Craig Uden is a Nebraska cattleman, running several operations as well as being the President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He noted the nutrition of beef and the fact that it should stay at the center of the USDA nutrition guidelines plate.
“We’ve got a great team in D. C. and a great team in Denver. We’re constantly working on the nutritional value, quality and the safety, but we have to continue to work back and forth from the nutritional side, but also the policy side so that we can keep it the center of the plate,” Uden said.
Uden noted that the beef industry has a very nutritious, very safe, and the highest quality product out there as far as meat proteins. “The US industry right now is grading between 75 and 80 percent choice, which is a record. The producers are really doing their part in providing a high quality product,” said Uden.
“It’s making a difference because we have not lost demand with the domestic consumers. In fact, we’ve actually increased demand. Even when the price of beef got high, people still consumed all the beef. Now that the price had gotten cheaper, we’re actually seeing the consumption per capita in the US is growing fairly rapidly right now. So that’s a positive,” he said.
But Uden said we always need to count on trade to increase demand as well as prices. “Because there’s a lot of protein out there. We’ve got cheap grain prices, so we’ve got an increase of pork and poultry, as well, as the beef herd growing. So we’re going to have a lot of protein to move,” Uden said. “The only way to raise that price is to get that product over to countries that want to buy that product because 96 percent of the world’s population still live outside of our borders and consequently there’s a growing demand internationally.”
By Patrick Cavanaugh, American Cattle News