Strategic research alliance for sustainable beef production formed between Archbold and Alltech

Alltech and Archbold Biological Station’s Buck Island Ranch recently formed a strategic research alliance to jointly develop beef management approaches, specifically to increase the quality and quantity of beef produced in subtropical regions while maintaining and enhancing the environment. The Archbold–Alltech Alliance brings together scientists from two different disciplines — ecologists from Archbold and ruminant nutritionists from Alltech — to understand the impact that cattle production has on an ecosystem.

“The research alliance between Alltech and Archbold’s Buck Island Ranch is an exciting collaboration to advance ranchland environmental and economic sustainability,” said Dr. Betsey Boughton, associate research program director at Archbold. “Combining Archbold’s rich ecological knowledge and long-term data with Alltech’s expertise in cattle nutrition is a unique opportunity to better understand — and, ultimately, may lead to — improved supplemental feed strategies and reducing cattle methane emissions.”

Archbold’s research at Buck Island Ranch has long been focused on the relationships between agricultural production, management and natural resources, including water and soils, as well as biodiversity and addressing threats like invasive species and climate change. There are opportunities to evaluate how forage quality, range management practices and seasonal changes can impact cattle nutrition. Understanding these relationships can help with the development of cattle supplementation strategies to improve cattle production and reduce its environmental impact.

The tools in place at the unique Buck Island Ranch will allow for an unprecedented evaluation of forage quality and range management practices across seasons, as well as an assessment of how nutritional interventions can affect both the cattle and their environment in the long term. The goal is to understand the impact that cattle production has on the environment and to develop supplementation strategies that reduce cattle methane emissions and improve sustainability.

“The coming together of these two groups represents a unique and exciting opportunity,” said Dr. Vaughn Holder, ruminant research director at Alltech. “As animal scientists, we look at these production systems from a very different perspective than an ecologist that is studying an ecosystem. With this alliance, we aim to demonstrate that the maintenance of the ecosystem is a critical factor in sustainable beef production and also to show how cattle can be a critical part of maintaining natural ecosystems.”



At ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19), Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, shared Alltech’s new vision of “Working Together for a Planet of Plenty™.” Collaborations like the Archbold–Alltech Alliance contribute to this vision, as different scientific disciplines work together to mitigate environmental impacts and to improve sustainable beef production practices. For more information on this initiative, visit and join the conversation on social media using #PlanetofPlenty.

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