A Youthful Voice...The Advocate Youth Page Schyler Angell

By SCHYLER ANGELL
Associate Editor,
Advocate Youth Page

In recent weeks, we’ve seen all kinds of headlines involving Colorado’s Meat Out Day and the countermovements of Meat In Day and Meat on the Menu Day. This has served as a reminder of the disconnect between production agriculture and our consumers that still remains.

I think as beef producers, we can learn a lot from the recent activities.

However, Colorado’s Meat Out Day, which was proclaimed as March 20 by Governor Jared Polis, is not an original idea. The concept started in 1985 by a nonprofit animal welfare organization known as the Farm Animal Rights Movement. Their creation of the Great American Meatout had intentions of promoting a meat-free diet and has since been recognized by proclamations and celebrated annually on the first day of spring.

Governor Jared Polis’ Meat Out Day was not supported by everyone across the state since agriculture is the second largest industry in Colorado. Livestock production alone contributes more than $6 billion dollars to the total economic contribution of $47 billion dollars that Colorado agriculture offers each year.

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association responded to the proclamation by launching a Meat In Day. The countermovement encouraged Coloradans to order meat from restaurants or to light up their own grills on March 20th as a way to support agriculture.

My cousin Darby Schmidt, a Colorado resident, had the opportunity to participate in the day's event. She said, “We went to a BBQ at Elizabeth Locker Plant (about 45 miles from downtown Denver) where we celebrated producers and eating meat by having burgers, pulled pork and bratwurst. The line for lunch was at least two blocks long. They also had local associations there to help spread awareness and educate people about agriculture in the area and It was also a fundraiser for local ag youth programs.”

The Meat In Movement was even expanded outside of Colorado’s state lines. Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska declared March 20 to be “Meat on the Menu Day” in his state to “highlight the importance of meat in a good diet as well as to provide an opportunity to support our farmers and ranchers.”

Many people took to social media to show their support in addition to eating meat. Thousands of Facebook users updated their profile pictures in support of Meat In Day, drawing more positive attention.

Corbitt Wall commented on the events during his March 22 “Feeder Flash” report saying, “A lot of guys have had some type of event to celebrate Meat In, and I think it way overshadowed anybody that was thinking about celebrating Meat Out.”
I think the support demonstrated during the Meat In Day can and should be used as momentum going into May, which is National Beef Month.

Beef Month is a great time to share the nutritional benefits beef has to offer and the way it is raised. Before Covid 19, local cattle organizations served beef in parking lots or handed out beef recipes at local grocery stores during the month of May. Hopefully this will continue in the near future.

Promotion for Beef Month can come in many forms. One of the simplest ways we can partake is by posting on social media about how cattle are raised or how to prepare a delicious beef meal.

Angell’s Western Wear is even joining in on the movement with a new t-shirt design and stickers for their customers. No matter what way you may choose, I encourage you to participate in the May is Beef Month activities. If we learned anything from the Colorado Meat In and Meat Out Day, it is that when united, we can have a positive impact on the agricultural industry and our communities.