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National Ag Day is Every Day

    I was writing this column earlier this week and realized it was National Ag Day. I kept thinking we at the Roundup should be doing more to promote ag. The response I received from the crew was about the same as anyone would who lives on a farm or ranch or ag related business.

I was told that if I had the time to do something, to get my bullhorn out and go do it. Everyone was too busy, and as happens on a farm or ranch, it is true.  This is a busy time. The staff is swamped and has been for some months now. They all worked this past weekend and evenings to develop ads and editorial for this week’s Midland Bull Sale Special Edition, along with the regular weekly Roundup

We applaud those who do make the special effort to do something. For example, the Wyoming Farm Bureau has had full page ads in many newspapers and placed radio ads around the state, the Governor’s office and Wyoming Department of Ag have press releases and inserts in many papers, and Ag Day is recognized in many blogs around the state, such a RealRanchers.com. Liz Lauck from Wyoming Stock Growers Association does an excellent job all year long of educating the public about ranching in Wyoming, and we all need to help her.

The best part is that many activities go on year around. The Wyoming CattleWomen hold their ag expos, and we appreciate all the volunteers that assist them with that great cause. Wyoming Ag in the Classroom is a major force in the state telling agriculture’s story, and their work with teachers and the public is unmatched in the state.  Our state Farm Bureau has another good program involving ag literacy.  Other organizations that we are all invested in, such as the beef checkoff, are always out there educating the public.

We could go on and on with what people are doing in ag, and we appreciate their work. 

Speaking of the beef checkoff, I read about a study finished lately, and it backed up my thoughts. The average younger person shopping at the meat counter doesn’t understand cuts of beef or how to prepare them. If you watch young people at the meat counter, they will look at a number of packages of meat, have no clue how to cook them and will head to the hamburger shelf.  

The study looked at the 80 million members of the Millennial generation – those born between 1980 and 2000. These youth are not only the beef consumers of tomorrow, they already account for about a fourth of the U.S. population and about a third of all adults. The study found that Millennials know very little about shopping for and cooking beef, which is a primary deterrent to purchasing it.  They see food as an adventure and a route to diverse cultural and social experiences, and they want beef to be a part of these experiences.  They partially understand that beef is good for you, but don’t know why.  Fifty-four percent say it’s hard to know what cuts to choose in the meat counter and 75 percent want information about steaks and how to cook them.  

Our work is not finished.

Dennis