S.D. beef heading to Guard troops in Iraq

S.D. beef heading to Guard troops in Iraq Every beef producer in South Dakota is helping send $20,000 worth of beef jerky and beef sticks to South Dakota National Guard troops serving in Iraq.

More than 2,700 pounds of American-raised beef is on its way to approximately 750 National Guardsmen and women in six units serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, thanks to the $1 beef checkoff.

"The beef producers, like so many other South Dakotans, have been showing their support for our men and women serving in Iraq," says Maj. Gen. Michael Gorman. "We really appreciate this outstanding effort on the part of beef producers. I know that our Guard members will be truly pleased to receive this taste from home."

Gorman is Adjutant General of the South Dakota National Guard, commanding South Dakota Air and Army National Guard members.

Gorman was at the post office in downtown Sioux Falls to accept delivery of the 88 boxes of product from Nancy Montross, president of the South Dakota Beef Producers Council (SDBIC).

"Every one of the state's beef producers contributed to this project through their beef checkoff," Montross explained. "We're proud of the beef we produce. Sending these beef products was a fitting way to show our thanks and support to these South Dakota men and women who are contributing so much with their service."

She says that each Guard member should receive approximately 10 packages of the beef product, vacuum-sealed and sent with a thank you from the South Dakota beef producers.

The boxes of beef � sent priority mail � were to fly out of Sioux Falls Tuesday morning, stopping in Memphis and Newark, NJ, before the overseas flight. Larry Michels, United States Postal Service plant manager for the Sioux Falls' processing and distribution center, says Guard members should be enjoying the beef product by the end of this week. Michels and Lisa Schaal, acting supervisor of the downtown post office, says extra staff was called in to help process the mailing.

The concept for the project began during the SDBIC's annual meeting last October. Since then, Montross and her husband Bob � both DeSmet area cattle producers � have been coordinating the endeavor with support from the SDBIC and others.

The 8,000 packages of beef jerky and beef sticks were produced and packaged by Howard Cold Storage in Howard. Additional beef producers helped box the product, prepare it for shipment and unload the boxes in Sioux Falls. Glen Davis, owner of Legend Seeds, Inc., DeSmet, volunteered the use of the company's seed trailer. Legend representative Duane Aldrich transported the beef to Sioux Falls.

"This has truly been a coordinated effort," says SDBIC Executive Vice President Pat Adrian. "But the entire project would not have been possible without the hard work of our state's beef producers and the beef checkoff dollars they contribute."

The SDBIC collects the $1-per-head on all cattle sold in South Dakota. The Council, whose board is comprised of representatives from eight state agricultural organizations, can retain up to 50 cents for state projects, forwarding the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, to be used to coop on national promotion, research and educational projects.

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