Submitted by Jess Pollard
The month of May, National Beef Month, is for celebrating farmers and ranchers, the beef cattle they raise, the future of the industry, and for raising awareness and educating beef consumers. American cattle ranchers work tirelessly year-round to provide a sustainable food source while supporting our economy and ecosystem. Buying locally sourced beef is beneficial to the buyer, the producer, and their community.
The United States is the largest producer of beef in the world. The beef industry is deeply ingrained in American heritage. Beef producers and the cattle they raise play a key role in food security, sustainability, and land conservation. When appropriately managed, grazing maintains the health of grasslands, improves soil quality, promotes carbon sequestration, preserves open spaces, and provides wildlife habitat. Beef producers are on the forefront of environmental stewardship and conservation because they are directly impacted by the consequences of climate change. The American beef industry has one the lowest carbon footprints, contributing only two percent of the overall greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Farmers and ranchers dedicate their lives to maintaining successful beef operations that provide food to their families, community, and sometimes nationwide or globally as well. The beef industry has positively contributed to the economy with sales and employment opportunities and is estimated to continue to do so for many more years to come. The beef industry faces many opponents claiming climate change, animal suffering, environmental impact, etc., making education priority in refuting false claims and marketing schemes.
It is beneficial to purchase locally sourced beef because it allows beef producers to keep their business local, benefiting the local economy, and local consumers have a freezer full of healthy, sustainably sourced beef. Farmers and ranchers are typically self-employed and rely on business from individuals, butchers, grocers, or auctions. When individuals or local business owners purchase locally sourced beef, it keeps money in the community and positively influences the economy. Eating pasture-raised beef that has not traveled across the country is not only environmentally friendly, but also healthier too. If your beef does not have to go through a series of retailers, wholesalers, and a shipping service that all charge for their services, the cost will remain minimal. There are several beef ranches in Elko County, one being Brough Ranch, a locally owned and operated beef operation since 1947.
“In 2015 the Brough family saw a need in Elko County for quality and affordable beef. Together they have raised Angus and Wagyu beef since 1947 and began selling their USDA inspected beef to the public market. Today, they continue to provide excellent beef products and other options such as jerky and all-beef hot dogs. The Brough’s enjoy being a part of the community and getting to know their customers. They can often be found at local farmers markets or online at BroughRanch.com, where they offer shipping, recipes, and blog posts. The Brough’s have also worked to expand to provide locally sourced pork and eggs, creating more reliable and healthy options to feed your family.” -The Brough’s
Our Nation’s farmers and ranchers are often taken for granted. National Beef Month is a month for celebrating these men and women, as well as for better educating the public about their role in our culture and day-to-day lives. Every time a meal is being enjoyed, especially when meat is the focal point, remember that you are participating in an agricultural process that feeds the world. Consumers have a choice in how they want to participate in the process and support agriculture. Do your best to buy locally sourced agricultural products and enjoy the fruits of your community.