Nebraska is the state that has the most extensive cattle inventory in the US. Nebraska is called the “beef state” because it has a larger population of cows than people. In fact, Nebraska even proclaims May as beef month to honor just how remarkable the impact this industry has on the community. Follow along as we dig deeper into beef production in Nebraska.
Nebraska Beef Production
The state has three of the top three beef cattle counties in the United States: Cherry county, which is the nation’s leading cow county with about 166,000 cows; Custer County who is ranked second at 100 000 cows; and lastly, Holt county who ranked third (99,000). Additionally, Lincoln County, at no. 12 (69,000), is also among the top counties in the country.
The state has around 24 million acres of pasture. The corn producers and cattle producers within Nebraska are heavily linked and interdependent. Approximately 40% of all the corn produced there is used to feed cows on finishing diets. Cattle do a lot for their environment because they can eat crops like distiller grains, citrus pulp, beet pulp, soy hulls, cottonseed hulls, expired bakery products, rotten sugar beets, and field peas which humans cannot consume. As a result, they can help reduce the number of food by-products that would typically end up in a landfill or be wasted.
Land Area and Resources
The farms and ranches being utilized in Nebraska total around 91% of the state’s total land area. In fact, this accounts for about 45.2 million acres (18,413,270 hectares). Water is supplied to 8.3 million acres of cultivated cropland and pasture by 96,509 recorded and operational irrigation wells in the state. Nebraska’s abundant natural resources include almost 80,000 miles (38,624 kilometers) of rivers and streams. Additionally, it has nearly 23 million acres (9,307,807 hectares) of rangeland and pastureland, with the Sandhills accounting for half of it
Meat is rich in amino acids that are incredibly beneficial for the body’s growth, maintenance, and development. Aside from being a good source of protein, beef also contains iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins, and magnesium. A 3-ounce or 85-gram serving amounts to around 150 calories but can provide your body with ten essential nutrients. However, beef isn’t merely consumed for its nutritional benefits. The quality of the meat is made to be savored and enjoyed. Therefore, locals make it a point to give people the best experience with their products.
Some consumers may have concerns about beef production and the supply chain, especially the safety of the products on the shelf, mainly imported beef. Nebraska Beef Council Director of Marketing Adam Wegner said, “We have one of the most plentiful, inexpensive, and healthy food supply chains in the world.” “America has the highest food delivery system in the world.” This food delivery network has a single, overarching goal: protection. In fact, there are several safeguards in place to ensure that American consumers purchase and ingest quality goods. Wegner stated that there is a secure beef supply chain with sectors that work towards the same aim — providing the customer with a clean, nutritious, and pleasant commodity.
Consumers should be assured that beef sold in grocery stores in the United States is safe to eat. In fact, the beef we buy at the grocery store has passed the many quality checks and laws put in place to ensure that we are getting high-quality meat. From the cow-calf level to the packer level, we have several safety precautions in place. Our food supply is plentiful and secure. The food supply chain has several ties, each of which is concerned with protection. Each link in the chain, as well as the chain, dedicates itself to safety.
Imported beef is subject to the same regulations as beef produced in the United States. Wegner assured consumers that everything they eat, including imported beef, is healthy. “Beef welfare starts on the farm or ranch. Thanks to the Beef Quality Assurance Program, all farmers undergo training and learn proper animal care and husbandry procedures. This program also includes proper administration of medicines, in case an animal gets ill to various sorts of oversight and regulations that happen at processing facilities”.
Additional Resources: Nebraska: The Beef State
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