Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has endorsed a new “beef passport” program to promote meat eating.
Ricketts says the Nebraska cattle industry generates over $10-billion dollars in cash receipts each year with the beef passport a way to support ranchers by dining on delicious cuts of Nebraska beef.”
The Nebraska Beef Passport program is similar to the state’s successful tourism passport program in which visitors travel to different places to collect stamps in their passport that can earn them prizes.
The tourism passport has 70 sites this year while the Beef Passport, managed by the Nebraska Beef Council, is starting with 41 restaurants across the state including the Steel Grill in Gering, Hyannis Hotel, and Bridgeport’s Bar 64 Grill.
When customers order a beef dish from the menu, they get stamps they can submit to the Beef Council for a chance to win prizes – including a high-end cooler full of beef.
Ricketts unveiled the Nebraska Beef Passport Wednesday at a downtown LIncoln steakhouse as part of issuing his annual proclamation of May as Beef Month.
As governor, he’s been a strong advocate of beef and the beef industry, but stepped it up even more in March after Colorado Gov Jared Polis supported Meat Out Day and encouraged people to eat less red meat.
Ricketts, in response, proclaimed the same day as Meat on the Menu Day while calling meat essential to the Nebraska economy, the nation’s food security, and a healthy diet.
He offered similar statements in announcing the passport program, criticizing “radical environmentalists” and Bill Gates for promoting alternatives, such as synthetic, lab-grown meat.