Amanda Radke: Cowgirl’s Perspective 3-11-13 |

Amanda Radke: Cowgirl’s Perspective 3-11-13

Since 2008, the All-American Beef Battalion (AABB) has served 300,000 steaks to men and women serving in the military. These ribeye dinners are sponsored by volunteers associated with AABB, which is a non-profit organization that raises money simply to say “thank you” with beef. I’m proud to be involved in this organization, and I can say from serving steaks at these feeds myself that the men and women serving our country truly appreciate this gesture of thanks.

“We wanted to support the troops who make such great sacrifices to protect us and our freedoms,” said Mary Janssen, who raises Red Angus cattle with her husband, Wayne, near Estelline, S.D. “We decided to raise money for the All-American Beef Battalion as a way to say thank you to these service men and women.”

The Janssens donated a bred Red Angus heifer that was raffled off. Tickets were sold in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada. March 2 marked the day of the raffle, the same day the Janssens sold 85 head of Red Angus at the Madison Livestock Auction Barn. The Estelline art class made fliers to help advertise, and printed off tickets, as well.

“It was great to have the cooperation of the Estelline kids to help us promote this contest,” add Janssen. “They really helped us out by designing posters and raffle tickets. We had the help of the entire community; it was a team effort to raise money for the troops.”

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A winner was selected and was given the option of $1,800 or the bred heifer. Dan Platz of Castlewood, S.D., was the lucky winner, and he chose the cash.

“It was great to have someone local win the prize,” said Janssen. “He’s a city guy, so I think he was a little shocked to have won a bred heifer! I’m sure he was wondering what to do with her. He was pretty excited to have the cash option, and we thank him for his support.”

Tickets were sold for this raffle at $25/piece or 10 for $200. The grand total from the raffle was a whopping $18,030. This money will help support AABB steak feeds. Each feed offers a complete meal for the troops and their families including steaks, potatoes, corn and dinner role.

“We are so impressed by this community for their hard work and creativity in raising money for our cause,” said Bill Broadie, founder of AABB and Kansas cattleman. “Truly, the best thanks we can give the troops is through beef, and I’m proud to serve American beef at our feeds. The thanks we get for doing this is from the gratitude shown by the troops and their families at these feeds. These kids are making great sacrifices for us, and this is one way we can say thank you. South Dakota has been a great supporter of AABB, and I thank the Janssens for their generous donation, and also thank you to the community members for participating in this raffle.”

The AABB was established in 2008 by Bill Broadie and a team of beef industry friends. Broadie was inspired to start an organization that would thank the troops while promoting beef because not only is he a cattleman, but he is also a Vietnam veteran.

“When I came home from Vietnam, there were no thank you’s to the troops,” said Broadie. “I didn’t want that to happen to this generation of kids, so this is how I say thank you.”

Broadie and AABB were recently honored for their service at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Tampa, Fla., in early February. The organization continues to gain national recognition.

“The money we raise is generated entirely by cattle men and women; we truly couldn’t do this without the support of ranchers, who are excited that AABB promotes beef and celebrates the troops.”

For more information on AABB or to donate to this cause, check out ❖

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