Kicking off Beef Month
May is Beef Month and it’s a great opportunity to tell your family’s story, to showcase what life is like on your farm and ranch, to share your best recipes or grilling tips, and to find creative ways to connect with consumers as we describe how beef gets from pasture to plate.At our place, it’s already been a busy month of beef promotions. We hosted a homeschool group for a ranch tour. The kids have been creating beef cooking recipes to post on social media. My son’s barbecues were a huge hit!Also, we’ve been sharing behind the scenes of the process of artificial insemination including heat detection, working heifers through the chute, and showing how quick and easy implementing our genetic breeding decisions is.The month is getting started and we have lots of ideas up our sleeves to promote beef, debunk cattle industry myths and garner some enthusiasm with the general public as grilling season gets underway.But probably the most fun way to kick things off was by celebrating Beef Month at our state capitol with the South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.My daughter, Scarlett, and I headed to Pierre for the Beef Day proclamation signing with Gov. Noem.Scarlett had two questions for Noem. Was it hard to give up ranching to be the governor? Also, what is your favorite cut of steak?If you’re curious, she told Scarlett that yes, she misses being an active rancher to be an elected official and she prefers a T-bone steak."Our farmers and ranchers feed the world,” said Gov. Noem. “In fact, South Dakota is number one in the nation for most cows per capita! As Governor, it is my honor to proclaim the month of May Beef Month.”In her Beef Day proclamation, Gov. Noem also told the crowd of South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassadors that it is now mandatory for everyone in South Dakota to eat a double cheeseburger every day in the month of May.“Not just a single hamburger; it’s got to be a double,” she told the attendees at the event.“Is it a law?” Scarlett asked.Noem confirmed that yep, in the state where people outnumber cows four to one, it’s mandatory to eat a double cheeseburger daily. The kids got a good chuckle out of that one!We understood the assignment. After the Beef Day proclamation, we headed to Dairy Queen in Pierre for double bacon cheeseburgers and on our drive home, we started making a list of new ideas we could share on social media about the incredible beef cow and all she does to improve human and planetary health.Because here’s the thing, nobody is going to fight harder for your future in production agriculture than you. Nobody is going to represent your needs and take the issues you face to our elected officials as effectively as you. No organization, entity, association or lobbying group can champion for your future as well as you can.If we, as individual producers, aren’t sharing our stories from rural America, someone else will do the talking for us and that has typically been environmental activists, animal rights activists, and groups who would rather we all eat crickets and fake meat.Apathy and complacency will destroy rural America. Advocacy requires action and it’s the actions we take in the days and weeks to come that will safeguard and advance the future of production agriculture for our kids and grandkids, for the benefit of main street in small town USA, for our nation’s food security, and for the people we aim to serve.Amanda Radke is a South Dakota rancher, a writer, and motivational speaker, specializing in the beef industry, social media and consumer trends. Contact her at email@example.com.