Commissioner's Comments

Let's spread the word about beef's benefits


Agriculture Commissioner Ryan F. Quarles

May is Beef Month, and this is an opportunity for us to educate our non-farming friends and neighbors about beef’s benefits to Kentucky’s economy and its role in a healthy diet.


Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles

Kentucky is the leading beef cattle state east of the Mississippi River with just over 1 million beef cows as of Jan. 1. Cattle generated more than $1 billion in farm gate cash receipts in 2014, a 15.9 percent increase over 2013 sales, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. That means income for Kentucky farm families. It also means economic activity in the communities where they live and jobs for associated businesses such as stockyards, veterinarians, retailers, restaurants, and equipment dealers.

Beef provides protein, vitamins, and minerals that we all need. Some cuts of beef are as lean as a three-ounce chicken thigh, and lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet can actually reduce levels of cholesterol. Beef is an important part of a healthy, active lifestyle. For more information, including recipes and upcoming beef-related events, go to the Kentucky Beef Council’s website,

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is the farmer’s partner in helping you raise and market your product.

The Office of the State Veterinarian works with farmers, veterinary practitioners, the state livestock disease diagnostic laboratories, and our counterparts in other states and at the federal level to protect our livestock herds from disease and eliminate disease outbreaks when they occur. Employees of the state vet’s office check the health papers of all animals exhibited in livestock shows, county fairs, the Kentucky Junior Livestock Expos, the Kentucky State Fair, and the North American International Livestock Exposition.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s marketing office helps Kentucky farmers and food producers get their products to market. The marketing office operates Kentucky Proud, the official state farm marketing program. Our marketing campaigns have dramatically increased consumer awareness of the availability of delicious, high-quality Kentucky foods. Our marketing specialists work with producers, processors, distributors, and retailers to create mutually beneficial partnerships. We’ve made great strides in recent years, but there is plenty of room to grow.

Thank you to our beef producers and everyone who plays a part in this important industry. I pledge to you that the KDA will continue to support Kentucky’s beef industry as we work toward a prosperous future.