For 11 years, a hardy group of beef-loving volunteers have put together a golf tourney that today draws more than 200 golfers to have some fun and raise thousands of dollars on behalf of the beef industry. Called the Beef Bucks Golf Challenge, this year’s event August 16 at the Brandon Municipal Golf Course enticed 53 teams to vie for championship status, ending the day-long event with a juicy and delicious 16 oz. ribeye steak.
Beef Bucks is a volunteer-run beef promotion organization that sells pre-paid checks and or VISA® debit cards for purchasing beef at restaurants or grocery stores. Since its start in 1997, the organization has sold more than $1 million in Beef Bucks.
“The Beef Bucks Golf Challenge is the event we hold each year to fund all of the projects that the organization supports,” says JoAnne Hillman, president of the Beef Bucks volunteer board and one of the Golf Challenge organizers.
One of the primary projects funded through the golf tourney is the Beef Bucks Scholarship, awarded each year to college or vocational school-bound young people with a background in the beef industry. “We have awarded almost $25,000 in scholarships to students over the years,” says Hillman.
For the past two years, Beef Bucks has also been featured as one of the prizes on the popular Wheel of Fortune television show. Beef Bucks are scheduled to be featured again on the television show in the 2013-2014 season. In addition, you’ll find Beef Bucks promoting beef at events including the South Dakota Law Enforcement Banquet, South Dakota Junior Rodeo and the South Dakota State University Football Summer Olympics and camp.
The success of Beef Bucks and the Beef Bucks Golf Challenge, says Hillman, is simple. “First, people love beef, and Beef Bucks provides a convenient way to give beef,” she explains. “Second, we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the businesses, organizations and individuals who come out to the Golf Challenge each year to support us.”
For example, for the past several years, National Beef®, based in Kansas City, MO, and one of the largest beef processors, has donated more than 200 of the 16 oz. rib eye steaks for the Golf Challenge dinner. Fenske Cattle Company, Woonsocket, SD, is a continual sponsor of the tournament’s Putting Contest. Prostrollo’s Auto Mall in Madison, SD, has sponsored the Hole-in-One Competition for many years, and the Texas Roadhouse restaurant sends its Andy Armadillo mascot with bags of peanuts for the golfers. A large number of other businesses and individuals sponsor teams, prizes and auction items to make the event a huge success, says Hillman, who insists, “We can’t thank them enough.”
For the second year in a row, the top dollar-generating auction item was a Lincoln commemorative rifle donated by the Henry Rifle Company and purchased by Todd and Kari Olinger of Woonsocket. Other auction items included a baseball autographed by Minnesota Twins closing pitcher Glen Perkins, John Deere children’s bikes and Gator, an “American Cattle Trails” print from Animal Health International, and other items donated by Crown Royal, Jack Daniels, SDSU Animal and Range Sciences and Merial.
The first-place winning teams of the Beef Bucks Golf Challenge Championship Flight were: first place First Premier Bank; second place Prostrollo Auto Mall; and third place Yankton Livestock Auction. First Flight winning teams: first place Dow Agro Sciences; second place Southeast Farmers Co-op; and third place Lufco, Inc. Second Flight winning teams: first place Hillman Team; second place Glacial Lakes Energy; and third place Ag PHD. Third Flight winning teams: first place Nebraska Beef; second place Dakota Care; and third place Cargill Meat Solutions. Winning teams receive a variety of prizes. The winner of the Putting Contest, and $250 in Beef Bucks, was Mark Luke of Hartford, SD.
For more information about the Beef Bucks program, or to find locations that sell Beef Bucks, go to beefbucks.org. To order Beef Bucks by phone, call 1-888-640-MEAT.
The First Premier Bank team took the first place in the Championship Flight of the Beef Bucks Golf Challenge. Individual team members are, from left to right: Doug Edwards, Curt Cutler, John Peterson and Daniel Larson.