Cole Elshere delivering beef as stores run short
Stores near South Dakota saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere were running out of beef because of the COVID-19 epidemic. But Elshere, a ProRodeo saddle bronc rider, is doing his best to keep his neighbors well fed.
“With this epidemic going on, the stores aren’t keeping up,” Elshere said.
As of March 30, it remained uncertain when things would return to normal.
“We will try to keep growing and run more cattle through our program and have our supply meet the demand,” Elshere said. “It feels like a blessing to be able to help out.”
The 30-year-old cowboy started selling packaged beef from his herd last fall at elshereranch.com under the name Elshere Ranch Beef.
“We raised cattle forever and decided that the beef we get to enjoy is something a lot of people don’t get to experience, and so we hold some steers back to feed out and sell locally,” Elshere said. “Once COVID-19 hit, the stores sold out of beef, so I put a Facebook ad out there and we sold everything we had. We’re booked out through May.”
Elshere estimated he’s delivered beef to 40 homes and has about a dozen more families in line. His beef gets processed in Sturgis, S.D., and USDA inspected before he can deliver.
“You get peace of mind knowing you have your freezer stocked to last all year, and knowing where the beef was raised and how it was treated is something you don’t always get,” Elshere said. “In the store you don’t know where it comes from, but I know which pasture the steers were fed in. South Dakota has outstanding grassland for cattle and beef.”
Elshere is a three-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (2012-14). In 2020, he’d won the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo in Waco and the Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo in Indianapolis before rodeos had to cancel or postpone because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re just starting calving out here, so I guess I normally stop rodeoing this time of the year anyway,” Elshere said. “It hasn’t affected us too much yet. We have 800 calves coming. It will be a busy couple of months around here for sure.”
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