The production of animal goods; such as meat, dairy, wool, and leather; is a multi-billion-dollar-per-year industry and accounts for over half of the value of U.S. agricultural products. Further, livestock products supply about 13 percent of energy and 28 percent of protein in diets consumed worldwide. Technological advances and the development of science-based management practices and standards have enabled the United States to make vast strides in the efficient and economical generation of higher-quality animal foods and fiber products.
Importance of Animal Production
To meet projected demand for animal products, the industry must streamline production and advance capacity to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat animal diseases.
The health and quality of livestock is influenced by genetics, care, nutrition, and environment. The quality of animal products is affected by production methods and marketing practices. Scientists study the conditions in which animals are raised as well as how animal products are manufactured and marketed in order to produce:
- Good quality of life for animals
- Healthy livestock that reach full production potential
- A nutritious and safe food supply
NIFA’s animal production initiatives are helping to produce healthier livestock and reduce food-borne illness by helping farmers, ranchers, and food-industry professionals adopt:
- Improved disease prevention methods
- Better animal care procedures
- Improved production practices