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Kentucky declares May as beef month

Kentucky declares May as beef month

By Blake Jackson

Kentucky officially declared May as Beef Month, highlighting the significant role cattle production plays in the state's economy. Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell signed the proclamation, recognizing the hard work and dedication of over 31,000 Kentucky beef cattle producers.

Kentucky boasts the largest beef cattle inventory east of the Mississippi River, with an impressive 907,000 head of cattle. This industry contributes substantially, ranking fifth among Kentucky commodities in cash receipts. In 2023 alone, beef cattle sales generated $1.26 billion for producers, showcasing the sector's economic strength.

The good news continues with a slight increase in beef cow numbers compared to 2023. This rebound signifies the industry's resilience after facing challenges like drought and high production costs in 2022. Kentucky continues to be a major contributor to the national beef industry, ranking eighth in production.

"We celebrate not just beef, but our hard-working producers," said Ryan Miller, Kentucky Beef Council chair. This month serves as an opportunity to appreciate these dedicated individuals who ensure a steady supply of high-quality beef.

Protecting this crucial industry is a priority for Kentucky officials. Commissioner Shell, along with Attorney General Russell Coleman, voiced opposition to a recent proposal from the Biden administration.

The proposed regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would require meat and poultry processors to build expensive water treatment facilities.

This regulation raises concerns about financial burdens on Kentucky entrepreneurs. The initial installation and ongoing maintenance costs could reach millions of dollars, potentially disrupting the farm-to-table supply chain. With roughly 120 meat and poultry processors operating in the state, the impact could be significant.

Kentucky has made significant investments in agricultural development, estimated at $696 million. These investments highlight the state's commitment to supporting rural economies and the vital role agriculture plays, including the beef industry.

By celebrating Kentucky Beef Month, the state acknowledges the dedication of its cattle producers and the substantial economic benefits this industry brings.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sstajic

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Categories: Kentucky, Livestock, Beef Cattle

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