Earlier this week, I recorded a virtual presentation for the upcoming ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference. My session, “Shifting our mindset and shaping new opportunities in the beef business,” will focus on how cattlemen and women are inspiring hope with good deeds, as well as pivoting their business models and marketing strategies to weather the COVID-19 storm.
In my speech, I shared how I’ve felt renewed and recharged by reading the stories of good-hearted people doing good deeds in our beef cattle industry to make a difference during these trying times. With so much negativity, internal fighting, financial strain and emotional stress, we all could use a little extra cheer and positivity right now.
For example, I have been inspired by 4-H kids sewing and donating masks, FFA kids fundraising to purchase milk and dairy for food pantries and a farm kid from Kansas who is using his 3-D printer to make face shields for hospital workers. And that’s just a small sampling of the big and small gestures that folks in our industry are doing during a crisis situation.
I’m particularly proud of the ranching community in my home state of South Dakota. Each year, I blog about an annual event called the Prime Time Gala, hosted by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation (SDCF). Traditionally, the gala includes a dinner, auction and concert to raise money to purchase beef for Feeding South Dakota.
So when the seventh annual event was postponed until 2021, the SDCF crew shifted their focus and still managed to accomplish their mission in 2020, despite losing their largest fundraising event of the year.
On May 4, the SDCF presented a check for $150,000 to Feeding South Dakota. These funds will be used to procure protein for the food insecure during these unprecedented times. Of the 12.8 million pounds of food that Feeding South Dakota distributes on an annual basis, only about 10% of that is protein.
Of course, we know that high-quality protein like beef plays a critical role in overall health and wellness, so this donation certainly makes an impact for those in need in our area.
“While the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation is saddened by the postponement of the 7th Annual Prime Time Gala, we are committed to continuing our mission to provide the most vulnerable South Dakotans access to beef; the most complete and nourishing protein on earth,” said SDCF President Ryan Eichler, in a press release.
“We are humbled and honored by the willingness of our event sponsors and producers to provide these funds in a very difficult economic time in the beef industry. The people behind our state’s farms, ranches, and industry-related businesses are the most compassionate and giving people around. We are very proud to represent them and overwhelmed to facilitate this and future donations to Feeding South Dakota.”
Since the first Prime Time Gala was held in June 2014, over $1,379,360 has been raised, which helped to purchase and distribute over 970,213 pounds of beef for families in all 66 counties in South Dakota.
According to SDCF, “To continue in the spirit of raising funds for such an important mission, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation are now challenging the community and other organizations to join them by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax Crew Cab 4WD LT, donated by Billion Chevrolet of Sioux Falls.
“To purchase a truck raffle ticket or for additional details about next year’s Prime Time Gala & Concert that will be hosted on Saturday, June 19, 2021 featuring Little Big Town at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, click here."
Do you know of any feel-good stories in the beef cattle industry that are worth sharing and celebrating? I want to hear about it! Email me at [email protected], and your story could be featured on the BEEF Daily blog!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.