Nebraska Cattlemen Response to KETV Editorial


On behalf of Nebraska’s largest livestock organization, Nebraska Cattlemen vehemently disagrees with KETV President and General Manager Ariel Roblin’s recent editorial, “COVID-19 Protein and Diet.”

Politicians are famous for stating “never let a good crisis go to waste.” It appears Ms. Roblin has taken a page out of this playbook with her recent editorial, which ignores the facts on beef’s economic contribution, high nutritional value, and preference among consumers.

Whether Ms. Roblin likes it or not, this state runs on beef production. The livestock industry contributes $13.8 billion to Nebraska’s economy while supporting over 41,000 jobs. For most counties outside Douglas, Sarpy and Lancaster, the vast majority of total revenue is derived from agricultural sales and production.

If we suddenly topple the state’s largest employer and taxpayer, what does that do to Nebraska’s overall economy? Think less revenue for good public schools, the university, state and community colleges, roads, infrastructure, health and human services, prisons, etc. Skyrocketing unemployment would also devastate our rural communities beyond all repair. So much for ensuring a vision for the state beyond Omaha and Lincoln.

Ms. Roblin also infers that plant-based alternatives are healthier and better for the immune system. False. Just consider that one serving of real beef provides 10 essential nutrients at 10% or higher than recommended daily values per serving. This includes powerhouses like zinc, iron, and B vitamins in a taste-preferred protein. For this reason, recent research has shown that lean beef, as part of a heart-healthy diet, can support cardiovascular health.(1)

Nebraska’s cattle industry will continue feeding our consumers throughout this pandemic. We will also continue fueling the state’s economy so that essential services are not harmed. But we will do so with one ask. Stop the political fearmongering, especially if your intent is to further some type of agenda. Yes, we ARE better than that.

Written by: Ken Herz, President, Nebraska Cattlemen


(1) O’Connor LE, Paddon-Jones D, Wright AJ and Campbell WW. A Mediterranean-style eating pattern with lean, unprocessed red meat has cardiometabolic benefits for adults who are overweight or obese in a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trial.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108:33-40.Roussell MA, Hill AM, Gaugler TL, West SG, Heuvel JP, Alaupovic P, Gillies PJ and Kris-Etherton PM. Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95:9-16.

Roussell MA, Hill AM, Gaugler TL, West SG, Ulbrecht JS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Gillies PJ and Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of a DASH-like diet containing lean beef on vascular health. J Hum Hypertens. 2014;28:600-5.

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