Gov. Matt Bevin, along with Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, today proclaimed May as Beef Month in Kentucky, citing beef’s nutritional benefits and its impact on Kentucky’s economy. They were joined by Beef Council chairman Steve Dunning, Beef Council president David Lemaster, Kentucky Cattleman’s Association executive vice president Dave Maples, Kentucky Beef Council director of Consumer Affairs Kiah Twisselman, and the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy executive director Warren Beeler.
“Kentucky is the leading beef cattle producing state east of the Mississippi River and ranks fifth nationally in total number of farms,” said Gov. Bevin. “We have a rich agricultural tradition and history, and beef cattle comprise a big part of that.”
“Cattle generated more than $1 billion in farm gate cash receipts in 2014,” Commissioner Quarles said. “That means income for Kentucky farm families and economic activity throughout the Commonwealth. Beef is also an important part of a balanced diet with protein, vitamins, and minerals we all need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Kentucky ranks eighth in the United States with just over 1 million beef cows as of Jan. 1, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association says some 38,000 farming operations in Kentucky produce beef cattle.
“Kentucky is home to a million cows supporting thousands of farm families, rural communities and our commonwealth,” said Beeler. “Kentucky’s investment in the beef industry has only enhanced production and quality levels to new heights.”
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture helps Kentucky beef cattle producers raise and market their products. The Office of the State Veterinarian works with farmers, veterinary practitioners, the state livestock disease diagnostic laboratories, and its counterparts in other states and at the federal level to protect Kentucky livestock herds from disease and eliminate disease outbreaks when they occur. The KDA’s marketing office helps Kentucky producers find new markets for their products.