Kansas Beef Industry Economics

• Kansas ranked third nationally with 6.25 million cattle on ranches and in feedyards as of January 1, 2023. That's a little over twice the state's human population of more than 2.9 million. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Cattle and calves represented 46% of the 2021 Kansas agricultural cash receipts. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Cattle generated $9.85 billion in cash receipts during 2021. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Kansas ranked sixth nationally in beef cow numbers as of January 1, 2023, with 1.32 million head. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Kansas ranks second nationwide in commercial cattle processed with 6.9 million head in 2021. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Kansas ranks third in the value of beef and veal exported at $1.4 billion in 2021. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Meat packing and prepared meat products manufacturing make up the largest share of the food processing industry in the state. This industry provides employment for over 31,440 people in Kansas. (Kansas Department of Labor)

• Kansas ranked second in fed cattle marketed with 5.41 million in 2021. That represents 24% of all cattle fed in the United States. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Kansas ranked third in total red meat production in 2021. Beef represented nearly 5.6 billion pounds of the total. (Kansas Ag Statistics)   

• Beef cattle farming and ranching has a direct output of about $6.3 billion and employs nearly 34,130 Kansans. In addition, animal slaughtering and meat processed from carcasses, except poultry, has a direct output of $11.2 billion and supports a total of 17,292 jobs. (Kansas Department of Agriculture)

• The meat industry was responsible for as much as $12.9 billion in economic activity in Kansas during 2020. (American Meat Institute.)

• Kansas ranks third in hides and skins exported from the U.S., totaling $123.5 million in 2021. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• In 2017, Kansas had 26,740 farms with cattle and calves. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

• Kansas has 45.7 million acres of farm ground; however, not all of this land can be used to grow crops. Cattle are the ideal mechanism for efficiently utilizing grasses and plants growing on the 15.5 million acres of Kansas pastureland. These acres are not suited for the production of cultivated crops and would be wasted if it were not for ruminants, such as cattle, turning these resources into essential protein and nutrients for human use. (Kansas Ag Statistics)

Kansas county statistics map