The list of environmental regulations governing the beef industry continues to grow as environmental concerns come to the forefront and animal rights activities continue to develop. The newest legislation governing beef producers applies to feedlot owners with 1,000 or more head in confinement. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that all large CAFOs must notify state and local emergency response officials about ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from their operations if they emit 100 pounds or more of these substances during any 24-hour period.
Ever since David Petty began farming in the 1970s and building his herd of commercial Black Angus cattle, one of his prime objectives has been to be environmentally conscious to leave the land in better shape than it was when he began working the land. From leased pasture land to starting his own ranch in 1987, Petty has continually worked to make improvements on the fragile, hilly land that had previously been turned black and planted to row crops. Petty’s Iowa River Ranch, which is located along the east side of the Iowa River near Eldora, IA, has been shaped and molded on that premise. "Our goal has always been to continue to improve the environment while at the same time enhancing productivity and profitability," says Petty.