All American Beef Battalion steak feed to honor troops May 14 in Pierre | TSLN.com

All American Beef Battalion steak feed to honor troops May 14 in Pierre

Harvey Gough and his crew of volunteers aren’t war heroes, but they strive to make the days in the lives of real heroes a little bit better. Gough is the founder of Steak Team Mission, a group that literally travels the world in order to provide a true taste of home, American-raised beef, to all of the brave men and women serving in the U.S. military.

“Freedom is not free and this is where we pay our dues,” said Gough, who started the non-profit organization in 2002. “We take an 8-ounce USDA Choice tenderloin steak to dirty, sweater, dangerous places around the world to feed to our troops. We have been to Africa, southern Iraq and Afghanistan. We try to do one or two of these each year.”

Gough has been in the food service business his entire life, so he enjoys his volunteer work for Steak Team Mission. Gough and his men will be leaving this week to head to Afghanistan to serve steaks to the troops there. Steak feeds range in numbers from 500 to 10,000 people. The meals consist of steaks with all of the fixings – cornbread, potatoes and a Klondike bar for dessert. The volunteers pool their own dollars to help fund these steak feeds, a sacrifice worth making to say thanks.

“The first few missions were funded completely out of our pockets,” added Gough. “The team members that go with us have to pay to help cover travel expenses and buy things like the cornbread mix.”

The group’s last trip was in February 2011 to Honduras. To donate to the cause, check out http://steakteammission.org.

On a more local level is Bill Broadie, founder of the All-American Beef Battalion (AABB), a group with the same mission to say thanks to troops with a big, juicy steak. Since it’s inception in 2008, the group has served more than 80,000 men and women in the armed service.

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The AABB is proud to announce its first South Dakota steak feed, which will be held on May 14, 2011 in Pierre, SD. To raise money for the cause, Kelly Landers, a cattle rancher from Mobridge, SD, is asking for support from his fellow cattlemen. On April 14, 2011 at 12 p.m. (CST), at the Mobridge Livestock Auction barn, three yearling calves will be auctioned off.

Nine area ranchers have already pledged their dollars including: Kathy and Dan Booth of Booth, Inc.; Johnson J Angus Ranch; John Meginness Ranch; Collin and Fran Milliken Ranch; Peterson Broken Heart Ranch; Jack and Judy Pickle Ranch; Larry Gill Red Angus Ranch; Bill, Lynn; Frank and Sabra Hahne Ranch; and the Landis Ranch.

The steak feed will be held in honor of the 200th Engineering Company MRBC, which has 186 members based out of Mobridge, Fort Pierre and Chamberlain.

“The 200th will be leaving shortly after the feed in May,” said Landers. “This is our way to say thanks and good luck to the good people in our community who are making the sacrifice to protect our freedoms. Any support we can get is greatly appreciated. Casey Purman, with the Mobridge Livestock Auction barn, has been incredibly instrumental in helping to organize this auction. We are hoping to drum up $15,000 for this cause.”

Area livestock producers, community members and auction barns are encouraged to learn more about the AABB and how to get involved. For additional details, check out http://www.steaksfortroops.com.

“We are thrilled to be able to come to South Dakota in May,” added Broadie. “We hope to raise awareness about our mission to new people, and we hope others will feel as passionate about this cause as we do. Nothing says thanks better than a steak, and the reward is truly in watching these folks enjoy their steak feed and know that they are appreciated.”

Whether it’s Steak Team Mission or the All-American Beef Battalion, these two non-profit organizations are certainly working hard to show gratitude to the men and women serving this nation. Whether it’s across the globe or down the road, these groups are sending a clear message to the world – thanks to the troops and eat more beef!

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