Farm Focus: Beef

May 13, 2011

By Blair Thomas

Beef cattle production represents the largest single segment of American agriculture, with more than 800,000 ranchers and cattle producers in the United States. Texas leads the nation in beef cattle production. In Illinois, about 23 percent of farms raise beef cows.

Consider the following beef facts:

  • Everyday, 76 million Americans eat beef.
  • Beef is meet from full-grown cattle about 2 years old.
  • A live steer weights about 1,000 pounds and yields about 450 pounds of edible meat.
  • More beef is consumed on Memorial Day than any other day of the year. The Fourth of July and Labor Day typically tie for second place.
  • Beef is one of the most important dietary sources of iron. To obtain the same amount of iron found in a 3-ounce serving of beef, you’d have to eat at least 3 cups of raw spinach.

Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Illinois Beef Association.

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