Cattle industry feeding Idahoans, inspiring other states

Cattle industry feeding Idahoans, inspiring other states

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 5:48 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 10 at 9:55 AM

BOISE-- With half of the country in a drought there has been a lot of talk about prices going up at the grocery store. But some families are already struggling to buy enough food.

Two years ago, Idaho's cattle industry decided they wanted to team up with the Idaho Foodbank to make sure it had a consistent supply of meat throughout the year. 

"We've developed a unique model that you can donate cash or cattle as a rancher and it goes through all the logistical processes to production and then the beef is shipped and trucked here to the food bank," said Traci Bracco, Executive Director of the Idaho Beef Council.

The program is called Beef Counts. It was created by the Idaho Cattle Association, The Idaho Cattlewomen Council, Agri Beef Co., and the Idaho Beef Council.

Since Beef Counts started, Idaho's ranching families have donated almost 200,000 servings of beef.

Agri Beef processes all of the meat for the program. The company matches 50% of each donation. With the matching, each animal donated creates about 1,600 servings of beef for the Idaho Foodbank. 

"Typically we receive a lot of donations in the form of turkeys and hams during the holidays," said Jenifer Johnson with the Idaho Foodbank. "So having the meat donations and the beef donations throughout the year is huge to help us with the consistent dietary needs."

Beef Counts has been so successful other states wanted to recreate it. 

"Washington state has launched the Beef Counts program as well," said Bracco. "Kentucky is in the final stages and launching in September. I know I often get calls from other states as well, Colorado and Oregon are looking into it."

The Idaho Foodbank feeds 110,000 Idahoans on a daily basis.
   


 

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