Jackson Co. students have a way to cut down on beef prices

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:55 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The price of beef, like other groceries, is going up. The USDA reports beef prices have increased $0.71 per pound since 2020, but now there is another way to buy beef in Jackson County.

Lila Caraway has had a passion for cattle since she can remember.

“I showed my first heifer back in 2016, and I’ve just been slowly getting into it,” Caraway said. “Back in 2019 is when I really starting showing cattle and that’s when I did my first steer project.”

Local 4H and FFA students like Lila have been working since last April to raise their steers for the steer project. During this project, she has learned how to raise a steer.

“They feed the steer, they take care of it, make sure that it’s healthy and that it’s growing properly,” Jackson County 4H Youth Development Agent Caroline Chappell said.

However, Caraway said she’s learned much more.

“Like diligence and persistence and self-discipline really,” she said.

Now, after months of preparation, it’s time for her to show and sell her steer.

“It’ll go to a processor, directly to a processor, and it will be processed, and whoever buys that steer will receive the meat that comes from that animal,” Chappell said.

With the price of beef rising, buying these locally not only helps students, but your wallet, too. At the show, the animals can go for anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000, and one steer from the sale provides 600 to 700 pounds of meat.

“Really, it’s enough to feed a family of four for a year,” Chappell said.

Buyers aren’t just getting meat for a fair price, they’re also supporting students like Lila.

The cattle show and sale will be held Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Jackson County Ag Center.

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