LEXINGTON, Ky. — A central Kentucky county is celebrating its beef cattle production by giving out free burgers marking the unofficial kickoff for grilling season.

What You Need To Know

  • May is National Beef Month

  • Madison County is second in the state for beef cattle production

  • Multiple organizations unofficially kickoff grilling season at Ag Credit in Richmond

May is National Beef Month and Madison County is one of the top five beef producing counties in the state.

“Madison County is either the second or third largest county in the state that produces beef and is one of the largest factors of our ag economy here,” said Chris Cooper, Ag Credit loan officer and president of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.

Madison County is neck and neck with Pulaski County in beef cattle production. That’s according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service and Economic Research Commission.

“There’s over 71,000 head of cattle in Madison County, and there's over 785 cattle farms in Madison County, and it's about a $42 million economy, adds that much to the Ag economy here in Madison County,” Cooper said.

Kentucky ranks eighth in the nation in beef cattle inventory and has the most beef cattle of any state east of the Mississippi River.


Madison County's annual Beef Day aims to raise awareness about all that the farmers do for the county.

“Well this is the second annual we had to skip last year on fortunately to the pandemic in all the circumstances around that,” Cooper said.

Team members from Ag Credit passed out burgers to people driving in for a meal.

“A lot of people don't understand where their food comes from, and a lot of children don't understand the correlation between the farms and the food that they actually get to eat so educating our children on that as well as the community being aware of where it all comes from and how hard it is to actually do the job at the beef cattle farmers day,” said Jillian Fichetola, a mother who went through the drive-thru setup for burger pickup.

Kentucky has more than a million beef cows and about 32,000 farms raise beef cattle in the state.