OMAHA, NE – Numerous food and agriculture interests have rallied together to offer support and promote Gov. Pete Ricketts’ proclamation of March 20 as “Meat on the Menu Day” in Nebraska. The declaration encourages Nebraskans to purchase and eat beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and other meats, while highlighting the role of meat in a healthy diet. The proclamation supports Nebraska agriculture and consumer choice in response to “MeatOUT” Day, a promotion sponsored by activists working to end animal agriculture and meat consumption. Gov. Ricketts signed the proclamation Monday, March 15 during an event held at Frank Stoysich Meats shop in Omaha.
“Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry and beef is our largest segment of production,” said Gov. Ricketts. “While meat is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, there are radical anti-agriculture activists that are working to end meat production and our way of life here in Nebraska. I have designated March 20 as ‘Meat on the Menu Day’ to highlight the importance of meat in a good diet as well as to provide an opportunity to support our farmers and ranchers.
Support for Gov. Ricketts “Meat on the Menu Day” Proclamation
“Agriculture continues to be Nebraska’s largest economic driver supporting one out of every four Nebraska jobs. Agriculture delivers $21 billion in gross receipts to the state each year, while cash receipts to Nebraska from meat products alone account for $12 billion a year. The production of livestock for nutritious meats plays a large role in our food chain and our state’s economy. I want to thank Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers and the many businesses that support them, and encourage them to continue their great work of raising and preparing safe, healthy meats for us and consumers across the world.”
Steve Wellman, Nebraska Director of Agriculture
“Lean animal protein is a high-quality protein, providing all nine essential amino acids. It also provides vitamins and minerals that are important for growth and development, especially in children. Those nutrients are also important to support immune health and overall health and wellness, as well as weight management when consumed in moderation. I would encourage everyone to personalize their plate with a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean animal protein.”
Amber Pankonin – Registered Dietitian & Personal Chef, Stirlist.com
“Our farmers and ranchers have a tremendous story to tell about how we help provide food, fuel, and other necessities for the people of our state, country, and world. But it’s also a story about how we care for our natural resources and the environment. Since 1990 we’ve doubled U.S. beef production, while at the same time reducing our per-unit methane emissions by eight percent. Even greater reductions hold true across our pork and dairy sectors. The trend in agriculture has been and continues to be that we’re using science and technology so we can more efficiently meet the demands of our growing world, with less resources and less impact, in both livestock and crop-based agriculture. Our members are proud to be part of the larger team that helps put meat on the menu for all of us to enjoy.”
Mark McHargue – Nebraska Farm Bureau President
“Today’s shoppers demand abundance and variety on store shelves. Consumers are looking to local retailers for affordable, healthy meals, and even seek guidance when it comes to nutrition and value. Our stores continue to meet those demands. It’s clear consumers continue to want protein and nutrient rich foods, and in many cases want efficiencies. Animal protein offers both. The last thing we want to do is limit consumer choice and ultimately drive up costs. We are thankful to live and work in a state where leaders celebrate the agriculture industry, family businesses, science, and consumer choice.”
Ansley Fellers – Nebraska Grocery Industry Association Executive Director
“The beef community takes great pride and has a long-standing commitment to caring for animals and providing families with the safest, highest quality beef possible. The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program is a program that trains farmers and ranchers on best practices for cattle management techniques to ensure animals and the environment are cared for within a set of guidelines and regulations across the U.S. beef industry. BQA allows us to raise better beef so consumers have more confidence buying it. More than 85 percent of USDA beef comes from BQA certified farms. We thank the Governor for his ongoing support of Nebraska agriculture.”
Bill Rhea – Nebraska Cattlemen President
“Our product is 100 percent real pork, grown by 100 percent real farmers from Nebraska. Our family pork producers are part of the fabric that makes up rural Nebraska. These men and women send their kids to our schools, attend our churches, they’re part of our boards and civic organizations across the state, they provide jobs, they’re our neighbors, friends, and relatives. I ask Nebraskans to join in showing your support for our farm families across Nebraska by putting meat on the menu and celebrating on March 20.”
Al Juhnke – Nebraska Pork Producers Association Executive Director
“Beef has a very long tradition in Omaha, going back to the stockyards days. One of the most inquired menu items that we have in our restaurants, particularly the ones in the Old Market in Omaha where we have a lot of tourism, is an Omaha steak. When people come to Omaha, they want to try some Nebraska beef. On behalf of Nebraska’s restaurant industry, I invite everyone to come out March 20 for Meat on the Menu Day and enjoy the many different meat options at our Nebraska restaurants.”
John Wade – Nebraska Restaurant Association President
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 58,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.