Commissioner Quarles, Kentucky cattle producers celebrate Beef Month
Proclamation designates May as the month to celebrate beef industry
FRANKFORT (May 11, 2022) - Kentucky cattle producers joined Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles Tuesday as he signed a proclamation commemorating the month of May as Kentucky Beef Month.
“With 983,000 head of beef cattle in the commonwealth, Kentucky is one of the top 10 states in the country for beef inventory and the largest beef cattle producer east of the Mississippi River,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Our beef producers continue to make Kentucky proud by providing quality protein as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Buying Kentucky Proud beef helps Kentucky producers provide for their families while supporting our economy right here at home. I ask our Kentucky community to join me in supporting our cattle producers by serving delicious Kentucky beef during the month of May.”
The United States is the world's largest producer of beef, primarily high-quality, grain-fed beef. With nearly a million beef cows, Kentucky boasts the largest beef cattle inventory east of the Mississippi River and the eighth largest in the nation. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kentucky is home to 38,000 beef cattle producers of the 78,000 total farms in the state.
Last year, Kentucky produced approximately 697 million pounds of beef valued at more than $806 million. Beef cattle sales accounted for approximately $878 million in cash receipts to Kentucky producers in 2021 and gross income of $890 million. Cattle cash receipts rank fourth among Kentucky commodities and account for 14 percent of total cash receipts.
The top five Kentucky counties for number of cattle in 2021 included:
- Barren – 83,000
- Madison – 66,000
- Pulaski – 61,000
- Bourbon – 51,000
- Lincoln – 51,000
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture helps producers find new markets for their cattle, conducts beef cattle shows, tracks market prices, and protects Kentucky’s herds from disease. To find out more about the department’s services, go to kyagr.com.
Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef burgers are made with locally-sourced beef and raised by Kentucky producers. In March, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef celebrated its fourth year of business and added 16 new locations in Northern Kentucky Kroger stores. Now, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef is available in 166 Kroger stores, eight JayC food stores and several foodservice outlets. Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef has impacted 257 farm families in 70 counties with total farm gate sales of more than $3.2 million.
In addition to Kroger stores, local beef can be found at a variety of locations. To find a location near you, visit kyproud.com/beef.
Click here for a video of Commissioner Quarles' comments at the event.