Beef jerky gets rave reviews from S.D. troops South Dakota's National Guard troops stationed in Iraq have been enjoying a taste of home. Almost 90 boxes of South Dakota-made beef jerky and beef sticks worth $20,000 made it to their destinations in early March after leaving the Sioux Falls downtown post office Feb. 23.
The beef was purchased and mailed with beef checkoff dollars contributed by every South Dakota beef producer who sells a beef animal.
"We have received many packages of food, cards and gifts throughout this deployment, but the excitement that the soldiers exhibited was as high as I've witnessed when they saw all of that beef," said Captain Wyatt E. Hansen, commander of the 842nd Engineer Company out of Spearfish, Belle Fourche and Sturgis.
Guard men and women from the 842nd were just some of the approximately 750 National Guard troops to receive the beef products sent with a "thank you" from South Dakota beef producers.
Captain Jeffrey Norris, commander of the 1742nd Transportation Company based out of Sioux Falls and Flandreau said the packages of beef were welcome.
"It was a huge success and has been receiving rave reviews from the troops. It has been a great morale boost," said Norris.
"I'm really excited that they've received the beef," said Nancy Montross, beef producer from DeSmet and president of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC). "It sounds as if our Guard troops really appreciated the effort of our state's beef producers and that they're enjoying the product. We thought it was an excellent way to say 'thanks' while they're so far from home. We truly appreciate their service."
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.