One treat at a time
By Trent Loos
I was quick to volunteer my assistance with a great promotion because I have been known to frequent every Dairy Queen in my path. However, this time it was for a good cause, not simply my infatuation with Blizzards. From Nov 4 to 10, every Dairy Queen in the state of South Dakota (34) volunteered to donate $1 for every hamburger sold to the Ranchers Relief Fund. The final figures are not in yet but it appears the total donation will be somewhere around $60,000.
I did what I could as I drove through South Dakota to Winnipeg that week. I was able to stop at five different DQs on my trip and I ate a bacon cheeseburger at each one. That is a very good burger, by the way.
I realize that $60,000 will not put a dent in the multi-million dollar impact of the early blizzard our friends in South Dakota and Nebraska endured, but it does speak volumes about rural America stepping up to the plate to help our neighbors.
I would like to point out that we have not heard any requests for legislation to stop Climate Change coming from these ranch states like we hear from the Philippines. We simply see people trying to find a solution to deal with what Mother Nature has handed us.
Those of us closest to the land continue to recognize that the climate does and will always change. The best we can do is find better ways to protect ourselves. I just researched the worst blizzard in the recorded history of the country and nothing tops the blizzard of 1888.
It is reported that 400 people in New York City alone died as a result of that blizzard. In the state of Nevada, the first large cattle ranch had a herd of 36,000 reduced to 165. It was the same blizzard that inspired the artist Charlie Russell to paint the notable “The last of 5,000.”
So anybody who is based in common sense recognizes that these events will continue to happen, and today we handle them better than ever before. If you are one of those that were directly impacted by the storm, undoubtedly you would like to see faster solutions.
My reports on Loos Tales radio about the generosity of the Dairy Queens in South Dakota generated interest from all around the country for projects others needed help with. I, for one, am not going to sit back and wait for some government intervention from a farm bill that may or may not happen. I will continue to find ways for those of us in rural America to help.
If you are interested in helping, contact me or simply go directly to the Ranchers Relief Fund. I believe that if we approach this natural disaster with the proper mindset, we can not only assist our friends in need but capture the attention of the very consumers that we feed every single day.
Like so many of the projects we work on, there is no silver bullet that will immediately remedy the loss of livestock but all of us in agriculture work the long rows knowing that if we continue slow and steady we can fix the problem, one tasty treat at a time!
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.FacesOfAg.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.