Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Celebrates May as ‘Beef Month’ at Lancaster County Meat Processor

May 12, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today celebrated May as “Beef Month” at Smucker’s Meats in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, saying Pennsylvania’s beef industry plays a major role in the state’s economy.

Valued at $1.8 billion, the beef industry accounts for a majority of livestock sales in Pennsylvania. The state is home to nearly 1.6 million cattle and calves on 26,000 dairy and beef farms.

Joined by several Pennsylvania beef producers and industry representatives, Redding toured the Smucker’s processing facility, and participated in a meat cutting demonstration and a roundtable discussion.

“Governor Rendell proclaimed May as Beef Month to pay tribute to Pennsylvania’s dedicated beef producers and processors, who — like the Smuckers — work diligently to provide safe, wholesome products for all consumers,” said Redding. “We are fortunate to have an industry that is committed and responsive to animal and human health issues while being good stewards of the land. Together, we’re all focused on keeping Pennsylvania growing.”

During his visit, Redding welcomed Smucker’s Meats as one of the newest members of PA Preferred, the Department of Agriculture’s consumer-friendly branding program that identifies locally sourced products. He commended their commitment to providing high quality products to their customers and for using a number of PA Preferred members as beef providers.

The state’s veal, beef and dairy beef industries are served by the Pennsylvania Beef Quality Assurance Program, which helps strengthen consumer confidence in beef by focusing the industry’s attention on the strategies that promote beef quality and safety through the use of science, research and education.

Redding reminded other beef producers that their products may qualify for membership in the PA Preferred Program if produced under the quality assurance program.

Two chefs from the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg joined Redding today to learn more about locally raised and processed beef. The chefs prioritize local ingredients, including those with a PA Preferred designation, when preparing meals.

Pennsylvania has been committed to helping its beef producers succeed. Members of the industry and the commonwealth formed a Beef Task Force in 2007 and the Center for Beef Excellence in 2008 to expand and improve the industry’s profitability through promotion, communication and education.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s beef industry, the Center for Beef Excellence, or the PA Preferred program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us. For more information about Smucker’s Meats, visit www.smuckersmeats.com.

Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085

Editor’s Note: Photos are available via the media contact listed above.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: newswire

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