LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) _ The average price for a pound of fresh beef is the highest in at least 27 years. That's according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Austin Arndt, president of the Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association says it's due to the lingering effects of drought in California, the Great Plains and Texas that have led to the smallest U.S. herd size in 60 years. That coupled with record beef exports in 2013 means high prices nationwide. The department says the average price for a pound of fresh beef reached $5.04 in January, the highest on records that date back to 1987. Holmen Locker and Meat Market owner Scott Stettler says he's seen wholesale beef costs jump 60 cents a pound over the past few months.