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Beef for Father’s Day slated at market

PARKERSBURG – Residents can sample beef grown in West Virginia at the Beef for Father’s Day sampling 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Point Place Marketplace.

The event is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the West Virginia Beef Industry Council and local cattle producers. State, local and industry representatives will be available to answer questions about beef farming and the state’s $200 million beef industry.

“The beef cattle industry is well established throughout West Virginia,” Walt Helmick, commissioner of agriculture, said. “In fact, in terms of dollar value, it’s second only to our commercial poultry industry.”

The marketplace is located along the floodwall near the main gate at Point Park.

Most of the state’s cattle are sold at livestock auctions and shipped to the Midwest for slaughter, bringing dollars into the state. Some of the beef is sold through local markets or directly to consumers, which provides farmers with more work and uncertainty, but a higher percentage of profits, state officials said.

Beef remains at record-high prices in grocery stores, largely because of the cost of feeding cattle in the drought-stricken, but cattle-rich western half of the country, state officials said. Despite the price, beef demand has remained strong, even though some may opt for hamburgers or less expensive cuts of steak, they said.

Chuck eye and flat iron cuts are flavorful and can be easily grilled. Tri-tip, top sirloin and various cuts of round steak offer grillability and lean fat content at half the cost of filets and other top-dollar cuts, state officials said.

“Beef is a cornerstone of the state’s agricultural economy and I’m committed to finding ways to keep West Virginia cattle and West Virginia dollars in this state,” Helmick said.