May is Beef Month in Nebraska and industry leaders say things are going well.
Dawn Caldwell, Nebraska Beef Council vice chair, said the state has the best research on beef there is from cuts and quality, to keeping food safe before it hits your plate.
She says a recent survey of Nebraskans show they trust the state’s beef industry.
“Eighty percent of Nebraskans have confidence in how we produce that beef they’re enjoying, so we’re doing a good job,” Caldwell told reporters at a news conference. “We need to continue doing that, and of course, everyday we can continue to get better.”
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Nebraska is a leader in exporting beef.
“Japan, our beef exports last year to them from Nebraska were up 26 percent and overall beef exports from Nebraska were up 12 percent,” Ricketts said.
Nebraska’s beef and veal exports totalled $1,264,739,056 last year.
Galen Frenzen, Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association president, said a lot of work goes into getting beef to plate.
“Cowboys that are fixing the fence. The guys that are cleaning the water drinkers at the feed lots. The guys on the kill floor at the packing houses. The fabricating part of the thing. We never hear about them,” he said. “And the term I use is from conception to consumption, and there’s a lot of people, unsung heroes, that we never hear about.”
Frenzen noted there are a lot of ranching families who have helped grow the beef industry over generations.
Caldwell said the industry does a good job partnering with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to reach export markets in Asia, Europe, and South America.
“Those [buyers] know our packing plant code numbers like we know our zip codes. That’s how excited they are to use Nebraska beef, and how high quality they know our beef is that we raise here,” Caldwell said.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:44]