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May is National Beef Month!

We love the chance to celebrate our Iowa farmers, and with May being National Beef Month, we want to shout out our Linn County beef producers. Thank you for all that you do!

As of January 1, 2022, the USDA estimated Iowa to have 925,000 head of beef cows, putting beef cattle as Iowa’s second leading source of livestock income. The beef industry is structured with cow/calf operations and feedlots. A cow/calf farm raises both the mama cow and baby calf. The calf is weaned at about 400+ lbs and is transferred to a feedlot or pasture where they will be fed to market size. Some farmers may focus on breeding stock for future generations.

Beef is a well-loved meat product not only in the Midwest, but across the world. Beef is a great source of protein that provides our body with nine essential nutrients.

Beef cattle also have hundreds of byproducts that we use everyday! These byproducts allow us to support our beef farmers outside of the consumption of meat – from soaps to plastics to medicines, beef byproducts are everywhere!

The U.S. is home to only 10% of the world’s cattle inventory, but produces nearly 25% of the world’s beef supply! When it comes to processing, beef byproducts utilize 99% of the animal, meaning that nothing is wasted. Cattle provide us with so much!

One cowhide can make 12 basketballs or 144 baseballs or 20 footballs. The NFL uses footballs made from real cowhide. It typically takes an average of 3,000 cow hides to supply the NFL for one year! See the below image for more information on beef byproducts:

To celebrate National Beef Month, here are a few informative and engaging lessons to help educate your students about beef farming!

The Amazing Beef Cow (ages PreK/Kg):

Build a Better Corral (ages 4th/5th):

Dot-to-Dot (ages toddler/Kg):


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