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Beef Brings $Billions

Fri, May 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

From Minnesota Department of Agriculture

We’ve all heard the catchy slogan “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner! Well, May is Beef Month in Minnesota and if you’d ask “Where’s the Beef?” we’d say it’s right here in our state. In fact, it’s a $2 billion dollar industry!

Minnesota is home to over a million head of cattle, which includes both dairy and beef animals. We include dairy animals in the overall cattle category because while most people think of milk when they think dairy cows, these animals do make up a significant percentage of beef consumed in the this state and across the country.

Though the total number of cattle has declined throughout the United States in the last fifty years, the industry remains vibrant due to due to efficiencies in production, nutrition, technology, and marketing.

And a strong industry is the reason crop farmer Mike Wiebolt of Staples is planning a 300 cow/calf operation in the Thief River Falls area.

“We’re considering expanding into the cattle business and we really like what we see in the state of Minnesota,” says Wiebolt. “Its solid infrastructure, close proximity to feedstuffs and easy access to professional assistance is a big advantage for us.”

Weibolt has been working with MDA Livestock Development and Planning Specialist Jim Ostlie on the expansion project.

“The beef industry is an important economic engine for our state,” said Ostlie. “MDA’s role is to promote the industry as well as assist farmers who want to get into the business or expand their operations.”

Minnesota remains a strong national competitor in the cattle industry with roughly 25,000 farms or ranches raising cattle. Last year, Minnesota ranked 10th in the nation for all cattle and calves on feed, 11th in the total number of calves, and 6th overall in total red meat production.

Ostlie credits the work of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association (MNSCA) as another reason for the industry’s success.

NSCA assists the beef industry by providing a voice for Minnesota’s cattle farmers, and by sponsoring educational workshops, events and tours both for producers and consumers of beef products. The annual Summer Beef Tour highlights outstanding Minnesota producers and their operations. It provides an opportunity for producers to share information and ideas about beef production and see different types of facility management in action. This year’s tour will be held July 13th in Morris, MN and will highlight several beef facilities as well as other related industries in West Central Minnesota.

During May Beef Month and throughout the year, Minnesota’s beef producers are committed to producing cattle that meet industry standards and to producing a safe, wholesome, convenient, nutrient rich protein that consumers desire.

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