Iowans Celebrate Beef Month Despite Market Disruptions


By: Sam McIntosh, Racoon Valley Radio (IA)

May 21, 2020


Governor Kim Reynolds has proclaimed May as Beef Month in Iowa, encouraging all citizens to appreciate the contributions that the beef industry continues to provide in the state.


According to the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the state ranks seventh in the nation for all cattle and calves produced, with 25,367 cattle operations, and 19,016 jobs directly related to the industry, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Also in Iowa there are 9,570 jobs indirectly related to the cattle industry, which contributed in excess of $6.8 billion in business activity to Iowa’s economy in 2017. Guthrie County Cattlemen’s Association President Terry Betts owns over a centuries old operation near Bayard, and he shares what captivated him to be a cattle producer, “Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always loved watching the baby calves as they grow and start to jump and play. I remember as a little kid just sitting on a four wheeler and watching them for hours just out in the pasture grazing and playing and I just fell in love with it and I guess it’s just been instilled in me since then.”


Though cattle markets have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic as packing plants have been off-and-on closed or at reduced capacity, Betts says...