What to Expect from the 2020s

We asked veterinarians for their thoughts on the key challenges and opportunities for success in eight categories during the decade of the 2020s. ( Lori Hays )

During the past decade, we saw numerous changes in beef and dairy production, and in the ways veterinarians serve those industries. These include the emergence of remote monitoring, advanced data systems, new diagnostic tools, genomic technologies, acceleration of antibiotic-resistance in cattle pathogens and drug resistance in cattle parasites.

Most of these trends will continue through the 2020s, and we’ll see the emergence of new trends, new insights and applications for science and technology in animal agriculture, along with changes in regulations, production practices, consumer perceptions and preferences.

While no one can predict every trend, veterinarians serve as forward-looking change agents in animal agriculture, as they continuously evaluate new systems, products, practices and philosophies for potential adoption on their clients’ operations.

With that in mind, we asked veterinarians for their thoughts on the key challenges and opportunities for success in eight categories during the decade of the 2020s. Following are their responses related to Consumer perceptions

Russ Daly: The new decade will see an increased connection between livestock operations and microbial food safety.  Refinements in whole genome sequencing and genetic fingerprinting will make connecting foodborne illness outbreaks with animal sources a more frequent event.  Along with this, we’ll learn more about on-farm management of foodborne pathogens.  Veterinarians will have an expanding number of opportunities to help clients understand, mitigate, and prevent situations that could lead to foodborne illness. 

Mark Hilton:  Stop the infighting. I just saw another ad in which a company promotes their meat products using scare tactics suggesting conventionally raised meat is bad for you. This is win-lose and is never the ideal method. We need a national spokesperson for all agriculture, with a team of people serving as the “go-to” group to tell the truth about agriculture

Jessica Lauren: We will need to pay attention to the marketing options of our clients.  We need to consider what is currently happening to the dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and reflect how that could affect us in other products and markets. If our producers find niche markets or profitable markets for their product, we need to be well informed and make sensible recommendations that help them sustain.  

Fred Gingrich:  Veterinarians can be food animal proponents in their personal lives. Spread the good news about what is happening in our industry on social media and in your communities. We are a trusted source of information and should use our knowledge to promote and stand up for our industry. We can influence one person at a time!

For responses relating to other subject categories, see these articles on BovineVetOnline:

Part 1: Client Services and Communications

Part 2: Medical Technology

Part 3: Animal genetics

Part 4: Antibiotic Stewardship

Part 5: Industry Structure

Part 6: Labor

Part 7: Animal Welfare