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Learning from Leaders: Navigating the Marketplace with Malcolm DeKryger

November 21, 2022 | Letters

Author: Nicole Olynk Widmar, Associate Head and Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Candace Croney, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging & Director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University

Back in April 2022, Consumer Corner partnered with the Center for Animal Welfare Science’s director, Dr. Candace Croney, and Dr. Carson Reeling in attempt to look at livestock and animal welfare through the lens of consumer-driven changes in a marketplace. Dr. Reeling led us through whether carbon markets are actually markets (spoiler: no) and then delved into non-regulatory markets, challenges of ag and carbon specifically, and finally why agriculture has so much at stake in this carbon conversation. Then, we talked about communicating socially relevant issues without scaring people away from continued interactions.

We were very grateful to have Malcolm DeKryger, President and Co-Owner of Belstra Milling Company, join us for the micro-course to share some insights on the nature of consumer-driven changes to livestock industries. In a conversation with Candace, Malcolm shared how he navigates the tensions between consumer or public demands versus what the animal science data tells about how we meet expectations for animal welfare and the safe production of pork products. Malcolm shares his passion about the pig business and the progress that the industry has made over the duration of his career, emphasizing that it’s a pathway to be navigated.

“We’re on the right path, and I use that word “path” very intentionally. Because to think that we are stuck in one spot is automatically a problem. We are on a pathway. And what that pathway looks like is based on social aspects, professionalism, and the science that we need to utilize every single day.” Malcolm DeKryger, April 6, 2022 in the Consumer Corner Micro-Course Consumer-Driven Changes in Ag Market Channels

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