Many products get publicity and special recognition throughout the year, but in Kansas, if any product deserves its own month, it’s beef. That’s why Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has declared May as Beef Month.
Many products get publicity and special recognition throughout the year, but in Kansas, if any product deserves its own month, it’s beef. That’s why Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has declared May as Beef Month. This declaration marks the 33rd consecutive year beef has received this honor. Wabaunsee County ranchers Randall and Erin Debler, and their three children, Dalton, Jacob and Anna, joined Brownback for the signing.
According to Kansas Beef Council Chairman Philip Weltmer, the value of beef to the economy and social fabric of the state is remarkable.
“With more than 6.4 million cattle on ranches and in feedyards, Kansas ranks third in the country,” said Weltmer. “That’s more than twice the state’s human population. Kansas cattle producers are proud of the nutritious, delicious beef they help bring to tables in this state, across the country and around the world.”
Kansas also ranked third in fed cattle marketed, with 4.63 million head in 2016. Beef cattle and calves represented 56.8 percent of the 2015 Kansas agricultural cash receipts.
Kansas has about 46 million acres of farm ground and 16 million acres of pasture and rangeland. However, not all this land can be used to grow crops. Cattle and other ruminants are perfectly equipped to efficiently graze Kansas pastures and rangeland, turning grass and forage into essential protein and nutrients for the human diet. Cattle also provide countless byproducts essential to our way of life, including everything from common household cleaners to life-saving medicine.
The effect of the beef industry on employment is significant as well. According to the American Meat Institute, Kansas companies that produce, process, distribute and sell meat and poultry products employ as many as 66,166 people and generate thousands of additional jobs in supplier and associated industries. These include jobs in companies supplying goods and services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as those depending on sales to workers in the meat industry.
The product they help bring to market is one that contributes substantially to the human diet. Kansas Beef Council Director of Nutrition Audrey Monroe said, “Lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients, including zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins. It does all this for only 154 calories per 3-ounce serving. In fact, a serving of lean beef provides the same amount of protein as three servings (1 ¾ cups) of cooked black beans – which have 382 calories.”
“Kansas ranchers and feeders are committed to producing beef responsibly and sustainably,” Weltmer said. But beef production refined over many generations is only part of the story. Producers also keep consumer needs and wants top of mind.
“While all aspects of beef raising and processing are important, producing beef that is delicious, safe, wholesome and nutritious is ‘job one’ for our industry,” Weltmer said. “After all, producers are also consumers of the beef they produce. They’re proud of their role in providing terrific food that so many people enjoy.”
For more information on family-friendly beef recipes, contact KBC at (785) 273-5225 or on the web at www.kansasbeef.org.