In This Issue...
Rescarcheirs Sa\ Nc\\ Sicak's A H Wil\Vi
Bionsiion Linis. Florila Farnici' .And Ranclici.h
To Partnicipaic InII CcI'%LIu (_f.A niictItiiuic
Catlcllinll Connll cnd Hou-Sc \blic On Periu
S Dates to Remember
Dr. Dwain Johnson holds a
flat iron steak at the
University of Florida's IFAS
Meats Laboratory in
Story on Page 2...
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The Institute of Food and Agncultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmatve Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and
other services only to individuals that function with regard to race, color sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension pubhcations, contact your
county Cooperative Extension Service office.
Researchers Say New Steak's A Hit
A cut of beef once ground into hamburger has become
one of the nation's most popular steaks, thanks to a
processing method co-developed by a University of Florida
Recent figures show flat iron steak sales now top 90
million pounds a year, making the value-priced cut the
nation's fifth best-selling steak.
Dwain Johnson, a meat science professor with the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences who helped develop the steak in 2002, said some
consumers say the cut tastes better than a New York strip.
"The cut is as tasty and tender as more expensive
steaks, yet affordable enough for the average family to
enjoy on the regular basis, and it costs a lot less than a
choice filet or strip steak," he said.
Steve Wald, director of new product development
for the National Cattlemen's BeefAssociation in Centennial,
CO, said 47 million pounds of flat iron steak were sold in
2005, increasing to 92 million pounds in 2006 and about 90
million pounds so far this year. He said the sales data was
In this photo released by the UF/
IFAS, Dwain Johnson holds a flat
iron steak at the university s meats
laboratory in Gainesville. Johnson,
who helped develop the steak, said
the cut is as tasty and tender as more
expensive steaks, yet affordable
enough for the average family to
consume on the regular basis. In
2005, 47 million pounds offlat iron
steak were sold, increasing to 92
million pounds in 2006.About 90
million pounds have been sold so
far this year. (AP photo/University
ofFlorida/IFAS Thomas Wright).
compiled by Technomic
Inc., a Chicago-based
"In the food service
industry, which includes
restaurants, the flat-iron
steak outsells T-bone and
combined," Wald said.
"Strong consumer demand
prompted several national
retailers to introduce the
steak during the summer
developed the steak in
cooperation with the
University of Nebraska
and the cattlemen's
association, said their
research was aimed at
portions of the beef
carcass. In the largest
study of its kind, the
researchers evaluated more than 5,600 muscles for flavor
He said the flat iron steak -- also known as the top
blade steak -- is cut from deep within the shoulder muscle
known as the chuck, traditionally used for roasts or ground
"Although the cut is flavorful and relatively tender,
the flat iron steak has a serious flaw in the middle of it,"
Johnson said. "There is a tough piece of connective tissue
running through the middle, but it can be removed to
create an amazing cut of beef."
By developing a method for cutting the connective
tissue -- similar to filleting a fish -- the researchers
created a steak that has the tenderness of a ribeye or
strip steak with the full-flavored character of a sirloin or
skirt steak. It's also perfect for grilling over medium high
heat, he said.
"Supposedly named because it looks like an old-
fashioned metal flat iron, the flat iron steak is uniform in
thickness and rectangular in shape," Johnson said. "The
only variation is the cut into the middle where the
connective tissue has been removed."
Johnson said the research to produce leaner and
more convenient beef products was initiated when
demand for chuck, round and "thin cuts" -- which make
up 73 percent of total beef carcass weight -- declined by
more than 20 percent from 1980 to 1998.
"The Cattlemen's Beef Board realized that a more
concentrated effort was needed to study the cause for
the decreased demand in products from these carcass
locations," he said. "They also wanted to find out what
could be done to reverse the trend and increase the
demand for the chuck and round cuts."
He said other value cuts such as the petite tender
and ranch cut are starting to be used by the food service
Phone: (352) 392-1922
Email: s\ ald bc f oig
Phone: (303) 850-3315
By: Chuck Woods
UF/IFAS Communication Services
Phone: (352) 392-0400
Release November 28, 2007
And Ranchers To
Participate In Census
Forms will be delivered by mail in early
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson is urging the state's farmers and ranchers to
watch their mail in early January for the arrival of the
2007 Census of Agriculture form.
"I urge all of Florida's agricultural producers to
participate in the Census by completing and returning the
form," Bronson said. "The input received by the Census
helps shape the future of agriculture for years to come,
and we want to make sure that the voices of Florida's
farmers and ranchers are heard."
Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, the Census is a complete count of the
nation's farms and ranches and the people who operate
them. The Census examines land use and ownership,
operator characteristics, production practices, income and
expenditures and other topics. It provides the only source
of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every
county in the nation.
"Regardless of how large or small their operation or
what kinds of products they produce, it's important for
Florida farmers and ranchers to complete and return the
form," Bronson said. "By participating in the Census, they
will help themselves and their communities."
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS) will mail out Census forms on December 28,
2007, to collect data for the 2007 calendar year. Completed
forms are due by February 4, 2008. Producers can return
their forms by mail or fill out the Census online via a secure
"The Census ofAgriculture provides information that
benefits agricultural producers and their communities in
many ways," Bronson said. "For instance, policy-makers
factor Census data into decisions concerning agricultural
and rural programs. Community planners use Census data
to target needed services to rural residents. Companies
rely on Census data when determining where to locate
their operations. And farmers themselves can use Census
data to help make critical decisions about their
For more information about the 2007 Census of
Agriculture, contact the NASS Florida Field Office at
(407) 648-6013 or 1-800-344-6277 or visit
What is the Census of Agriculture?
The Census ofAgriculture is a complete count, taken
every five years, of America's farms and ranches and
the people who operate them. It is the most complete
agricultural data resource available, providing the only
source of uniform, comprehensive information for every
county in the nation. The Census provides information on
land use and ownership, operator characteristics,
production practices, income and expenditures, and many
other important topics. The 2007 Census of Agriculture is
your voice, your future, your responsibility.
By participating in the 2007 Census, producers can
help show the nation the value and importance of U.S.
agriculture. This is an opportunity for every producer to
show how agriculture contributes to America by providing
food, fuel and fiber. Each producer has the power to
influence key decisions that will shape the direction of
American agriculture for years to come, including:
Transportation and marketing locations
Production practices and new technologies
By responding to the Census, every producer can
have a positive impact on the future of their own operation
and their entire community. The Census provides valuable
information used for:
Farm succession planning
Availability of operational loans and other
Location and staffing of USDA service
Federal budget support for agriculture
Everyone's response to the Census makes a
difference. To assure we are providing the best tools and
reports, we need accurate information from all farmers
and ranchers no matter how large or small their operations.
This information is used to make a positive difference in
local communities. Additionally, responses are required
and protected by law.
What to Do?
Producers should look for the Census form in their
mailboxes in early January 2008.
Forms must be mailed back or completed online by
February 4, 2008.
Visit www.agcensus.usda.gov for more information.
For more information:
Phone: (407) 648-6013
L Cattlemen Commend
House Vote On Peru FTA
Urge Senate to Act Quickly on
Export opportunities for American cattle ranchers
got a boost today when the House of Representatives
approved the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement by a vote
of 285 to 132.
"For U.S. cattlemen, the Peru Trade Promotion
Agreement is one of the best-negotiated free trade
agreements to date, providing for immediate duty-free
access for U.S. prime and choice beef," says Stacey
Satterlee, director of legislative affairs for the National
Cattlemen's BeefAssociation (NCBA). "This gives U.S.
producers the ability to compete aggressively against
Argentinean and Brazilian beef in these markets."
NCBA is working with a coalition of ag industry
groups in support of this agreement, which presents a
great opportunity forAmerican agriculture, and especially
for beef producers. Under the Peru Trade Promotion
U.S. choice and prime beef will have
immediate duty-free access.
All tariff rate quotas will be eliminated within
Peru has committed to recognize the U.S.
meat inspection system as equivalent to its
own, thereby allowing imports from facilities
approved by USDA-FSIS.
Peru has committed in writing to specific
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) terms.
It's also important to note that beef comprises less
than 8 percent of Peru's total agriculture gross domestic
product, making it an exceptional export growth opportunity
for U.S. beef. In 2003, Peru was a $6 million export market
for U.S. beef, beef variety meats and beef products. This
improved access could amount to roughly $15 million a
year about half the value of Peru's current total beef
"America's cattlemen rely on our nation's
policymakers to support a pro-trade agenda in order to
grow their businesses and help support the U.S. economy,"
says Satterlee. "A vote for expanding trade is a vote for
American agriculture and small business."
The trade agreement with Peru is one of several
waiting for Congressional consideration. "While we are
urging swift passage of the Peru agreement in the Senate,
we are also looking to Congress to consider the Colombia
and Panama free trade agreements. These are well-
negotiated agreements and Congress needs to ratify
Phone: (202) 347-0228
Phone: (720) 987-4783
Release November 8, 2007