Increasing Raising Beef Could Help Utah's Economy, According To New Study

Jan 27, 2021

In a recent study by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and Utah State University finds that Utah has room for growth in the Utah beef processing and sales businesses. 

“Beef is our number one agricultural product in the state of Utah, and will continue to be," said Linda Clark Gillmor, "but we send most of our beef out as calves. They go to the Midwest, someone else add weight until those animals are ready to harvest. And then oftentimes, we're buying it back".

This is Linda Clark Gillmor, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Director of Marketing and Economic Development. 

“In 2019, Utahns purchased $8.3 billion of beverage and food, processed anything in a package or a bottle. And 64% of that came from out of state. That's a loss to our economy up to $5.3 billion,” said Clark Gillmor.

One solution the study looks at is raising beef cattle completely. Currently, many Utah ranchers are selling their cattle as calves. 

“This report looks specifically at what we're making for calves before we sell them, and then what we could make if we kept them all the way through that supply chain. And it's about three times the value,” said Clark Gilmor.

Clark Gillmor said raising more beef in Utah could also benefit the processors as well. 

“We found the benefit to the processors this summer. They were able to add extra shifts, and weekend shift, and hire more people to accommodate the demand. That was caused by COVID, but not exclusively by COVID. The demand was there before," said Clark Gillmor.