Beef certificates head into fourth decade
September 9, 2008
In 1967, a South Dakota cattle woman started a program that provided a big boost to promoting South Dakota beef. The plan seemed simple enough. While it might not be practical to give actual beef product as a gift, why not develop a beef certificate that could be given to others so that they could buy beef at retail stores or restaurants.
Now, for more than 40 years, individuals, businesses or organizations have purchased the South Dakota Beef Certificate for a variety of occasions, from gifts for bridal showers and anniversaries to Christmas or as part of a special company promotion. The result has been tens of thousands of consumers buying and enjoying South Dakota’s favorite product because someone was thoughtful enough to give them a South Dakota Beef Certificate.
Today, the organization that operates the program, the South Dakota Cattle Women (SDCW), has announced that there is a new contact for the South Dakota Beef Certificate program. Lindy Harkin, of Winner, has been hired to maintain the program. Other than a new contact person, South Dakotans will see no changes to this long-time and popular promotion tool.
“We sell tens of thousands of Beef Certificates each year,” says SDCW President Nancy Stirling Neuhauser. “We’ve been doing this as a service to the beef industry, and people have come to rely on Beef Certificates as a gift that they can package easily or send through the mail. Not only is giving Beef Certificates as gifts a great way to promote beef, but you’re also providing the recipient with a nutrient-dense and delicious protein that they will truly enjoy.”
Neuhauser says there have been other unique uses for the Beef Certificates, including purchase of thousands of dollars worth of the certificates by an organization to use through food pantries across the state.
The idea for the program, explains Neuhauser, originated with Winnie Bones. President of what was then called South Dakota CowBelles, Bones had been impressed with a similar program in Nebraska and Texas. She developed and ran the early Beef Certificate program from her farm home near Sioux Falls for several years until it was moved to the South Dakota Stockgrowers office in Rapid City. There, Darlene Huettel, assisted by several other dedicated CowBelles ” now called South Dakota CattleWomen ” mailed out the certificates and kept the program’s records until 10 years ago, when Alice Hendrickson of Caputa, SD, took the responsibility, with assistance from the Black Hills Belles CattleWomen. When Hendrickson announced that she was retiring, the SDCW decided it was time to hire a full-time manager of the program, says Neuhauser.
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“We want South Dakotans to know that the Beef Certificate program is up and running and still in business ” only at a different address and phone number,” says Neuhauser. “We’re excited that we have a full-time person now to handle requests. We also want to thank the South Dakota Stockgrowers for allowing us to maintain the project in their office for so many years. It’s a time consuming effort”especially during the holidays when Beef Certificates are especially popular. The effectiveness of this program is due to the efforts of so many people throughout the years.”
To order South Dakota Beef Certificates in $5, $10, $20 or $25 denominations, contact Lindy Harkin, P.O. Box 451, Winner, SD 57580, 605-842-9066, firstname.lastname@example.org. Beef Certificates also continue to be available at various banks, through SDCW members, or through the offices of the South Dakota Stockgrowers in Rapid City or South Dakota Beef Industry Council office in Pierre. Beef Certificates are redeemable at most retail outlets and restaurants.