Nebraska beef backers push special $70 'Beef State' license plate

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 9:28 am, Fri Jul 25, 2014.

LINCOLN — Beef is not only "what’s for dinner," it’s also what the Nebraska industry wants promoted on the state’s license plates.

Representatives of the Nebraska Cattlemen and the Nebraska Beef Council joined Gov. Dave Heineman on Friday to promote May as “Beef Month” and to urge beef backers to sign up to obtain a special “Beef State” license plate.

“The Beef State” was the tag line on Nebraska license plates from 1956 to 1965, and beef groups have been trying for the past year to round up the state-required 500 applicants to produce a new “Beef State” plate.

“For a beef guy, it's a way to promote the product one license plate at a time,” said Jeff Rudolph of Gothenburg, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen.

So far, Rudolph said, 425 Nebraskans have signed up to order the beef plate, which costs $70.

Heineman, who is known as a fan of Big Macs, said he supports the license-plate effort, though he thought State Patrol rules prohibited putting such a specialty plate on his official state vehicle.

Nebraska is definitely a beef state, with more cattle than people.

In March, the state passed Texas as the No. 1 state in the nation for cattle feeding, with 2.46 million cattle on feed.

Nearly half of the state's 49,969 farms raise cattle, and $10 billion of the state's $23 billion of agricultural products are related to beef. One in four hamburgers in the nation have their origin in Nebraska, Heineman said.

The governor also recognized Stella's Bar and Grill of Bellevue, which was named last month as the winner of the Beef Council's “best burger” contest. Heineman said he was celebrating with a luncheon Friday at the governor's mansion featuring Stella's cheeseburgers.

For information about the new Beef State license plate, refer to the web site: http://www.nebraskacattlemen.org.

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