South Dakota challenged to raise support for All-American Beef Battalion |

South Dakota challenged to raise support for All-American Beef Battalion

The steaks will sizzle on the grills brought up from Ashland, KS, for the upcoming dinner that the All-American Beef Battalion (AABB) will serve up on May 14, 2011 in Pierre, SD, marking the group’s first event in South Dakota. The steak feed will honor 200th Engineering Company MRBC, which has 186 members based out of Mobridge, Fort Pierre and Chamberlain. The following day, the 200th will deploy to Afghanistan, a great sacrifice to this country and an emotional day for those leaving loved ones behind.

The AABB has a mission to say thanks to troops with U.S. beef. Since it’s inception in 2008, the group has served more than 80,000 men and women in the armed service. Bill Broadie, a Vietnam veteran and cattleman, is passionate about this cause. His efforts, along with those of AABB’s board of directors, have been boosted by the donations of farmers and ranchers across the country.

“We are excited to come up to South Dakota, and I know once the area volunteers see how much these dinners are appreciated by our troops, we will win their hearts and gain their loyalty to the cause,” said Broadie. “I commend the hard work of Kelly Landis for organizing a great fundraising event to help us with this feed.”

Kelly Landis is a cattle rancher from Mobridge, SD. Landis has worked tirelessly to gain the support for the AABB from his friends and neighbors. On April 14, at the Mobridge Livestock Exchange, Landis Ranch donated four yearling calves for auction.

Casey Purman served as the auctioneer for the roll-over, which raised $3,675.

A list of area ranchers pledged dollars, including: Kathy and Dan Booth of Booth, Inc.; Johnson J Angus Ranch; John Meginness Ranch; Collin and Fran Mulliken Ranch; Peterson’s Broken Heart Ranch; Jack and Judy Bickel Ranch; Lauri and Bill Bickel; Larry Gill Red Angus Ranch; Bill, Lynn, Frank and Sabra Hahne Ranch; Stan Schlosser, Mortenson Ranch; and Landis Ranch. Several additional phone-in bids and crowd donations were received, with special contributions from Northern Oahe Friends of the NRA, Danni and Mike Beer, Ernie Mertz, Adolph Hepper, and the Mobridge Livestock Exchange.

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After the roll-over auction, Purman called for bids on the yearlings, which averaged 656 lbs. The lots were purchased by Robert Campbell for $1.36 per pound. A total of $7,475 was raised in just a few short minutes at the sale barn, and Landis challenges other South Dakota barns to match what their fundraiser was able to put together for the AABB.

“I have been visiting with other sale barns in the hopes that this auction will be the first of many to raise money for the AABB,” said Landis. “We challenge other cattle producers and sale barn owners to follow suit and match our efforts. Let’s show the AABB how much South Dakota cares about this cause.”

According to Broadie, the state with the record-high fundraising effort is Oklahoma, who has raised more than $35,000 to support the AABB, promote American beef and thank the troops.

“Oklahoma has the record for dollars raised, but we truly appreciate what South Dakota has done so far to raise money and support our efforts,” said Broadie. “The meals cost us about $10 per plate, with additional money needed to help our crew travel to the event. The $7,475 will certainly go to good use to thank the members of the 200th and give them a proper send off.”

Help Broadie and Landis serve up a steak meal with all of the fixings in Pierre, SD, on May 14, and send the 200th off with a great event through donations or volunteering at the feed. For more information on the AABB and how to get involved, visit