By Dawn Caldwell, Farmer/Rancher, Edgar, Nebraska
My family raises beef in south central Nebraska. We ranch in Kansas, feed cattle in Nebraska, sell cattle in Kansas or Nebraska, and buy groceries - lots and lots of groceries - wherever it is convenient and when they are needed. My family loves beef! Thus, it is included in nearly every meal. As a mom of two teenage children, I grocery shop often. Yes, just because we are a farming and ranching family does not mean we raise everything we eat – not even close.
I think many people often wonder where their food originates. When it comes to beef, I can assure you that whether you are purchasing ground beef specials in the grocery store, steaks at a meat market, or beef burritos at a restaurant, if you are in Nebraska, the meat very likely came from Nebraska. Considering we are the number one cattle feeding state and have five packing plants, it only makes sense that the beef we buy would be from a local source.
I really enjoy getting to travel once in a while. As a beef producer, I take a tremendous amount of pride in the fact that people from other countries tout U.S. beef, and Nebraska beef in particular. I have personally witnessed customers specifically asking for Nebraska beef at foreign meat markets. With over $1 billion returned to Nebraska from beef exports, I could not be more proud to see Nebraska beef featured on menus not only here in our state but all across the globe. I certainly don’t want those people to eat “local” all of the time, because then they would not get to enjoy the quality beef raised by my family and others like us.
As you do your grocery shopping for the week, worry not. If you are shopping in your neighborhood, the beef there is not only packed with zinc, iron and protein, it was very likely raised “right down the road.” Plus, that grocery store, whether it is a big chain store, or local independent grocer, employs people from your area, who are local. Now – choose some amazing beef recipes for the week and rest assured, you will be supporting local producers while you serve your family nutritious, delicious, beef!