Reader: The Story of Colorado Beef 2020-2021: Issue 2
Colorado has around 2.85 million head of cattle each year , making beef cattle the number one agricultural product in the state .
The Angus cows and calves pictured here belong to Walter Angus , owned by the Walter family . Their ranch headquarters is in Hudson , Colorado , but the cattle graze pastures in the mountains during the summer . Walter Angus is one of more than 11,600 farms and ranches in Colorado that produce beef cattle and calves .
Colorado livestock and products generate more than $ 3.6 billion for the state ’ s economy .
Farmers and ranchers , also called cattlemen and cattlewomen , are caretakers of cattle and the land . The meat we eat from cattle is called beef . Beef gets its start on a ranch . Some ranches are small and some are large , but at the end of the day a ranch is a business , and usually a family business . More than 94 percent of the beef cattle farms and ranches in the United States are family owned , according to the 2017 USDA Census for Agriculture . Cattle ranching in Colorado has a history of more than 150 years . Ranchers have a long tradition of providing us with a wholesome and delicious food supply , while caring for Colorado ’ s land , water , and wildlife resources .
Sources : ColoradoCattle . org and Ag . Colorado . gov Connecting Colorado educators and students to their food , fiber , fuel , and natural resources .