Nebraska Company to Renew American Beef Exports to Israel

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) -

A Nebraska company is the first in the United States to send beef to Israel in more than a decade.

Nebraska officials gathered in Hastings Thursday to congratulate WR Reserve, which is sending the first shipment of American beef to Israel since a 13-year ban was lifted earlier this year. WR Reserve is the only American kosher beef processing plant approved by the Israeli government.

“We are all proud of the fact that Nebraska beef is internationally recognized as the tastiest meat around and we are proud to be able to provide the sought after product,” said WR Reserve manager Fischel Ziegelheim.

Ziegelheim said shipments will start with 200 head of Angus cattle a week. He said that with this production addition, the company is looking to expand operations by adding 100 jobs and acquiring a nearby unused building in Hastings. WR Reserve currently has over 300 employees.

“Its’s a very exciting reopening of the channel into the Israeli beef market, which exceeds $400 million a year,” Ziegelheim said. “This is a great opportunity that spells more economic opportunities and jobs for the state of Nebraska.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Foley participated in a ceremonial truck loading, which symbolizes the company’s first beef shipment to Israel. Each box of beef shipped is stamped with Israel’s Chief Rabbinate’s signature.