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To counter the MeatOut campaign, Gov. Pete Ricketts wants you to support livestock producers.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

March 18, 2021

2 Min Read
Steak on grill
MEAT ON THE TABLE: Whether it is a juicy steak on the grill, or pork, lamb or chicken, March 20 is a day designated to enjoy “Meat on the Menu.” eyup zengin/Getty Images

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts recently announced that he has designated March 20, three days before National Agriculture Day, as “Meat on the Menu Day” in Nebraska. 

“On this day, Nebraskans are encouraged to purchase and eat beef, pork, chicken, lamb or another kind of meat,” Ricketts said in a news release.

“Agriculture is Nebraska’s No. 1 industry, and beef is our largest segment of production,” Ricketts added. “While meat is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, there are radical anti-agriculture activists that are working to end meat production and our way of life here in Nebraska. I have designated March 20th as ‘Meat on the Menu Day’ to highlight the importance of meat in a good diet as well as to provide an opportunity to support our farmers and ranchers.”

Related: MEAT IN Day set for March 20

In contrast, in February, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis designated March 20 as “MeatOut Day.” The day is a part of a national “MeatOut” campaign begun in 1985. In an open letter to farmers and ranchers in Colorado, the state’s agriculture commissioner, Kate Greenberg, responded to criticism of the MeatOut proclamation, pointing out that the designation is not a state holiday and that former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had issued a similar proclamation 10 years ago.

She also reiterated the importance of the livestock industry in Colorado, saying, in part, that it is “an essential part of Colorado’s past, present and future. No proclamation will change that.”

For the Nebraska Meat on the Menu Day, Ricketts hopes the state’s residents will visit their local restaurants, grocery stores and butcher shops to buy high-quality beef, pork, chicken or lamb.

“If we want to grow Nebraska, we must continue to grow agriculture and to stand up against radical anti-science and anti-meat activists,” Ricketts says. “Just look at the economic data. One in 4 jobs are tied to agriculture, and our state has major beef, pork and chicken operations here. The food we raise and grow helps feed the world.”

For Ricketts part in the celebration that kicked off March 15 at a meat market in Omaha, he says, “I will be eating a steak at a local restaurant on Saturday, March 20.”

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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