Beef Industry Basics

When Others Look to You for Answers



​Knowing How the Beef Industry Works is a Great First Step in Knowing How Virginia Farming Works

When you feel like you’ve just sort of been plopped down on a farm, it can be really hard to get your bearings, even if someone else is doing most of the hands-on work. Taxes, crops, timber management, cost-shares, fencing, leases and livestock are all subject to timeless, immutable, and mysterious laws, some codified, most not, that you’ll only become aware of when you fall foul.

Here in our alien world, in central Virginia, farming almost always includes beef cattle.

Virginia may not come to mind when you think of the cattle industry, but with about 675,000 head of beef animals, it’s worth about $8 billion a year. (No, the math didn’t work out too well for me either, talk to USDA and the Virginia Beef Council. They’re their numbers). So if you own farmland in Virginia, chances are pretty good that some of those beef dollars are yours. Knowing a bit about the different beef sectors, and how they function can help you put a “You Are Here” pin in the big-ass map of production agriculture.

Our upcoming four part series on the beef industry will hopefully help. And hopefully it will be upcoming soon. Stay tuned.



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