Radke Report: Rural America shines at Missouri Beef Days
BEEF Month marches on, and for me, it’s been a fun couple of weeks promoting beef on the road, on social media, and in our local community. Of course, sharing our agricultural story isn’t limited to just one month of the year; I believe it should play a large role in our regular routine.
Connecting with the people we aim to serve is a critical part of staying in business, and even though most of us would rather be out in the pasture with our cattle or in a field planting our crops, it’s through relationship building that we foster trust, understanding, appreciation, and value in what we do to produce food for our friends and neighbors to enjoy.
I had the unique opportunity a few weeks ago to participate in an event that is truly unrivaled in the way it connects with people, builds relationships, and celebrates rural America and beef cattle producers.
The event is called, “Missouri Beef Days,” and when I say that nothing compares to what has been accomplished in the rural town of Bolivar, it is not an understatement.
The dedicated committee of volunteers pulled off an incredible feat — a full week of community outreach and events, each day better and more incredible than the last.
The event kicked off with a youth livestock show and a block celebration party, which raised money for the Central Care Cancer Center.
Later in the evening was the Boots & Bling Banquet at the Diamond S Indoor Arena. I brought my camera equipment and filmed the night’s festivities, which included a red carpet, live music, auction, speakers, a steak supper, and everyone dressed in their very best. A highlight of the evening included a great interview with Missouri Governor Mike Parson and National Cattleman’s Beef Association president-elect Mark Eisele.
On Sunday, Southern Baptist University (SBU) hosted the Cowboy Church, where I was a speaker alongside Dr. John Murphy, SBU associate agriculture professor. Later we heard the musical talents of the Sac River Cowboy Church band.
These highlights were just the beginning for Missouri Beef Days though. The week was just getting started. Other events included beef and whiskey pairing at the Silo Ridge Golf & Country Club, a two-day rodeo, parade, agriculture exposition, an economics of the beef industry presentation by premier sponsor NextGen, speakers Ray Archuleta and Temple Grandin, shopping market, and a finale concert featuring my friend and rising country music sensation, Jenna Paulette.
Visitors to the town of Bolivar also could see cutout cows on display around town, with QR codes to scan for chances to win $100 gift certificates and two half sides of beef.
When I say I am truly in awe of the time, effort, and expense that was put into making this event a one-of-a-kind, can’t miss weekly celebration, this is not an understatement. I don’t think an event of this caliber and scope exists anywhere in the country, and right in the heart of Missouri, an entire week is dedicated to celebrating our nation’s beef cattle ranchers.
And not only does it great like-minded friends in agriculture together, but it is the perfect backdrop to have rich conversations with the general public about what we do while showing them our heart and our passions for being stewards of the land, the livestock, and for the people around us, too.
I would encourage anyone in the country to pay close attention to what the folks with the Missouri Beef Days have accomplished. They set the bar high for what can be achieved when good people come together with a common goal to promote agriculture, to build relationships, to lift each other up, to create a sense of community identity, and to highlight the hard-working farming and ranching families who bring food to our table. Cheers and very well done!
Amanda Radke is a fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, Radke is a blogger for BEEF Daily blog.