BSAS 2020 Invited Speaker Q&A: Sara Place

12 Feb 2020

Presentation title: Achieving environmentally benign livestock systems

Area of specialism: Environmental sustainability of food animal production


What will your session focus on and what does it address?

My session will highlight the challenges and opportunities that exist in food animal production with regard to environmental issues, such as climate change, land use, feed-food competition, water use, and ecosystem services.


What will audiences learn from attending this session?

Audiences will learn about some of the key environmental issues that food animal production contributes to, what the opportunities are for improvement, and some of the positives of food animal production that at times are glossed over in public debates about sustainable diets.


Who will benefit from attending this session?

Animal scientists and others involved in food animal production with an interest in learning more about environmental sustainability issues and what opportunities the food animal industries have to improve.


How can ideas talked about in the session be utilised in the agriculture and animal science sectors?

This session will tackle topics that are putting a pressure on agriculturalists in the UK and around the world. This session will provide more context and concrete information about what are the major challenges and opportunities for agriculture in the environmental sustainability space.


Besides presenting, what are you most looking forward to at this year’s Conference?

I'm very much looking forward to hearing from the other presenters on a variety of topics and getting a different, outside-of-the-US perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by food animal producers and animal scientists.


In what ways do you see the Animal Science sector addressing the Challenge of Change?

The animal science sector is squarely at the center of some of the grand challenges we face today, from food security to global environmental change. The human-animal bond remains critical for human flourishing, and despite some food fads surrounding plant-based animal source food alternatives, it’s clear that animal source foods will remain a critical component of human diets in the developed and developing world alike. Our challenge as animal scientists is to allow for the production of adequate animal source food for all, while balancing environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic concerns.