Continued strong demand for Texas barbecue will help fuel the need for steady supplies of beef in 2019, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist.
“I definitely think barbecue demand is driving the demand for beef,” said Dr. David Anderson, who gave an outlook presentation on a variety of meats on barbecue restaurant menus at the Fifth Annual Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting recently at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Anderson said the overarching themes going into 2019 are increased consumer demand and growing beef supplies from an expanding cow herd.
U.S. cow inventory was at 31.7 million head for 2018, up 1.6 percent for the year, he said. Steer dressed weights did not show increases as they have in years past.
“Animals aren’t staying in feedlots longer and getting heavier, they are being pulled on through,” he said. “What it means is demand for beef is there and those cattle are moving, not standing there adding more gain in the feedlot.”
Another trend Anderson said is fewer cattle grading USDA choice. The faster they bring those animals through, the less time they have to put on weight, Anderson said.
Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly magazine barbecue editor, discussed several ways for barbecue restaurant owners to market their menu items through social media. Vaughn has traveled extensively throughout Texas, visiting barbecue restaurants to compile the magazine’s annual top restaurants in the Lone Star State.
A beef grading and pork cutout demonstration was led by Dr. Davey Griffin, AgriLife Extension meat specialist, and Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Center at Texas A&M. The meeting was sponsored by the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Jeff Savell, Rosenthal Chair, served as host with assistance from students Brogan Horton, Eric Hamilton, Jason Shamburger, Ty Robertson, Devon King, Steven Mancillas, Holly Sanders, Kenna Turner and Wilsey Windler.
For more on Texas A&M barbecue educational programs, visit: https://bbq.tamu.edu/
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