Beef Builds Kansas

UNITED STATES - For more than a century, beef has been a vibrant, though volatile, force in the Kansas economy
calendar icon 11 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
That's market weight.

At processing plants, they'll be killed, their carcasses will be disassembled, and their meat will be boxed and shipped to domestic and foreign markets. Within two weeks, most of the animal's carcass will be consumed.

The march of Kansas cattle -- 7.3 million head last year -- through a life span of less than two years is the pipeline of a $6 billion economic engine that provides about 50,000 Kansas jobs.

Today, in the 100th anniversary year of Upton Sinclair's book, "The Jungle," which shocked the nation with its description of unsanitary conditions in Chicago packing plants, Harris Group newspapers launch a six-day series of stories exploring the state of the beef industry in Kansas.

We review the efforts, in this age of terrorism, to track cattle once they leave the farm and the steps taken to prevent the spread of pathogens in what has become a highly concentrated beef production system.

Bullish on beef

Since the state's earliest days, cattle-derived dollars have been a vibrant, though volatile force in the Kansas economy.

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