By RODNEY D. BOAM
When temperatures warm up and the days get longer, the mood for grilling meat on the patio season arrives in Franklin County. The problem is it will cost more to cook steaks and burgers as beef prices have taken a leap to the highest it’s been for five decades or better.
Eddie Jensen, of Mound Valley Company, a large cattle buyer in Thatcher, said prices are as high as he has seen them since he’s been buying cattle.
”I’ve been trading cattle for 50 years and it’s as high as I’ve seen it. Cattle prices are high but when I started in the business I bought a pickup for less than $3,000. I just bought a new pickup for $52,000. Everything we do is more expensive.”
Jensen said he is not sure what the future of beef prices will be. He only sells his beef to large slaughterhouses. He said there were several in the intermountain area. They would kill 100 cows a day. The slaughterhouses he sells to are killing 17,000 head a day.
“Beef is in the hands of the big boys and where it goes from here, I don’t know,” Jensen said.
The price of beef is also being noticed at the grocery store.
Shannon McCabe, manager of the Stoke MarketPlace meat department for the past three years, said beef prices are pretty high right now but he hasn’t seen a dip in sales.
“People around here are still buying red meat,” he said. “We’ve still been selling our fair share of beef despite the price.”
Stokes is, however, seeing an increase in pork and chicken sales, he said.
“One thing people should know is we have a new red meat product, certified angus beef,” McCabe said. “You can’t get better meat anywhere. We have gone to certified angus beef to give our customers quality to offset the prices.”
“Here is the deal, people sometimes don’t really know what type or quality of beef they are buying as paying consumers,” Reed Nelson the manager of Stokes said. “We thought the certified angus beef people offered a program that guaranteed a more consistently better beef.”
Michael Nicholas of New York Deli said it hasn’t effected the prices of his mainstay, beef, but it may if things don’t change.
“We haven’t adjusted our prices yet, but at some point we are going to have to,” he said. “We serve a lot of smoked brisket, beef sandwiches and steaks.
“Unlike a grocery story, we have printed menus and we can’t adjust the price every time prices change.”
This story is sponsored by Scott Workman and Bish’s RV.
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