Governor proclaims May as Beef Month in Kansas

As cows and calves grazed in the background, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared May as Beef Month in Kansas May 12 on the Lyons Ranch near Manhattan, Kansas.

Rancher Jan Lyons said she’s proud of the beef industry and is honored to have been part of the proclamation. Beef is the No. 1 industry in Kansas—the production, packing and processing, she said.

“We’re very proud of that,” Lyons said. “This native grass pasture has the kind of nutrients that we can raise cattle on. Every dollar that agriculture brings to the area, it’s turned at least two times.”

The Lyons Ranch is fortunate to have excellent spring water and native grass the cattle can stay on year round.

“It’s a good winter pasture and we can feed hay and the green grass that is growing here is so full of nutrients that our cattle are on this at least 90% of their life,” she said.

Lyons said in Kansas, cattle have a place on the rangelands and can help secure carbon with the grass.

“It is ideal to do that,” she said.

Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam noted many people are starting to see the positive impacts grasslands have and how beef helps in the process.

“I was at a meeting here recently where two national food and ag organizations that are investing heavily in programs to help ranchers improve the grasslands because they to realize that that’s how they can minimize or lessen their carbon footprint just by working with ranchers to restore that into the soil,” Beam said. “So it’s a great relationship.”

Kelly was impressed by the pasture views on the Lyons Ranch to recognize Beef Month.

“I can’t imagine a more fitting way to celebrate beef than right here in the heart of a thriving cattle ranch,” she said. “Looking out over the pasture, which is absolutely stunning, Lyons Ranch is an excellent choice to represent the beef community in Kansas.”

According to Kelly, there are more than 15 million acres of Kansas pasture and rangelands where cattle graze and turn it into beneficial protein.

“We’re all proud of beef industry in Kansas and especially the farmers and ranchers and the businesses across the state who are part of the industry,” she said. “The beef sector from the farmers who grow the quality hay and grass, the grains that nourish the cattle to the ranchers who raised them to the sale barns and livestock markets to the meat processing companies both large and small.”

All are part of the industry—the single largest agricultural sector—in Kansas.

“Contributing significantly to our state’s economy and to the economy of every one of our 105 counties. Kansas is recognized across the nation and the world for raising healthy cattle and producing high quality, nutritious beef.”

Kansas beef is well respected worldwide because of the people in the state’s beef community, Kelly said.

“People who lead the way in research, health, marketing and advocacy,” she said. “People like the Lyons family who are hosting us today. Jan and Frank Lyons, their daughter Amy and son-in-law Carl epitomize that leadership.”

Family operations like the Lyons Ranch are the standard in Kansas agriculture, according to the governor.

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“Eighty-five percent of the farms and ranches in Kansas are family owned,” Kelly said. “And I will continue to work for policies that will help our Kansas Farm families across every county of the state. My administration will continue to fund quality transportation systems to help move cattle through the food supply chain.”

Kelly hopes improvements for rural broadband can help rural communities, ecommerce and precision agriculture. On May 11 the governor cut the sales tax on food in Kansas and she hopes it’ll keep Kansas grown food in the state and affordable for consumers.

“I encourage all citizens to support the largest sector of our state’s agricultural industry and join in a celebration to promote and celebrate beef in Kansas,” Kelly said.

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].