May is Beef Month

Farm Forum

PIERRE – Time to grill some beef! The summer grilling season is upon us and Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed May as “Beef Month” in South Dakota.

“There are 3.7 million head of cattle in South Dakota, which is nearly five beef animals to every state resident,” Gov. Daugaard stated in the proclamation. “The cattle industry has played a significant role in the history of our state.”

“South Dakota cattle producers rank eighth nationally in cattle and calf production,” said Lucas Lentsch, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. “The South Dakota Department of Agriculture continues to develop the South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle and South Dakota Certified Beef programs.”

Beef Month observance began more than 40 years ago and recognizes one of the state’s largest economic sectors. The beef industry has a $2.8 billion economic impact on South Dakota.

“Cattle producers have always been a large part of our rural way of life,” Lentsch said. “Beef Month recognizes the hard work our farmers and ranchers put in every day to provide a high quality product for consumers.”

“Pump Iron, Eat Beef” campaign targets blood donors

PIERRE – There are many good reasons for donating blood, and the United Blood Services (UBS) and South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) are partnering in May to provide one more. A special “Pump Iron, Eat Beef” promotion will provide those who donate blood through UBS locations in South Dakota during the month of May with a $5 beef certificate while supplies last. Donors will also receive Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner and for Donors, a brochure that details why beef is a healthy meal choice when donating blood.

“Beef is an excellent source of zinc, iron and protein,” says SDBIC Executive Director Ron Frederick. “Iron is an important mineral which helps build red blood cells and carries oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Consuming an iron-rich diet is important in building a healthy red cell count both before and after donating blood.” Citing the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Frederick explains that a 3-ounce serving of lean beef contains high percentages of the Daily Value of many essential nutrients. In fact, when it comes to iron, he says lean beef contains nearly three times the Daily Value percentage as a cup of raw spinach or a 3-ounce serving of pork, and more than twice that of a 3-ounce serving of chicken.

The “Pump Iron, Eat Beef” campaign will also include a beef cookout and live broadcast by KOTA radio at the United Blood Services Rapid City office located at 2209 W. Omaha St. on Thursday, May 23. Two outdoor grills and $100 in beef certificates will be given away during the event.