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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Proclaims May as Beef Month in Nebraska

Today, Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaimed May as Beef Month in Nebraska at a ceremony to recognize the important role the beef community plays in the state. The Governor was joined for the proclamation signing in his hearing room by Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach and representatives of the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Cattlemen.

“Nebraska has a worldwide reputation for producing the highest quality beef thanks to the thousands of hard working individuals in all parts of the Nebraska beef supply chain," said Gov. Ricketts. “Our beef community also is a key part of our state’s number one industry – agriculture. I am excited to help celebrate beef and the individuals producing it.”   

Nebraska leads the nation in red meat production, the number of cattle on feed, and beef exports. Last year was a record-breaking year, as Nebraska exported more than $1 billion worth of beef, the first year that milestone has been reached. Every dollar of beef exported from Nebraska generates up to $1.42 in additional business activity in the state.

“There has been significant growth in beef exports to Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea in recent years, and beef will be one of the commodities the Governor and I will be promoting this summer during the European Union trade mission,” said Director Ibach.

Dave McCracken, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen, said market development and policy matters are of critical importance to his organization.

“We are proud that as the number one cattle feeding state and the home of some of the best cow herds in the world, the Governor has chosen to promote our product both at home and worldwide," McCracken said. “We operate in a competitive, global marketplace, so it’s imperative that we are engaged on a variety of issues, with multiple stakeholders, and at all levels of government.”

Buck Wehrbein, chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council, highlighted activities they are working on to promote not just foreign market development, but also domestic. The Beef Council is coordinating a promotion to encourage citizens to think about their daily protein consumption and beef's role in a healthy diet. The 30 Day Protein Challenge guidelines can be found on the Beef Council's website at

"Strengthening beef demand in the global marketplace is the mission of the Nebraska Beef Council.  Through foreign marketing efforts and other research, promotion, and education programs, we can make great strides reaching consumers. We encourage people to learn more about the healthfulness of beef and take the 30 Day Protein Challenge to fuel their bodies for their busy lifestyle," Wehrbein said. 

"As an avid cyclist, I can appreciate the power of protein in fueling my workouts," Gov. Ricketts said. "Whether that protein comes from eating a hearty burger or sitting down for a meal from other Nebraska agriculture-based protein sources, I encourage Nebraskans to consider taking this challenge during Beef Month. Not only does it promote good nutrition, it also supports our economy."