LINCOLN, NEB. – Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff for the summer grilling season. The smell of fresh cut grass, a good BBQ, and pool parties are common experiences that bring people together for the weekend. What most people don’t know is that agriculture plays a fundamental role in the long weekend ahead.
“Food is a part of agriculture. The food we enjoy at our tables exists because of the dedication of America’s farmers and ranchers. The burgers and brisket on your plate this weekend may have started out as a beef cow raised right here in Nebraska. Our farmers and ranchers are dedicated to the care of animals to raise them into a safe and healthy product for enjoyment this weekend,” said Courtney Shreve, director of outreach education for Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.
Consider the last time you went to the grocery store. Did you stop and think about where all the food comes from? People in the United States are lucky, as we have access to the world’s safest supply of food. At the same time, farmers and ranchers face many challenges, such as drought and increased animal feed costs.
“This year’s growing conditions have been dry across much of our state, and most of the state has been in drought conditions for months. Farmers and ranchers have watched the drought eliminate or reduce their pastures and other forages they depend on to feed their animals, forcing many to reduce or even liquidate herds. Beef, pork, poultry, and dairy farmers are also feeling financial pressures as the price of corn and soybeans, primarily used for animal feeds, have climbed considerably,” Shreve said.
The demand for meat in the marketplace is being met by the work and dedication of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. With cattle outnumbering Nebraskans nearly four to one, beef production represents Nebraska’s single largest industry and the engine that powers the state’s economy.
“Retailers will work this weekend to draw shoppers’ attention toward the meat case. Statistics show that 56 percent of American’s will grill on Memorial Day. Some of the top choices for grilling will be burgers, steak, hot dogs, and chicken. Memorial weekend is a great opportunity to take advantage of the supply of meat provided in Nebraska by throwing another steak, burger, or hot dog on the grill,” Shreve said.
Nebraska farmers and ranchers are dedicated and provide for the health, well-being, and comfort of animals entrusted to their care. “They take pride in knowing they can deliver a product that is safe for your plate,” Shreve said.
The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.