South Dakota ranchers may be facing a drought, which is forcing many to sell off pairs, but they still have giving hearts despite the hardships they are facing back at home.
A little over a week ago, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation (SDCF) hosted its annual Prime Time Gala & Concert in Sioux Falls, S.D. The event, which brought together 1,540 cattlemen, beef lovers and country music fans, raised $236,508 for Feeding South Dakota.
Since 2014, SDCF has raised $737,508, which is earmarked to purchase beef and dairy products for the state’s food banks. This is an important distinction considering less than 5.8% of the 13.5 million pounds of food that Feeding South Dakota distributes consists of animal proteins.
Additionally, the Foundation presented four agricultural students pursuing careers in beef production and promotion with $10,000 in scholarships.
The evening included a social hour, steak supper and auction featuring items such as a stock trailer, original art, pickup truck and more. The event ended with a concert by Carly Pearce, Scotty McCreery and Martina McBride.
"The results from this year's Gala are so exciting,” said Ryan Eichler, SDCF president, in a recent press release. “Our board of directors is so grateful to all of those involved with this event. From our corporate partners, to everyone in attendance Saturday night, the people of the Prime Time Gala are what makes it so successful and will ensure its legacy. We're honored to provide Feeding South Dakota with much-needed funds to procure beef, the most powerful protein in the world!"
"We truly couldn’t do the work that we do if it wasn’t for the support and the generosity of our farmers, our state’s cattlemen and cattlewomen, of the producers and of course, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation,” said Matt Gassen, CEO of Feeding South Dakota.
It’s been incredible to see how SDCF has built the prestige of this event, and it’s truly a testament of the caliber of the committee members who have worked tirelessly in the last four years to give back, promote the beef industry and bring together urban consumers with rural Americans.
“We felt like it was our responsibility as an industry to help provide to those in our state that need it the most,” said Eichler. “The agricultural industry has been blessed so much and this is a way for us to give back in a big way."
According to SDCF, funds raised at the event since 2014 have helped to purchase 414,644 pounds of beef for those across South Dakota. These donations have been distributed to all 66 counties in the state.
If you’re interested in attending the event next year, mark your calendars for June 23, 2018, and visit www.SDPrimeTimeGala.com for more information on the upcoming event. And for those in other states, please consider your local or state food bank in your charitable contributions.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.