Earlier this month, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis came under fire for signing an anti-meat proclamation. The proclamation declared March 20 as a #MeatOut Day, where Colorado citizens were encouraged not to eat any meat on that day. Understandably, the state’s livestock industry was upset by this action and immediately turned the conversation around.
To combat this effort and fight against the broader MeatOut movement, Colorado’s Cattlemen Association and the livestock industry coordinated with restaurants, grocery stores, and other retail fronts to feature a meat product on March 20 to support the beef and meat industries, while also supporting businesses that have felt the crushing blows of the pandemic and lost customers and revenue.
The news of the governor’s anti-meat proclamation sparked policy that supports the livestock industry — all the way from the county level to surrounding states. Many counties in Colorado made their own proclamations designating March 20 as “Cattlemen’s Day,” “MeatIn Day,” or other similar designations. Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts announced that he had designated March 20 as “Meat on the Menu Day.”
Thankfully, after seeing the backlash from his own proclamation, Colorado’s governor signed another proclamation on Thursday — this time in support of the livestock industry.
Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Dairy Farmers, Colorado Egg Producers, Colorado Pork Producers Council, Colorado Wool Growers Association and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union sent a request for Polis to declare March 22, 2021, as Colorado Livestock Proud Day.
This official declaration by the governor is a step forward in setting the record straight concerning the misinformation perpetuated about the livestock industry’s impact on the environment, human nutrition, and animal welfare.
The new proclamation from Polis explains how the livestock industry is sustainable and environmentally stable. The proclamation states, “Livestock graze lands that are not suitable for the production of crops and are able to convert solar energy in plants into protein dense meat products.”
The proclamation also points to the significant roll the livestock industry plays to Colorado’s economy. “Agriculture serves as our state’s economic backbone, generating more than $40 billion in economic activity annually and supporting more than 170,000 jobs. Livestock production contributes over $4.6 billion to Colorado’s economy.”
Finally, the proclamation wraps up with, “THEREFORE I, Jared Polis Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim March 22nd, 2021 as Colorado Livestock Proud Day in the State of Colorado.”
While this proclamation is just a piece of paper, the industry also appreciates the small victories. We must make this a learning experience and continue to tell agriculture’s story before someone tries to shut the book.