beef crossbreeding

A three-year Dairy Beef Accelerator program will support producers in advancing their understanding of the benefits of cattle crossbreeding.

The North American beef and dairy industry is already one of the most efficient in the world, with producers achieving larger volumes of high-quality protein with lower resource inputs than those in other countries. One innovative solution making this possible is crossbreeding dairy and beef cattle to produce more efficient hybrid calves, a process known as “beef on dairy.”

To advance understanding of this technique, Cargill has teamed up with partners from across the industry, including Nestlé, to establish the Dairy Beef Accelerator. The program, which will run for three years, will serve to accelerate learning and adoption of crossbreeding techniques among producers, highlighting the unique opportunities that “beef on dairy” can unlock.

Initial research by Texas Tech University indicates that, when compared to purebred dairy calves, hybrid cattle produce more and higher-quality beef products without impacting milk production efficiency.

Additionally, “beef on dairy” calves exhibit greater feed efficiency, which lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with feed production and reduces operational impacts. This, in turn, will support Cargill’s wider goal to achieve a 30% GHG intensity reduction across our North American beef supply chain by 2030.

“Producers are at the forefront of the industry, advancing the efficiency and resilience of the food system. Crossbreeding dairy cows to complementary beef sires can advance sustainability by reducing the environmental impact and improving profitability.”

Dale Woerner, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

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