On Tuesday night, I attended conservative talk radio host  Chris Stigall's 4th “Red Meat Tour” here in Kansas City, Mo. Because it was a week before elections, Stigall invited seven Republican candidates from the Kansas and Missouri side of the state line to participate. And believe it or not, all seven spoke a few words to the 200 in attendance in just under an hour total!

This was the first of Stigall’s Red Meat Tours that I was able to attend. He kicked off his first one at Kansas City’s legendary Hereford House restaurant. Because of the demand for this pre-election event, it was moved this time to the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City to accommodate the mainly Republican crowd. It also didn’t escape notice that across the parking lot was a Democratic party office, and during the dinner presentations we could hear protesters outside.

I had a chance to visit with Stigall for a few minutes about the Red Meat Tour in general and how it got started. Stigall noted that he is a proud red meat eater and on occasion enjoys a good bourbon and a cigar. “All the things the Nanny State doesn’t like us to have,” he said. The name “Red Meat Tour” has a couple of meanings – obviously red meat is one of them, but red also meaning Republican.

I told Stigall about Bovine Veterinarian and our other livestock publications that include Drovers, Dairy Herd Management and Pork, and that of course we promote red meat as an industry as well as the thousands of producers and others in agriculture who put that meat on our plate. A vast majority of those folks also being conservative.    

I’m a little disappointed in our local beef and pork producers’ associations/councils and even some of the national breed associations located nearby that they have not jumped on Stigall’s Red Meat Tour bandwagon. Why is an urban talk show host unashamedly and unabashedly broadcasting to thousands how great red meat is and our own industry hasn’t gotten involved with it? There is opportunity here, and aren’t we always looking for ways to get our products and our messages to consumers?

Stigall told me they haven’t planned their next Red Meat Tour event yet, but when they do, I think there could be a bigger place for our beef and pork industries at the table, so to speak. I’d like to see us step up and help support what Stigall has started. For you Kansas and Missouri livestock industry folks who are interested, drop me a line (gwren@food360.com) and we’ll see what we can do.