Redwood Falls Gazette
  • A new beef capital?

  • For generations, cattle production in the United States has been equated with ranches in the south and in the west; more recently, however, that appears to be shifting closer to home....
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  • The landscape in Redwood County and across the midwest is changing. For some in the beef industry, that change is definitely for the better. For generations, cattle production in the United States has been equated with ranches in the south, in locations such as Texas and Oklahoma, and in the west, in states including Montana and Wyoming. More recently, however, that appears to be shifting. Dar Giess, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association president, recognizes the trend. “I think the midwest is going to be the beef Mecca in the future,” said Giess, who was in Red-wood Falls this past Tuesday for the annual cattlemen’s association summer beef tour. The tour, which was hosted by the Redwood Area Cattle-men’s Association, brought producers representing all of Minnesota to the community to learn more about their industry from those who have put specific practices into their operations. Among those operations is that of Grant Breitkreutz of rural Redwood Falls who has developed a successful rotational grazing program for his cow-calf herd. Giess, who also has incorporated rotational grazing into his operation near Pierz, said it is practices like this which are helping bring the cattle north.
    Operations are growing, too, and tour attendees were able to take a look at Butch and Brandon Kerkhoff’s site to see how they have taken their existing site, improved it with new technology and made it bigger. “Part of the reason for the tour is to provide education for producers,” said Caroline Netzke, Redwood Area Cattlemen’s Associa-tion president. “It also allows us to showcase our association.” Netzke said there were approximately 650 producers who attended the tour, adding with the vendors and public attending the steak dinner Tuesday night the number of people at the event easily would exceed 800. “We had a great committee led by Fawn (Dauer) and Brandon (Kerkhoff),” Netzke said, adding the association appreciates everyone who helped make the tour happen. Netzke considered the event a success, adding the weather was ideal and the vendor show had more participants than have ever been involved with the annual tour. “Hats off to the Redwood association,” said Giess. “They did a super job putting this event together.” Giess expressed his confidence the beef industry is well represented by its members, and that bodes very well for the future of cattle production in the State of Minnesota.
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