As Wisconsin consumers look to fire up their grills with the arrival of warmer weather, the Wisconsin Beef Council salutes the contributions that beef farmers and ranchers make to the states’ economy during May Beef Month.
Ranking 12th in the United States in the cattle feeding industry, Wisconsin has nearly 14,000 beef farms. In addition, there are nearly 7,000 dairy farms across the state that also contribute to the beef supply chain. Wisconsin is a major beef producing state with an inventory of nearly 3.5 million head of cattle. The beef industry contributes to Wisconsin’s economy by generating approximately $1.7 billion in cash receipts for cattle and calves, which is equal to nearly 15 percent of all Wisconsin agricultural cash receipts.
“Beef farmers and ranchers work hard every day to produce high quality, nutritious beef in a sustainable manner,” says Tammy Vaassen, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Beef Council. “Today’s beef farmers are producing the same amount of beef with 33% fewer cattle than they did in 1977. They’re continuously improving the way beef is raised to ensure a sustainable beef supply.”
Cattle have an upcycling super-power – with their unique four-compartment stomach, cattle upgrade plants that are of little to no nutritional value to people into high-quality protein, micronutrients, and other important by-products. There are a number of cattle by-products that we use every day: from chewing gum to lipstick, cosmetics to asphalt, and shoes to wallets, all contain an ingredient that started with the cow!
In addition, real beef supplies 10 essential nutrients at 10% or higher than their respective daily values per serving that support a healthy lifestyle, including protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins. Nearly 40 cuts of beef, including some of the most popular cuts such as sirloin or strip steak, are lean as defined by the USDA.
Throughout the month of May, Wisconsin Beef Council has a number of activities planned to raise awareness about the beef industry and promote the value of beef in a healthy diet. Some of those activities include:
- Burgers and Buns Fun Run – a virtual race will be held the week of May 24-31. Participants can register at https://www.beeftips.com/nutrition/burgers-buns-fun-run to receive a t-shirt, beef jerky, sunglasses and other beef SWAG. During that week, virtual race participants can share photos of their physical activity to be entered to win gift certificates to purchase beef. The event is being co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, and all proceeds from the race will go to the Wisconsin Farm and Food Support Fund.
- Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center – a month-long tribute to the beef industry will occur at the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center in Manitowoc. Weekly beef cooking classes will be presented by Sarah Agena, Director of Nutrition for the Wisconsin Beef Council. Individuals interested in participating in the cooking classes can sign-up at https://securepayment.link/farmwisconsin/workshops/; space is limited to 20. Displays, hands-on activities and other resources will help educate visitors about beef.
- Followers of Wisconsin Beef Council’s social media pages will have weekly opportunities to win prizes, including certificates for beef. Like @WisconsinBeef on Facebook and @wibeeftips on Instagram to follow along for your chance to enter and win.
- In a partnership with Fabulous Farm Babe Pam Jahnke and 97.7 THE FARM, a weekly meat raffle will be offered to listeners. Four winners each week will receive a $30 beef gift certificate to purchase steaks, hamburger and other delicious cuts of beef for grilling.
To find delicious beef recipes for your grill, stovetop or slow cooker, along with details on how beef fits into a healthy diet, go to https://www.beeftips.com/. If you’re looking for more information on sustainable beef production, visit https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/raising-beef/beef-in-a-sustainable-diet.