Nebraska Farm Bureau is asking Nebraskans to consider adding more steak, pork chops and chicken to their grills throughout the tailgating season. “It’s one way Nebraskans can help and show support for Nebraska’s livestock farmers who have been hit particularly hard by the drought that’s stretched across the state and most of the country,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.
The drought has been difficult on many farm and ranch families, but beef, pork, dairy and poultry farmers have felt the greatest pinch of the drought. According to Nelson, many Nebraska ranchers have watched the drought eliminate the pastures and other forages they depend on to feed their beef animals, forcing many to reduce and liquidate beef herds. Pork, poultry, beef and dairy farmers are also feeling the pressures of the drought as the price of corn and soybeans, primary livestock feeds, have climbed considerably as a result of drought ravaged fields and expected shortfalls in crop yields.
“It’s a difficult situation for livestock farmers who are operating in the red due to higher feed costs and a loss of market value of their animals because of the herd liquidations. There is a lot of meat in the market place and one way to make things better for Nebraska farm and ranch families who raise livestock is for some of that meat product to move through the food chain and off of grocery store shelves,” said Nelson.
The start of tailgating season helps add to the mix of meat buyers. “We hope people will consider throwing a little extra of their favorite meat on the grill in the coming weeks. Nebraska farmers and ranchers are proud to produce high quality protein for Nebraska consumers and for people across the country and the world. Meat sales are always critical to livestock farmers, but it takes on added importance given the year we’ve had with the drought,” said Nelson. “The difficulties of the drought are another reason we continue to push for farm bill passage this year.”