In 1997, a group of South Dakota ranchers got together with one goal in mind — to help consumers purchase more beef. And, they have achieved that goal with the inception of Beef Bucks, Inc., which has helped move tens of thousands of pounds of beef to consumers in more than 40 states over its 14-year history.
On Aug. 19, Beef Bucks, Inc. hosted its ninth annual Beef Bucks Golf Challenge in Brandon, SD., its largest annual fundraising event. A total of 48 teams totaling 192 golfers -- producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers -- competed for top prizes.
It was an action-packed day, and I got to take it all in.The tournament kicked off with a putting contest, followed by a hole-in-one competition, and prizes were awarded to winning golf teams in four flights. Also part of the festivities was a 16-oz. ribeye steak supper, sponsored by National Beef, and immediately following that was a fundraising auction with various items donated by commercial supporters and even some professional athletes (see the list at the end of this article, and remember to support the companies that support your business).
“The Beef Bucks program has helped to move more than $2 million in beef across the country,” says JoAnne Hillman of Sioux Falls, a Beef Bucks volunteer board member. “Dollars raised help to provide scholarships, assist at industry events and promote our program."
For those unfamiliar with Beef Bucks, they are prepaid checks in $5, $10 and $20 denominations that can be redeemed for beef purchases anywhere in the U.S. VISA debit cards ranging from $25-$500 are also available. Beef Bucks, Inc. isn't affiliated with any industry groups and no beef checkoff dollars are used to support the program. It's just a grassroots non-profit group committed to helping grow beef demand in the U.S.
Each year Beef Bucks, Inc. provides at least one scholarship to an individual attending post-secondary education (including non-traditional students who decide to get more schooling). The programs also funds up to 20 scholarships for SDSU’s BEEF 2020 program held each January.
Plans are already underway for 2012's 10th annual Beef Bucks Golf Challenge to be held in Brandon, SD, on Aug. 17, says Nancy Montross, who helped found the program with her husband Bob. Incidentally, the Montrosses of DeSmet, SD, are past winners of BEEF magazine's Trailblazer Award. They were recognized in 2006 for their beef promotion prowess, including their role in initiating the Beef Bucks program. You can read more about them here.
"We appreciate the support of the sponsors, golfers and fans of the Beef Bucks program," Nancy says. "We are a grassroots organization, and our focus is to sell beef. This event helps us do just that.”
Certainly, this group of volunteer ranchers has done amazing things on behalf of the American beef industry, helping to move thousands of pounds of beef across the country. To support this organization, visit http://beefbucks.org, or call 1-888-640-MEAT.
Putting contest -- sponsored by Fenske Cattle Co., Woonsocket, SD.
Hole-in-one competition -- sponsored by Prostrollo’s All-American Auto Mall, Madison, SD.
Flight winners -- Millborn Seeds of Brookings, Rural Manufacturing of Freeman, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, and South Dakota State University (SDSU) College of Ag and Bio in Brookings.
Contributors and commercial supporters included: Texas Roadhouse; John Deere. Omaha Steaks, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, RFD-TV, Uncle Ed’s Catering, Henry Rifle Company, Tyson Foods, Jack Daniels, JBS, BEEF magazine, Coors, Miller Lite, SDSU, Emery Kleven, SD Lottery, American Food Group, Northern Livestock Video Auction, Omaha Steaks, Trav’s Outfitter and Ariat Boot Co.