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Local ranchers react to magazine article claiming beef is bad

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 1:45 PM CDT
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HETTINGER, ND – A recent article in “Prevention Magazine” claims beef is bad for our health, and cattle are bad for the environment. Local ranchers say nothing could be further from the truth.

Jacki Christman’s favorite part of her day is a few minutes just before sunset spent checking on her girls.

This is Jacki Christman’s favorite part of her day.
This is Jacki Christman’s favorite part of her day.(KFYR)

“They’re the reason I get to stay home,” said Christman, who ranches with her husband near Hettinger. “I take care of the cattle and they take care of me.”

She takes care of them by making sure they’re fed and rotated to fresh pastures. Her connection to this land and to these cattle made a recent national magazine article stating beef is bad for your health and cattle bad for the environment hard to swallow.

“We take as good of care of them as we can. We would like people to have more knowledge of why we do things how we do. I’d encourage them to ask questions,” said Christman.

It is the topic of conversation when Christman meets with other area producers. Bruce Hagen has been raising cattle near Reeder since the 70s.

“We really do the best we can to make a good product,” said Hagen. “It is our livelihood. We put everything we can into it.”

Bucyrus rancher Ross Engraf agrees and encourages those who have questions seek out answers from ranchers.

“Don’t just tear them apart, ask some questions so you understand,” said Engraf. “I’d suggest people spend some time out in the country and get to know some people who actually do this work.”

Those like Jacki Christman, who work from sunup to sundown and sometimes longer taking care of their cattle and their grasslands, want their side of the beef story told.

All three added that beef is an affordable source of protein. They say it would be very expensive to feed the world on plant-based protein.

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