America's Big Beef
A beef feedlot in central Kansas (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)

America's Big Beef

An Industry in Transition

From small ranchers to large packers to U.S. dinner tables, the beef industry is a multibillion dollar business. Beef is what’s for dinner, what’s for lunch and what’s for breakfast on thousands of Americans’ plates daily.

In this reporting collaboration with The Kansas City Star and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Mike McGraw, Harvest Public Media examines what goes in to producing our meat. We look at the safety of the meat in our grocery stores and who funds the scientific research on the industry. We dive into what goes in to breeding the highest-quality beef, the potential environmental impact of the way conventional cattle are raised, and what might happen if the beef industry continues to consolidate.

Timeline: A short history of the beef industry

The American beef industry has been around for a long time. And it has long played an important role in defining food production in the U.S.

Click an event on the timeline to see more information.