The ribeye has just been named the official state steak of Oklahoma after Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill authorizing the legislation and it coincided with the start of Beef Month.
Senate Bill 21 was put forward in December 2018 by Oklahoma Sen. Casey Murdock and was met with some criticism because people viewed it as unnecessary. However, Oklahoma has already named a number of official foods such as milk which is the state beverage and watermelon which is the state vegetable.
Murdock is a rancher representing the Panhandle region in the northwest part of the state and he says the bill is meant to promote an Oklahoma product. According to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service data, Oklahoma is the nation’s fifth largest producer of cattle and calves. Cattle sale proceeds in Oklahoma exceed $3.7 billion annually according Oklahoma State University Extension.
Gov. Stitt signed the bill on May 2 after it had been approved in the Oklahoma Senate on Feb. 20 and the state House of Representatives on April 25.
The bill had the support of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) and the association was thankful to both Murdock and Representative Trey Caldwell, who helped author the bill.
“Beef cattle farmers and ranchers represent the largest sector of Oklahoma agriculture,” says Michael Kelsey, OCA Executive Vice President. “Highlighting the most popular steak, the ribeye steak, as the official steak of Oklahoma is a great opportunity to promote Oklahoma and our great beef industry.”