Despite National Trends, Iowans’ Dairy and Red Meat Consumption Remains High

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AMES, Iowa -- The U.S. Department of Business and Agriculture reported that more than 2,700 dairy farms in the U.S. have gone out of business within the last two years. Every year health organizations also warn the public about the disadvantages of consuming red meat. 

No matter what trends are going on in other parts of the country Iowans love dairy products and red meat. A study done this year by Iowa’s Farm Bureau found that 86% of Iowa grocery shoppers eat beef and 97% consume dairy. Nevertheless, the agriculture business nationwide is still struggling. That’s why local farmers and producers want to make sure they're giving consumers the best quality for the best price. 

 “Ag economy is not that great right now and we want to maximize all of our avenues and be most efficient in how we produce cattle not only to benefit the agriculturist and the producer but consumers as well,” Iowa Beef Center Research Coordinator, Allison VanDerWal said.  

Wednesday night, the Iowa Beef Center will host a Beef Nutrition Research Showcase on the data they’ve collected about tracing minerals and the impact they have on implants given to cattle. All to make more sustainable agriculture. VanDerWal also said it’s important for consumers to talk to local farmers and producers for a better understanding of where their food is coming from and how it’s being produced. 

“If you ever get to a producer, I mean...farming is what we do and we love to talk about it. So, if you just find one. Sometimes airplanes or just shopping in the grocery store, just small talk. Whenever you can find one just have them share your story and I think that's pretty huge," said VanDerWal.

The Executive Director of the Iowa Dairy Association, Mitch Shulte, said dairy farms understand people have misconceptions about their products. Which is why most farms are changing their marketing strategy and practices. Iowa farmers, in particular, are making sure their consumers know they are providing comfortable environments for their animals with nutritious food and clean water. Farmers and producers are also investing in innovation to learn more about providing products for those who are lactose intolerant. 

Beef Nutrition Research Showcase will be held today at the Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Road in Ames, beginning at 1:30 p.m. and concluding with a meal at 5:30 p.m.

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