Red Angus producers raise thousands for All American Beef Battalion
Cattle producers are some of the most compassionate, caring people in the world. They care for their land, they care for their animals, and they care for their neighbors.
For a group of Red Angus producers, caring for their neighbors includes more than just those who are in close proximity. It also includes those who are in the military, and are fighting for the freedom that American’s enjoy.
On January 8, a bull named CRS Diamond 21 Gun Salute was auctioned off at the Mile High Classic Red Angus Sale, held at the National Western Stock Show. All of the proceeds from the sale benefitted the All American Beef Battalion (AABB).
“I think the auction was a tremendous success. A collective set of people came together to gather donations, and no one knew how successful it would be,” said Jennifer Noble, communications director for the Red Angus Association of America.
“I know that anytime we can support our troops, we should. Agriculture and those who are fighting for us are two that this country can’t live without. We need people to keep us safe and to feed us. It is something that we can do for the troops that support us every single day,” she said.
Noble added, “I think honestly the agricultural industry is a very giving industry. We look for other causes we can support because it’s the right thing to do. People in production agriculture have always taken a stand of supporting those in need, so it’s a pretty common thing for people in agriculture to raise funds and support other causes.”
The bull brought $12,300 the first time he was sold, when he was bought by a group of producers. The floor was then opened up for more donations, and producers donated another $7,000.
The bull was then resold, where he brought an additional $4,750 and was purchased by Jim Odle, with Odle Livestock out of Brush, Colo.
This is not the first time the bull has been auctioned off to raise money for the AABB. The bull was raised by Cross Diamond Cattle Company, out of Bertrand, Neb. When they held their annual production bull sale on December 12, he was auctioned off for $7,000, and all of the proceeds benefitted the AABB.
The bull was purchased at that time by Horsley Red Angus (Stringtown, Okla.), Silver Spur Ranches (Wyo., Colo., Neb., N.M.) and Arcadia Land and Cattle Co. (Stringtown, Okla.). During the sale, donations were also collected, and an additional $5,500 was added to the total.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to further the cause. We very much appreciate what the troops do for us. There is a certain connection between farmers and ranchers and the military. We are all on the ground floor on what makes this country great. We wanted to be able to thank the troops,” said Barry Horsely, owner and operator of Horsely Red Angus and general manager of Arcadia Land and Cattle Co.
“We thought the setting in Denver was good because a lot of people in our business congregate there to go the shows and have meetings and visit with old friends. It seemed to be a good setting to resell the bull,” he added.
Horsely believes in supporting the AABB because of the vision and mission of the organization. “We like to support people who think like us, and we like supporting causes that have people involved who are doing it for the good. There is a cross section of people in the cattle industry who work with that organization, and we have a great respect for them. It is a good opportunity to help those who are helping others,” Horsely said.
The AABB was picked because of its ties with agriculture. “We had seen a segment on the All American Beef Battalion on RFDTV last spring at some point and became interested in it. It really hit a cord with us that we enjoy the freedoms that the American soldier has given us throughout history and presently, everyday of our lives,” said Kim Ford, owner and operator of Cross Diamond Cattle Company.
She continued, “We are also raising beef everyday of our lives so what better way to say thanks than to see that those troops get a steak and receive a warm send off or warm welcome whether they are being deployed or coming back from deployment.”
In total, the sale of the bull has raised $36,550 for the AABB. The AABB is an organization that was founded by Bill Broadie of Ashland, Kan. He is a fourth generation cattleman, and served in the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in 1967.
“This donation reinforces everything that you can say about American agriculture. It is overwhelming to receive such a large donation, and it was a wonderful gift that was given to us. It really shows the true generosity and patriotism of American agriculture,” said Broadie.
“These kids write a blank check to the U.S. government, for everything they have including their life. It is a small gesture we can make. They are putting their life on the line, and we want to be able to give them a steak dinner to thank them,” he added.
Since the first dinner was served on April 26, 2008, over 100,000 soldiers and their families have been served. The steaks are bought from a federally inspected plant, and Tim Kirby in Dodge City, Kan., cuts and ages all of the steaks.
Other companies, such as Creek Stone Farms in Windfield, Kan., have donated steaks. Creek Stone has donated over 7,000 steaks now. When the meat is not donated, companies such as U.S. Premium/National Beef and Tyson have offered steaks to the organization at a discounted price.
The donations that the AABB receives are used to cover all the expenses of the dinner, not just for the steak. Full meals are served, and volunteers help to make sure everyone gets fed.
The purpose of the AABB is “To organize and sponsor steak feeds, entertainment, programs, meetings and projects with Service Members and their families, to encourage and assist them in any reasonable manner, and to foster among the people of the United States an appreciation, respect and honor for our Armed Forces Military Service Members whose sacrifices have and will continue to make our freedoms possible,” according to their website.
“The dedication and sacrifices of our service men and women continue to insure that we as farmers and ranchers are free to work, and do our work in food and fiber for this country and for the world. Other countries don’t always have the freedoms to use new technology and to do what we can. It makes us better producers because we do have the freedoms,” said Horsely.
Giving back to the troops is very important to the Ford family. “We did feel as people involved in agriculture, as well as being an American, that to be involved and to give back in whatever we can is very important. We thought we could do it not just to raise money right now, but to raise awareness for the program for the future,” said Ford.
She added, “We felt this was a great way to show our support and our thanks.”