Good news for cows, bad news for cattlemen: The average American ate 1.7 pounds less beef in 2009 than the year before. (That’s still 61 pounds per person, roughly the weight of a newborn calf.) Rising feed costs (hello, ethanol!), higher export demand, and smaller supply have beefed up prices and trampled dining-table demand. Beef producers at this annual convention in Denver will talk ways to keep beefeaters from quitting cow. One solution for keeping carnivores craving steak? Push smaller (more affordable) portions, says association marketing manager Trevor Amen. “You can include beef in your diet at any budget.” Well done, beef man. — Rachel Arndt
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