Ag gives back this holiday season | TSLN.com

Ag gives back this holiday season

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview mirror, it's time to enter into a spirit of reflection, gratefulness and generosity as Christmas draws near. It comes as no surprise that the agricultural community is giving back in big ways this holiday season. Here are a few charitable organizations and fundraisers happening in rural America.

• Beef Bucks, Inc. & South Dakota Highway Patrol

Once again, Beef Bucks has teamed up with the South Dakota Highway Patrol to offer support to law enforcement families in need. The donation of Beef Bucks, which can be used to purchase beef at grocery stores, restaurants and qualified retailers, is gifted by Beef Bucks, Inc. a non-profit organization located in DeSmet, S.D. The South Dakota Highway Patrol assists in identifying those families who could use some help this holiday season. To donate to this cause, check out http://www.beefbucks.org or call 1-888-640-MEAT.

• Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska

Consider gifting tickets to family members, employees and friends this holiday season for the upcoming Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska, which will be held on June 2-3, 2017 in Anselmo, Neb. The event focuses on promoting beef in a healthy diet, showcasing rural Nebraska and raising money for health care research. Purchase tickets for the event here: cattlemensball.com.

• Riding for Dreams

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Located in Lisbon, N.D., this non-profit organization offers equine therapy for special needs children and adults with riding lessons. One of the only Therapy Riding Programs in North Dakota, the program was started by three women who are working to expand throughout the state in order to benefit more individuals. To learn more about equine therapy and to donate to this program, check out http://www.ridingfordreams.org.

• Empty Saddle Memorial Foundation (ESMF)

A non-profit organization created as a way to honor the loss of Neal Hermanson at the age of 23, ESMF seeks to honor and memorialize the lives of lost horsemen whose character was developed and shaped through the unique bond between horse and rider. Based out of Sidney, Mont., ESMF has provided the community with more than $33,000 in medical aide and scholarships. To nominate a loved one, contact Ned Hermann at 406-480-7424 or to mail a donation, send checks to ESMF, 1136 14th St. SW, Sidney, MT 59270. Learn more at

http://emptysaddlememorial.com.

• Chase Hawks Memorial Association

Honoring the loss of six-year old cowboy Chase Hawks, who was killed in a tragic accident in 1994, this non-profit organization seeks to help families in crisis with financial assistance during their times of need. The organization has provided fuel for families to drive sick children to Denver, built wheelchair ramps, collected clothes and household items for fire victims, secured airline and bus tickets for medical travel, covered funeral expenses and even provided Christmas toys for families in crisis. To learn more and donate, go to chasehawks.com.

• STEER, Inc.

Based out of Bismarck, N.D., STEER is a Christian non-profit organization that connects faith-filled donors to ranchers, with funds being used to buy and raise livestock to fund mission trips to teach people about the gospel. To donate or to get involved as a missionary or dedicated rancher, check out steerinc.com.

• South Dakota Cattlemen's Foundation (SDSF) Prime Time Gala

This annual event promotes beef, highlights South Dakota ranchers and raises money for Feeding South Dakota. A night of great food, exciting entertainment and an auction for a good cause, consider purchasing a table of tickets for your crew. For more information, check out sdprimetimegala.com and make plans to be in Sioux Falls, S.D. on June 17, 2017.

• Cottonwood Fire Relief Efforts

Monetary donations can be sent to Philip Charities, PO Box 910, Philip, SD 57567. Donations are also being accepted at First National Bank in Philip and at First Interstate Bank Locations.

Fencing supplies can be donated and delivered to Cottonwood Research Station west of Philip. Equipment is available there to unload pallets and posts. Barbed wire, steel posts, and pointed wooden line posts are most desired.

Donations of hay and trucking are still being accepted. Please contact SD Stockgrowers Association at 605-342-0429 to be placed on a list for distribution to affected families.

• Prairie Center Fire Relief Fund

To help the ranchers in need due to the fire that swept through 25,000+ acres in eastern Wyoming, consider sending donations to Prairie Center Fire Relief Fund, First State Bank, PO Box 1098, Torrington, WY 82240 or call 307-532-5600.

• Farm Toys For Tots

Last holiday season, the agricultural community came together to purchase toy semi trucks from Walmart after vegans called for the store to ban the "livestock slaughter trucks." The group raised more than $5,000 to purchase these trucks for kids in need. While the campaign isn't continuing again this year, Farm Toys For Tots is still encouraging folks to gift farm-themed toys to the original toysfortots.com program to help bring some Christmas cheer to kids in need this season.

• All-American Beef Battalion (AABB)

With troops deploying overseas this holiday season, now is the perfect time to consider buying a soldier a steak. The AABB was started by Vietnam veteran and Kansas cattleman Bill Broadie as a way to promote beef and say thank you to the troops. Since its inception in 2007, AABB has served more than 325,000 ribeyes to men and women serving our country. Support the organization with a donation and learn more at steaksfortroops.com.

• Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

Located in Billings, Mont., this non-profit organization is a leader in mental health care for children and their families. Working with nearly 600 youth throughout Montana who struggle with controlling emotions and behaviors, the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch teaches life lessons on the farm with emphasis on respect, stewardship, responsibility, faith, hope and integrity. Learn more at ybgr.org.

This is not a complete list of the ag-based charities doing good deeds throughout the region this holiday season, but it's a start. Consider supporting one of these non-profit organizations to help those in need this Christmas.

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