Shandong’s Yangxin county has striven to transform beef cattle into a pillar industry in an effort to drive development, increase local farmers’ incomes and maintain an ecological environment.
The county authority has steadfastly pushed forward the integration of the beef cattle industry and rural vitalization. It has issued several policies to enhance support of beef cattle breeding and slaughtering, as well as brand promotion. Now Yangxin’s three beef and cattle brands have been approved as certification trademarks with geographic indications.
With a focus on “internet + beef cattle” technology, Yangxin has worked to propel the digital development of the beef cattle industry, using ear tags and smart collars for automated individual cattle identification and precise feeding of cattle at different growth stages with an intelligent centralized feeding system.
In partnership with universities and institutes such as China Agricultural University and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Yangxin has launched a beef cattle research center, an agriculture internet of things center, an experimental station, and an industrial technology research institute.
Meanwhile, the county has put equal emphasis on recycling and utilization of livestock excrement, building a series of ecological cycling projects with each one able to make 240,000 metric tons of livestock excrement into 50,000 tons of organic fertilizer, 200,000 tons of biogas fluid fertilizer and 3 million cubic meters of natural gas annually.
Now Yangxin has taken the lead in the country in terms of the scale of its beef cattle industry. It has 136 beef cattle farms and 76 slaughtering enterprises, with an annual output of 280,000 cattle and a slaughtering capability of 1.2 million cattle.
In addition, Yangxin has developed cultural creative products, including a cattle hair brush, cattle bone china, and cattle bone carvings.
To improve the supply of cattle, the county also has spared no effort to import quality cattle. In July 2022, it unveiled a cattle industrial park that features functions of customs clearance, intelligent cold-chain logistics, data collection, standard production, and comprehensive inspection.
Once fully operational, the park will greatly improve customs clearance efficiency, help companies save costs of 36 million yuan ($5.16 million) annually, and bring 1,500 jobs. It is expected to become a pioneer and leading area for the beef cattle industry.
Yangxin has fostered a complete industry chain covering forage planting, calf breeding, beef cattle fattening, slaughtering and processing, cold-chain logistics, a restaurant chain, leather manufacturing, cattle bone carving, cattle by-products processing, and organic fertilizer production, and by doing so has created nearly 120,000 jobs.