Editor''s Notebook: Beef Makes a Great Gift

October 22, 2009 07:00 PM

Kim Watson-Potts
It's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, especially given the state of the economy. But a phone call I received the other day from a beef enthusiast about a new way to promote beef made me think there is no better present to give someone than to share your livelihood and passion.

Of course, you could just slaughter a steer or heifer and give people steaks and hamburger for Christmas, but giving Beef Bucks, Inc., gift certificates allows you to send beef anywhere in the country—no dry ice required.

Bob Montross—a South Dakota beef enthusiast, farmer and rancher—called to let me know that his nonprofit organization is now on the Web at www.beefbucks.org. While the organization has been around for several years, it's now attaining "national” status and expanding its reach beyond South Dakota's borders.

Spread the message. Montross, the group's treasurer, says it is continually finding more retailers and restaurants willing to accept Beef Bucks, but adds that it is still a pretty low-tech operation. If you have problems using the certificates, you can give the organization a call and they will help explain the program to any reluctant retailers.

At first I was hesitant to single out a specific program like this, but then I learned that it is not aligned with any other beef industry organization, so it's a nonpartisan effort. All they want to do is promote beef, plain and simple. And what cattle producer doesn't agree with that?

Beef Bucks are gift certificates in the form of prepaid checks or Visa debit cards with the Beef Bucks logo. They still do business the old-fashioned way. Give a call to the toll-free number on their Web site and they will send out checks in denominations of $5, $10 and $20, or debit cards for up to $500. You can pay with cash or a check (they don't yet accept credit cards).

Montross and his wife, Nancy, are doing this on a volunteer basis—now, that's dedication to the beef industry! They have the help of a number of other beef enthusiasts who want to see beef promoted across the U.S.

So if you're thinking about what to give someone for a birthday, thank-you or Christmas present, consider sending a few Beef Bucks to help promote your industry to family and friends. We could all use the advertisement.

Do you have a unique beef promotion program? Tell us what kind of effort is working in your area. Send e-mail to beeftoday@farmjournal.com.

Kim Watson-Potts, Editor, writes from San Antonio, Texas kwatson@farmjournal.com

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