It’s Beef Month in Iowa

This food ranks high on the list of culinary favorites in the US

Gov. Kim Reynolds has officially proclaimed May as Beef Month in Iowa.

For many of us, every month is a time to partake of a food that ranks high on the list of culinary favorites.

It’s no secret that Americans have a love affair with beef. That’s been true for generations and the demand for this tasty and healthy product is on the rise — up about 15 percent in the last decade.

The passion for beef is widely shared in the Hawkeye State. It is the beef industry’s vital role in the states’ economy, however, that warrants special recognition.

The governor took note in her proclamation of some impressive facts about this important part of Iowa agriculture:

• Iowa had nearly 4 million head of cattle as of Jan. 1.

• The beef industry contributes greatly to our economy by generating in excess of $6.3 billion annually and creating jobs for 32,317 Iowans.

• Today’s beef is a naturally nutrient-rich food providing protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins with more than 30 beef cuts that meet the government’s definition for “lean.”

• Beef producers are the original environmentalists working to conserve the soil and making optimum use of natural resources.

• Iowa is a leader in the export of value-added agriculture products, shipping high-quality Iowa beef to other countries around the world.

• There is an ever-increasing need for better understanding of the benefits that the beef industry provides to all Iowans.

Iowans have celebrated Beef Month for more than four decades and with good reason. There can be little doubt that Iowa helps set the standard nationally for production of top-quality beef.

Iowa’s beef producers take pride in their role in helping feed not only our nation but also the world beyond. Beef Month is a good time for us all to reflect on this industry’s importance to Iowa.

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