Three-quarters of Texas is experiencing “exceptional drought”, the worst category used by the US Drought Monitor. The effect on farmers and ranchers has been profound. But a state program launching today aims to give city folk a way to help farmers and ranchers by enjoying the fruits – and meats – of their labor.
“Everybody I talk to around here says what calves they still have on their cows are already 100 pounds or more behind,” Texas beef industry journalist Steve Cornett writes on his Farm Today blog. He says the drought-related shortage of feed has forced some cattlemen to sell their herds.
The mood at cattle auctions is said to be depressing. The Beeville Bee-Picayune reports on one weekly sale in that South Texas town. Ranchers aren't smiling.
If their faces are stoic, their eyes reveal an underlying concern. Talk to them privately and some frankly admit they’re afraid.
Central Texans are no exception. The San Marcos Local News reports today on farmers in Hays county fighting for survival.
Enter the Go Texas Restaurant Round Up. It probably won’t prevent any ranchers from going out of business. But it will get locally produced food on the plates of 500 restaurants across the state, including about 60 in the Austin-area.
“By eating at a participating restaurant, you are really sending a strong message that you support the local producers,” Staple told KUT News. “In the Austin-area, we have many new startup growers who are providing fresh opportunities for consumers.”
Red’s Porch, for example, is serving a daily menu special featuring Texas quail. Opal Divines will have more than 30 Texas beers on tap at each location. Manuel’s is serving Texas-raised pork tenderloin. And Judge’s Hill Restaurant has a salsa made with Fredericksburg peaches and habanero peppers.
You can search all the Go Texan Restaurant Roundup participants here.
For more information on eating locally, check out some of these sites: