A dedicated group of Oklahoma farmers, ranchers and related businesses working through the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation, are donating processed beef sticks to Oklahoma troops serving in Afghanistan. Beef 4 Battle Coalition members announced the project recently, during a media event at the Rick Davis farm near Guthrie, Oklahoma.

“We are extremely pleased to promote agriculture and help our military at the same time,” said Monica Wilke, executive director of the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation.

State officials in attendance included Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, the Adjutant General of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard, and Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese.

“Today is a special day for Oklahoma agriculture as we go from the farm to the foxhole,” said Lamb. “I am honored to add my office to this effort as I have always been a strong proponent of Oklahoma agriculture. This is something other states should emulate.”

“The Beef for Battle project is an example of what Oklahoma is all about,” Deering said. “This is a tremendous example of what Oklahoma has and wants to give to the military.”

Reese emphasized the fact Oklahoma cattlemen are sharing their product during a time of record drought and difficult economic conditions.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for Oklahoma agriculture and yet they are still stepping up and contributing cattle to our troops,” Reese said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this effort.”

The Beef 4 Battle concept originated from retired engineer George Huggins of Blanchard, Okla. Huggins proposed the idea to the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the military in an effort to support our troops.

Members of the Beef 4 Battle Coalition include the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation; the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agriculture Products Center at Oklahoma State University; Burt Buitenhuis, owner of Chickasha Meat Company; George Huggins; and Larry Schawb, owner of Schwab’s Finest.

For more information about the Beef 4 Battle Coalition or to donate to the cause, please call Thad Doye at 405-523-2307. Financial contributions also can be mailed to the Beef 4 Battle Coalition, 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

The Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation was launched this summer to promote agriculture and related advocacy programs.

"Practically every day, agriculture is challenged by outside groups, wanting us to change, throwing up obstacles to food and fiber production, and even threatening our very existence,” Wilke said. “The Foundation’s main goal is to improve the operating environment for agriculture.”

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