Iowa Ag Review


Programs to differentiate beef products based on geographic indications (GIs) include Nebraska Corn-Fed Beef, South Dakota Certifi ed Beef, and Iowa-80 Beef. An unexpected diffi culty in developing these types of brands will be a lack of federally inspected small- to medium-size packing facilities best suited for processing segregated cattle and beef products. South Dakota has eight small or very small federally inspected meat packing facilities. South Dakota Certifi ed Beef is using a number of small packers. Currently four are licensed for the program and others have applied. Iowa has one major beef kill plant in Denison, but no processing is done on site. Nebraska-based brands have a major advantage in that the state has several large and small plants— some of which have experience in dealing with relatively small batches of different sizes. In developing Iowa- 80 beef, we have found it diffi cult to develop a brand that can certify beef that comes from cattle born, fed, killed, and processed in Iowa so that it can be exported to other states and overseas. The lack of ideally sized facilities is a direct result of the increased concentration in the beef industry.