In the early ’80s, Ward Clark joined the Army and experienced firsthand the insatiable hunger of soldiers in basic training. They would eat anything that stopped moving long enough, including C-rations. But there was one day when the mess hall announced they were serving mutton chops, and ten soldiers, including Ward, rebelled. Why? Because their fathers were proud cattlemen, and there has always been a rivalry between cattlemen and sheep growers. Nowadays, it’s more of a lighthearted tradition, but the preferences still remain. Ward still refuses to eat mutton or lamb, and he knows he’s not alone.
Unfortunately, many cattlemen are facing tough times due to rising costs and droughts in America’s best cattle country in the West. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the nationwide beef cattle inventory has dropped to its lowest level since the 1970s, with 28.2 million cattle this year, down 2% from the previous year. The persistent drought, along with high input costs and inflation, is putting pressure on both consumers and farmers.
Where's the Beef? Drought, Rising Costs Driving US Beef Production to Record Lows https://t.co/TSOHkFRmIk
— Fearless45 (@Fearless45Trump) February 2, 2024
While animal rights groups may cheer at the decline in cattle production, it’s not a good development for the rest of us who have to watch our grocery bills rise. And let’s not forget the impact this will have on our beloved American traditions. Cattle ranching is a proud part of our history, and cattlemen played a significant role in building the economy of the American West. The image of a cowboy on a horse, surrounded by cattle, evokes a sense of American pride and resilience. We need to support our cattlemen and the traditions they embody.
But it’s not just drought that’s causing this decline. Feed prices, fuel costs, and overall inflation are skyrocketing, making it difficult for farmers to stay afloat. The decision to keep producing beef becomes increasingly challenging when faced with these challenges. Will they be able to maintain their herd size or will they be forced to get out of the business altogether? It’s a tough decision, one that may have long-term consequences for the cattle industry in America.
Beef is a staple of the American diet, and it’s disheartening to see its production dwindling. We need to continue supporting our cattlemen and enjoy a juicy burger or a thick steak for supper. However, with Bidenomics at play, it’s unclear if these food options will remain affordable for the average American. The rising costs of beef could put it out of reach for many families, further exacerbating the struggle faced by cattlemen.
In the end, we can only hope that beef remains a fixture in American cuisine for generations to come. The resilience and hard work of our cattlemen deserve our appreciation and support. Let’s not let droughts, rising costs, and political policies steer us away from the delicious, hearty meals that have defined our culture. Beef, after all, is what’s for dinner.