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Livestock Producers Gear Up for Grilling Season

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Livestock Producers Gear Up for Grilling Season

Jeanette Merritt

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of the grilling season, and livestock organizations are pushing hard to get more meat on the grill. Pork producers declared the month of May as bar-ba-cue month, while the beef industry has designated May as Hamburger month. This is all designed to promote meat to the more than 1/3 of all Americans who enjoy grilling.

Jeanette Merritt, with Indiana Pork, says the Memorial Day is the 1 year anniversary of the retail sales of Indiana pork patties, “It was Memorial Day weekend of 2016 that we launched this promotion, and, in the past year, consumers have told us now much they enjoy the product and enjoy being able to buy frozen Indiana pork patties at the grocery store.”

Hamburgers cooking on barbeque grill with flames

Merritt says the Indiana pork patty is not only showing up on grills around the state, but will soon be showing up at sporting events around the state. “We have signed an agreement with Ball State Athletics to add the pork burger to the menu at their fall and winter spots,” she told HAT. “We are very happy to be working with a university we have not worked with in the past, and they were very excited to promote Indiana agriculture and Indiana pork producers.”

Meanwhile, on the beef side, Karin Schaefer, Minnesota Beef Council Executive Director, says the beef industry is promoting several new cuts of beef especially designed for the grill, “The Denver cut is a popular one that is showing up in more and more stores in the Midwest. A cut that has been popular on the west coast and is not making its way into the Midwest is the Tri Tip Steak.” She said these cuts are very versatile and work very well on the grill.

One point that both Merritt and Schaefer stressed is for grillers not to overcook their meat. The beef industry recommends that you take your steak off the grill before it reaches your desired doneness because it will continue to cook for a few minutes after you take it off. The pork industry stresses that pork today is very lean and urges cooks to use a meat thermometer and not cook pork past 145 degrees.

The average American eats 58 pounds of beef, 64 pounds of pork, and 56 pounds of chicken each year.