Lt. Gov. Foley, Ag Director load first boxes of Nebraska beef headed to Israel
HASTINGS – Today, Lt. Governor Mike Foley and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director (NDA) Greg Ibach were in Hastings, Nebraska to help load a shipment of beef headed to Israel. It was announced in February that WR Reserve, a beef processing company in Hastings, had been approved by the Israeli government as a source for kosher beef for import.
“Currently, WR Reserve is the only Israeli-approved kosher beef facility in the U.S.,” said Lt. Governor Foley. “As a result, the company is planning a $4.5 million expansion that will add approximately 100 jobs to the Hastings area.”
This will be the first shipment of beef from the United States to Israel since the announcement that a 13-year old ban on U.S. beef imports was being lifted. The ban was put in place after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was confirmed in Washington State in 2003.
“Nebraska is continuing to be looked at as a primary source of high-quality beef products by countries around the world,” said Director Ibach. “WR Reserve should be commended for meeting all the necessary requirements to get their Hastings facility approved. Having these additional exports shipped to an international market like Israel helps to support farmers and ranchers in the region.”
According to United States Department of Agriculture data, $433 million of beef products were imported by Israel in 2015, with more than 90 percent of those imports coming from South America and the rest from Europe.
–Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets