Troops Eat Steaks Courtesy Of Appreciative Cattlemen

Cattlemen love their country and sincerely appreciate those who serve so that freedom will forever continue.

That message was stated loud and clear during a recent special steer auction which provided “Steaks For Troops.”

The All-American Beef Battalion is an effort by beef producers throughout the country to express appreciation for all armed services forces.

Developed from a desire to show his support to U.S. troops around the world, Vietnam War veteran and cattleman Bill Broadie of Ashland was in attendance for the highly successful event hosted by Howard Langvardt and his sons, Karl, Mitch and Lynn, at JC Livestock Sales in Junction City.

Goal of the group is to feed a steak supper with all of the trimmings to soldiers before they are shipped overseas or upon their return from combat.

Stating that he is encouraged and inspired by the backing of the effort to feed every service man and woman, Broadie emphasized, “It’s great to show your support to these kids. Having fought in a war myself, I know what it’s like to leave your family behind. It’s heart breaking.”

This sale featured an 820-pound black steer donated by the Johnson Ranch, operated by Gary Johnson and his sons, Chad and Jace, at Dwight.

Gary Johnson’s granddaughter, Haven Pearson, had exhibited the steer as a bucket calf at the Morris County Fair two years and had named him “Uno,” the Spanish word for one. It was most fitting for the sale to benefit soldiers of the “Big Red One” at nearby Fort Riley, and the steer was appropriately draped in a banner of that First Infantry Division.

First Lieutenant Jones of Peachtree, Georgia, and Sergeant Mulvaney, Dayton Ohio, were in attendance for the auction as well..

Ranchers and related businesses generously donated to the cause raising more than $13,000, as the steer was sold and turned back to resell 16 times. Additionally, anyone who wanted to assist with the cause was welcomed to do so.

With a family ranch cow-calf operation, Gary Johnson emphasized the importance of the service men at nearby Fort Riley as the reason for donating the steer. “They make it where we can do what we do and love to do because of our freedoms. Our contribution is very small compared to what they do for us,” he said.

Senior partner in the hosting livestock auction, Howard Langvardt pointed out, “I think it’s important to work with the All-American Beef Battalion, because it’s good promotion for beef and the industry, but more importantly a way to express appreciation to those who protect all of us.”

Broadie, who lost a leg during his combat duty, has seen the group grill more than 70,000 steaks for troops since the project began in 2007. “That amounts to about 20,000 head of cattle just in pounds of rib eye steaks served to nearly every stateside branch of the Armed forces throughout the country,” he tabulated.

“Sometimes when you feed a troop, and learn later that they lost personnel, you wonder which one of those young people you shook hands with might not have made it home,” Broadie commented.

Response has been strong for all of the Steak For Troops programs. “It almost embarrasses you, because they’re thanking you for what you’re doing, when you’re trying to thank them,” Broadie added. “They’re very appreciative. It’s a totally humbling experience to serve these kids.”

With no end to war in sight, Broadie evaluated, “The reality is that my great-grandkids will probably still have to volunteer for this. It’s too bad they can’t send us old men and leave the young ones at home.”

Thus, cattlemen’s support for the All-American Beef Battalion and Steaks for Troops will continue.

Among those contributing to the Steak For Troops auction at Junction City included Tiffany Cattle Company and Tiffany Harvesting Company, Herington; JC Harvesting and Hay, Dwight; Central National Bank, Junction City; Frontier Farm Credit, Manhattan; JC Livestock Sales, Junction City; Lyons Angus Ranch, Manhattan; Stockgrowers State Bank, Maple Hill; R and R Cattle Company, Abilene;

Tim Wildman, Herington; Grater Farms, Riley; Harwood Shaver, Riley; Carl Peterson, Council Grove; Ron Richter, Green; John Polock, Hope; Randy Ryff, Hope; Jack McMillan, Hutchinson; Hoover Tarp Sales, Abilene; Vernon Bohn, Junction City; John Moyer, Junction City; Kelly Zucker, Minneapolis; Jeff Bathurst, Longford; Bob Stuewe, Alma; Banahan Farms, Steele City, Neb.; Bruce Hedstrom, Lost Springs;

Blythe Farms, White City; Geary Grain, Junction City; Sink, Gilmore and Gordon, Manhattan; Dennis Lilly, Junction City; Geary County Farm Bureau, Junction City; Triple A Trucking, Manhattan; Frank Carson, Holton; Loren Buxman, Junction City; Jake Schurr, Minneapolis; Tom Whitehair, Abilene; Dewey Terrell, Junction City; Hoxie Feedyards, Hoxie; Clay Center Livestock Sales, Clay Center; and Randy Holle, Riley.