Cull cows often get a bad rap, but now producers can turn a trip to the local sale barn into opportunity.
The Angus Foundation introduces the "Treasure Chest" project, an initiative geared toward Angus farmers and ranchers wishing to donate cull cow proceeds for education, youth and research funding.
"This is a unique opportunity for Angus producers to give the proceeds from the sale of their cull cows to benefit the Angus breed and agricultural industry," says Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president. "An ordinary trip to the auction market then becomes opportunity for the breed."
The American Angus Association's not-for-profit affiliate funds ongoing research projects to advance Angus breeders and other beef producers. Education and youth development are other key focus areas of the entity, which was founded in 1980.
Donors participating in the Angus Foundation's cull cow program can choose to direct funds to one of the organization's priorities — education, youth or research — or make unrestricted contributions.
"It's an easy program to participate in, and it's a tremendous idea," says Glen Swanson, a Durant, Iowa, Angus breeder who has participated in the cull cow initiative. "Everybody has a few cull cows that need to go. This is just an easy way to tell whoever you sell them through to send the money to the Angus Foundation and go from there."
Fourth-generation Angus breeder Blanford Pierce of Woodlawn Farms, Creston, Ill., couldn't agree more.
"I know we've all had wonderful females we've considered to be 'treasures.' Unfortunately, sometimes factors such as age dictate that she be culled. Donating the salvage value proceeds to the Foundation is a way that your particular female can leave her 'treasure' status as a legacy," Pierce says. "It is a small way in which any breeder can participate in this vital and significant fund-raising effort."
Ghent, N.Y., Angus breeder Phil Trowbridge encourages others to participate.
"The cull cow program is a great opportunity for producers of all herd sizes to make contributions to the Angus Foundation," says Trowbridge, chairman of the Angus Foundation Board of Directors. "This is a very simple way to help lay the foundation for the future of this breed. "
All funds donated through the Foundation's cull cow program will go toward the organization's "Vision of Value: Campaign for Angus," a capital campaign aimed at raising $11 million by Dec. 31, 2011. More than $7 million in outright cash gifts, pledges and planned giving commitments has been raised toward the campaign, to date.
Ranchers participating in the Foundation's "Treasure Chest" cull cow program can make checks payable to the Angus Foundation, or instruct their local sale barns to directly contribute proceeds to the Foundation. Donations may be mailed to the Angus Foundation at 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506.
Contact Jenkins at 816-383-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.