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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | May 8, 2010

Whether it’s the All-American hamburger or a thick steak fired up on the grill, Iowans have a love affair with beef. And with the coming season of outdoor activities and backyard barbecues, that relationship grows even stronger. In honor of this, May has been declared “Beef Month” in Iowa.

This unique celebration began more than 45 years ago and recognizes one of Iowa’s largest industries. In addition, it honors the dedicated men and women who produce the high quality, nutritious beef that Iowa is known for around the world.

But there’s more to the story. The beef industry also plays a crucial role in Iowa’s overall economy. From cattle producers and feed manufacturers to equipment dealers and food marketers, thousands of Iowans play a role in bringing beef to the plates of consumers.

In fact, cattle generate $5.1 billion in total direct and indirect economic activity to Iowa’s economy. The cattle industry also supports Iowa’s corn and soybean producers-148 million bushels of Iowa corn and over 78 million bushels of Iowa grown soybeans were fed to cattle in 2006.

According to the Iowa Beef Industry Council, all 99 counties produce beef. Around 40,000 jobs are related to the beef industry and cash receipts from cattle and calves in the state totaled $2.88 billion in 2008.

While the United States has less than 10 percent of the world’s cattle inventory, it produces nearly 25 percent of he world’s beef supply.

Obviously, we are supporting the beef industry as beef demand has increased 15 percent since 1998. It’s the hard-working cattle farm that makes sure we have beef on the table, so continue showing your support by buying beef.