Cruz reflects on beef amid COVID-19

Ray Scherer


Jose Cruz has gone through another successful beef calving season, and that's despite the turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic.


"We didn't have a lot of issues," Cruz told the Advertiser-Courier, referencing his operations in the Rhineland area. "The mud was horrible for a while….A lot of guys are done by now."


Yet that adverse weather, which included chilly temperatures, eventually wore away and allowed the calving season to proceed without any major complications, he said. The inclement weather carries risks for conducting the births, he added. For example, a newborn calf can accidentally ingest and inhale manure and thereby become susceptible to the dangers of e. coli. He raises registered shorthorn and registered Angus breeds, and has close to 80 head of cattle.


Cruz said some commercial beef producers may be impacted by consequences related to the pandemic, depending on what stage they're involved in with their herds. Some of the larger commercial companies with large volumes are definitely hurting.


"It has severely depressed the market," he said, however adding beef is considered essential for the economy.


On another front, concerning the supply of freezer beef, Cruz said retail prices are high, yet that the consumer's request "has literally went nuts….It's a good thing. People are ready to buy directly….Demand is strong."


Beef products that are normally bought just from grocery stores have now taken to a popularity over some postings on social media. Cruz himself said he is selling freezer beef and eggs that way. He encourages people to seek out the best deals for themselves to find the freshest products.


Consumers benefit by the ability to acquire all the major cuts of beef by choosing the freezer option. That also strengthens the economy and keeps dollars circulating locally, he said.

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