81 BEEF signs welcome travelers to Rock County, NE
Because of the beef industry’s rich heritage in Rock County, a group called Rock County Growth, Inc. decided to welcome travelers to Rock County by installing highway signs that mirror a historic Nebraska icon, the Beef State license plate. These signs are simple and to the point- 81 BEEF, the Beef County.
The signs are located at each entrance to Rock County – East and West on Highway 20; South on Highway 183; and, North on Highway 7.
A little background on Rock County and why we are proud to call ourselves the Beef County of Nebraska.
Rock County is nestled between the Niobrara River to the north and the Sandhills to the south, Rock County is known for many things: abundant hunting and fishing, native rangeland, a strong arts community, the historic Bassett Lodge and Range Café, and the yearly Sandhills Ranch Exposition Trade Show. With a strong educational system and opportunities for business renewal and expansion, Rock County is a great place to live – whether you are raising a family or looking for a beautiful place to retire.
What gave Rock County its start in 1878 is the same thing that keeps the County thriving today – the beef cattle industry! Andrew Bassett was one of the first to arrive in the Rock County area in 1878. Bassett immediately established a ranching homestead and began herding cattle in the area. Because of the abundant water and rich grasslands, other large-scale ranchers were also attracted to the area and brought with them large herds of Texas cattle – thus beginning the beef cattle industry in Rock County.
Today, Rock County is a leader in cow-calf production with over 92,000 head surveyed in the County. The beef industry is the backbone of the County’s economy, as evidenced by the success of the Bassett Livestock Auction. This livestock auction ranks as one of the top 3 sales in the State of Nebraska each week, and serves as a benchmark for market pricing black cattle. In 2015, the Bassett Livestock Auction sold over 90,000 head locally at the market, and another 5,000 headed via video sales. This year will mark the 85th year the Bassett Livestock Auction has been in the business, supporting Rock County’s beef industry.
–Rock County Growth, Inc.