The old adage goes: “Farmers are asset-rich but cash poor.” Sadly, it still rings true for most in the agriculture industry today. We own land, cattle and equipment but only get paid at harvest so devote our paychecks to planting the next crop and purchasing the next group of calves. Sadly, my family is often no different.
So when it comes to helping charitable organizations and supporting our local community, we look to our assets to help us make a difference.
Like many communities, the city of McPherson, Kan., distributes hundreds of food baskets each year to needy families during the Christmas season. We could send a check or donate canned food items but we choose to make our own, unique contribution – fresh, locally raised beef.
We sell our beef locally to friends and family and each year and set aside hamburger to donate to various organizations, including those responsible for the Christmas food baskets. I love that we can donate a product we raised ourselves and provide families with a few pounds of nutritious and hearty ground beef. For some of these families, this may be one of the few times each year they can enjoy a meal with fresh, ground hamburger.
Donating beef is one of the many ways farmers and ranchers give back to their communities each year. Many grain cooperatives allow farmers to donate grain to non-profit organizations, which can then sell the grain and use the profits. Some families opt to allow the community to utilize acres of their farm for gardens or community planting projects. And yet others choose to give their time and talents, helping with local events, building projects or other community-wide efforts.
It always feels good to give back and help a family – especially during the holiday season. And doing so with fresh, locally raised beef is a tradition my family cherishes and will continue for years to come.