Beef Trivia

Who We Are

Beef Trivia

Who brought the first cattle to North America?
Christopher Columbus brought cattle with him to the Western Hemisphere on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, but Hernando Cortez was the first to bring cattle to North America in 1519.

What is the connection between beef and the name Uncle Sam, symbolizing the United States?
During the War of 1812, a Troy, New York meatpacker, Sam Wilson, obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army. Wilson, who was known locally as “Uncle Sam,” shipped the meat salted, in barrels. The barrels, being government property, were branded “U.S.” and the teamsters and soldiers joked that the barrels were the initials of Uncle Sam himself. Later, anything marked with the same initials (as much Army property was) also became linked with the name Uncle Sam and led to the idea that Uncle Sam symbolized the Federal Government and the association stuck.

When was the first agricultural fair in the United States?
In 1807, Elkanah Watson, a New England patriot and farmer, earned the title, “Father of US agricultural fairs” by producing a small exhibit of sheep under an old elm tree in the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In 1810 Watson staged a larger and more ambitious project, the Berkshire cattle show. The event was successful beyond all his expectations; entries included 386 sheep, 109 oxen, 9 cows, 7 folds, 3 heifers, 2 calves and 1 boar.

When was the hamburger invented and by whom?
The hamburger made its international debut in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The inventor was Fletcher Davis — sometimes known as Old Dave — who ran a small cafe on the Athens, Texas courthouse square in the 1880s. His early burger was described as a classic, greasy burger served on just-out-of-the-oven slices of bread and garnished with ground mustard mixed with mayonnaise, a big slice of onion, and sliced cucumber pickles. The people of Athens were reportedly so pleased with Fletcher’s sandwich that they raised a pile of money and sent him to the World’s Fair.

And what about French fries?
The story goes that, before returning to Texas, Davis was interviewed by a New York Tribune reporter who was intrigued by the hamburger and the fried potato strips he served with the sandwich at the World’s Fair. Davis told the reporter the sandwich was his idea, but said he learned to cook the potatoes that way from a friend in Paris, Texas. Apparently the reporter thought he meant Paris, France, and reported that the hamburger was served with wonderful “french-fried potatoes.” The name stuck, and history has forever given the wrong Paris the credit for french fries.

On average, a beef cattle operation is home to how many cattle?
40 head of cattle

How many different breeds of beef cattle can be found in the United States?
There are over 70 different breeds of beef cattle in the United States today.

Which segment of American agriculture is the largest? 
The cattle industry is the largest segment of American agriculture based on cash receipts.

In America, on which single day of the year is the most beef consumed?
More beef is consumed on Memorial Day than any other day of the year. Fourth of July and Labor Day typically tie for the second most popular beef eating days of the year.

What is the most popular cut of beef in the United States?
Ground beef, Between 40 to 45 percent of all beef sold today is in ground form. This includes fast food hamburgers, ground beef from the grocery store and processed meats such as sausage, hot dogs and lunch meat.

Beef is the No. 1 food source for which of the following nutrients?
Beef is the No. 1 source of Protein, Vitamin B12 and Zinc. Beef is also the No. 3 food source of iron behind fortified cereal and grains.

How many cuts of beef meet the government guidelines for lean?
29 cuts of beef meet the government guidelines for lean, with less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3-ounce serving. The 29 cuts include some of Americans’ traditional favorites like flank steak, tenderloin, 95 percent lean ground beef and T-bone steak, as well as newer cuts of beef, such as the Western Griller steak and Ranch steak.