(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – What would a cookout this time of year be without a few burgers on the grill? And what better way to honor your dad on Father’s Day in a few weeks than by serving him a savory steak?
It’s “June Beef Month” in New Mexico, a state where the beef industry has long thrived. In 2010 – the latest year for which data are available from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) – the sale of cattle and calves in New Mexico added nearly $1.19 billion to the state’s economy.
“Ranching is an important industry, especially when you consider it within the context that New Mexico agriculture is a $3 billion-a-year business,” said Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture. “The ranches in this state add our economy, landscapes, and cultural heritage.”
Here are a few interesting facts about the beef industry to “chew on”:
- Grazing animals on land not suitable for producing crops more than doubles the land area in the U.S. that can be used to produce food. *
- The same land that provides food and open space for raising cattle also offers a home for many types of wildlife. *
- Several state landmarks owe their history to the beef industry. For instance: In 1886-1887, soldiers at Fort Union in northern New Mexico consumed between four and ten tons of beef a month. +
- Approximately two-thirds of ranches in the U.S. have been under the same family ownership for two generations or more. *
* Courtesy of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
+ Courtesy of the National Park Service.
For more information – including beef recipes and nutrition information – visit the New Mexico Beef Council at www.nmbeef.com.