Today, Gov. Dave Heineman proclaimed May as Beef Month in Nebraska and highlighted Stella's Bar and Grill in Bellevue as the winner of the statewide Best Burger Competition.
"This is a celebration of our successful beef industry," Gov. Heineman said. "This is an opportunity for Nebraskans to acknowledge and appreciate that Nebraska raises the best beef in the business."
Gov. Heineman issued a proclamation which noted cattle production as part of Nebraska's agricultural heritage and highlighted the care that livestock producers give to both the cattle and the natural resources needed to support those animals.
"We have great synergy," said Greg Ibach, Director of the Department of Agriculture. "Our cattle, corn and ethanol sectors combine to make Nebraska a competitive place to produce beef. At the same time, our other agricultural sectors - like pork, dairy, poultry, soybeans and wheat -- provide important diversification that helps keep our agricultural industry as a whole strong."
Nebraska ranks at or near the top nationally in a number of agriculture categories, including becoming the number one cattle feeding state in the nation earlier this year.
"Our state's natural resources of water, grass and fertile soil that grow feed grains, coupled with devoted ranchers and feeders, strongly positions Nebraska into the future," said Jeff Rudolph, President of Nebraska Cattlemen. "If we continue to nurture the business, Nebraska should remain a leader in beef production for many years into the future."
Additionally, Gov. Heineman and Steve Hanson, Chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council Steve Hanson presented Stephanie Francois of Stella's Bar and Grill in Bellevue with the award for winning the 2014 Nebraska's Best Burger Contest. The contest was started by the Nebraska Beef Council in 2011 and is open to all Nebraska eateries that serve beef hamburgers. The contest involves nominations from the public, and then a panel of judges visits the finalists.
Stella's "Stella Cheeseburger" won the contest. The cheeseburger was the main entrée served at a beef month barbecue hosted by Gov. Heineman at the Governor's Residence. This is the second time Stella's has won the competition, with its first title coming in 2012.
"I'm proud to present this award to Stella's on behalf of Nebraska's entire beef community," said Hanson. "The restaurant's commitment to quality beef ensures that their customers will enjoy great tasting hamburgers on every visit."