Beef Bruschetta with Roasted Garlic-Feta Spread

Beef Exports Critical to Nebraska Producers

Ann Marie Bosshamer - Nebraska Beef Council | April 14, 2022

Foreign Market By-Products Image

Kearney, NE - Whether you are a cow/calf operator, backgrounder or feedlot operator, beef exports are critical because they add value to every animal produced. The Nebraska beef industry, as a whole, plays a significant role in the export market which is why the Nebraska Beef Council invests the Beef Checkoff in foreign marketing programs.  

The US Meat Export Federation, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, recently compiled a publication called “The Importance of US Beef & Pork Exports” in March 2022.  In this publication, which can be found on their website, USMEF shares a multitude of statistics and facts which support the importance of the export market to the beef industry.  

US beef production increased by 2.8% to 12.67 million metric tons in 2021 setting new records. Exports accounted for approximately 12.8% of beef muscle cuts produced in 2021 and variety meats accounted for 15% of production. And the value of beef and variety meats averaged $407.22 per fed head harvested.  Beef is complex and each part of the animal has unique attributes, desired by different customers around the globe. Exports enable maximization of the carcass which keeps the US beef industry competitive.  

The majority of edible beef variety meats are exported and in 2021 the exports surpassed $1 billion. Tongues, tripe, livers, hearts and lips are commonplace on dinner tables around the globe, but not here in the US. Therefore, it is essential for us to keep promotional efforts in full force as we maintain and grow beef exports.  

As we look to the future, there will be new challenges and opportunities in the export market. However, the US has unique comparative advantages due to our natural resources, research and innovation and our strong domestic market as a foundation. We must continue to innovate to meet the worlds demand for high quality red meat and Nebraska is fully equipped to continue our strong status in the export market.    


The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee the beef checkoff in Nebraska and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1/head beef checkoff.