Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching, and for many, that means gathering with friends and family for a good, old-fashioned American grillout! Each year, my family and I spend the holiday weekend at the South Dakota State Fair, and we keep busy camping, showing calves, juggling speeches and sports, and taking it all in. No matter where you spend your Labor Day weekend, I hope you're including beef in your plans!
I was excited to see a few Labor Day articles featuring beef already this week, and I know the buzz created around the holiday will only continue in the days leading up to the main event.
For example, The Sacremento Bee food and wine columnist Carole Kotkin encourages tenderloin as the beef cut of choice this Labor Day.
"When it comes to late-summer entertaining, my hands-down favorite dish for a crowd is whole grilled beef tenderloin. It's hearty, bursting with flavor, but low in fat, plus it's quick and easy and leaves the oven free for other dishes."
Serious Eats takes its love of tenderloins one step further by offering readers a chance to win beef and cedar grilling planks in its latest blog.
"Anyone else already flipping the calendar to September and realizing how ridiculously soon Labor Day weekend is? Well, it is. Which brings us to our next thought: grilling. Got any grilling plans yet for the holiday weekend?
We turned to our friends at Double R Ranch, who you may remember from this cowboy chop giveaway, for another chance to win a beeftastic package. Three lucky winners here will get this steak package, which includes four, 4-oz. tenderloin filets and four cedar grilling planks in time for Labor Day grilling festivities."
The beef checkoff also suggests a few delicious beef recipes perfect for Labor Day picnics.
Sloppy Joe Bake 
Finally, what does Labor Day mean for beef producers? According to an article in CNBC, Labor Day Picnics Trigger Stampede in Cattle, Beef Prices , "Americans face higher beef prices for their traditional end-of-summer Labor Day barbecues following a late-night stampede by meat packers that helped send cattle futures to their highest levels in nearly two years. There is growing concern that food prices are going to head north. U.S. cattle supplies have declined as ranchers culled herds to offset losses during the recession and calves emerged from the hard winter with less meat on their bones than usual."
Another article featured in Bloomberg News says,  "Hog futures rose, capping the longest rally in more than a month, on signs that U.S. grocers are buying more pork in preparation for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5. Cattle declined. Labor Day is the second-most popular day for barbecues, with 75% of U.S. grillers cooking out, a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) study found. Independence Day ranks number-one."
How are you spending Labor Day weekend? Which beef cuts will you be grilling up?