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Iowa Corn Contributes to Beef Up Iowa Program

IARN — Iowa Corn® is proud to announce its contributions to the Beef Up Iowa program which was launched in July to connect Iowa beef producers with food insecure Iowans. Iowa Corn’s Animal Agriculture and the Environment Committee donated funds directly to the Beef Up Iowa program, while Iowa Corn’s District 2 Committee donated funds to purchase a family-owned steer that was processed at Iowa State University. The beef was distributed through the Iowa Food Bank Association. Iowa Corn representatives visited Amy’s Food Bank in Rockford, Iowa, with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig Wednesday. Amy’s Food Bank is operated by the Howe family, who raised the Iowa Corn sponsored steers that were part of the Beef Up Iowa program.

“Iowa Corn is pleased to be part of this generous program that gives back to Iowa communities, and also a program that benefits agriculture,” said District 2 Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) Director Stu Swanson. “Corn-fed beef is the most widely produced type of beef in the U.S. In fact, last year 1.3 billion bushels of corn went directly to corn-fed beef cattle in the U.S. Now more than ever, agriculture knows we are stronger when we work together, and Iowa Corn is proud to support the Beef Up Iowa program.”

The Beef Up Iowa program is a partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University (ISU), and Iowa’s beef producers, and is an initiative of Gov. Reynolds’ Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.

“It has been incredible to see Iowans rally together to support the agriculture community and food insecure Iowans,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Thanks to many partners, including Governor Reynolds, Iowa beef producers, Iowa State University, and Iowa Corn, we were able to distribute locally-grown protein to Iowa’s food banks and pantries.”

Iowa food banks and food pantries have seen increased demand due to the pandemic while processing options for Iowa beef producers have decreased. Gov. Reynolds has allocated federal CARES Act funds from the state to help cover processing costs and provide beef to food insecure Iowans. However, there are costs associated with purchasing cattle, and the storage, transportation, and delivery of the beef to food banks and pantries. The initial cattle for “Beef Up Iowa” were sourced from 4-H and FFA members to be processed by students and staff at the Iowa State University Meat Lab to help meet the limited processing need options. The meat will be distributed to food bank and food pantry feeding programs across the state.

Iowans can help support this program by donating funds that will cover costs and future purchases of Iowa-produced beef for food giving programs across the state. To donate funds to support this program, visit the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation at donorbox.org/beefupiowa.

A summary of food resources available to those in need is available at coronavirus.iowa.gov.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Image source: Iowa Corn Growers Association

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