Beef Producers have high hopes for the industry and youth

On Dec. 30, the Jones County Beef Producers donated $500 to Lambert Livestock to assist the operation following a fire earlier this summer. Proceeds stemmed from sales of the 2022 JCBP calendar. From left are Lydia Grant, Tom Lambert, Phil Lambert holding a photo of their dad Glenn, Lillie Beringer, and the Lamberts’ dog Milt. Absent from photo is Steve Lambert. (Photo by Kim Brooks)

Those businesses who sent in their sponsorship forms to support the JCBP were entered into a drawing for $100 in Beef Bucks. The winner was the Monticello Veterinary Clinic. From left are Julie Hines, Dr. Mark Duffy, and Aubrey Schmitt. (Photo submitted)

Those who sponsored the JCBP at either the Choice or Prime levels received a free 2022 calendar. Arnulfo Arriaga with La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant in Monticello showcases the calendar, which features Beef Producers from Jones County. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     After their first 30 days of being an official organization, the Jones County Beef Producers have been busy, to say the least!

     Members Lydia Grant and Lillie Beringer are both heavily involved in youth leadership activities through the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. Those experiences prompted them to want to offer similar ideas here in Jones County to youth and young beef producers.

     “We wanted to bring fun beer-related events to the local, county level,” said Grant. “We want to be more involved with the youth and young producers.”

     Both women are young producers who returned to their home farms and keep the tradition alive.

     The goal of the Jones County Beef Producers is to help educate local youth who want to explore beef production and to be an active member of the Jones County community as a whole.

     Thus far, the group has held two meetings, formed subcommittees, attended a few community events, raised and donated money back to the community, and secured a few dozen business and individual members.

     “Our biggest goals are youth outreach and education,” emphasized Beringer.

     “We want to educate consumers on beef production, promote beef, and get involved,” added Grant.

     The JCBP officially organized in November. They’ve had over 20 people attend their first two meetings, and more continue to reach out.

     “We’ve divided up the jobs and we’re doing so much,” offered Grant.

     The executive committee consists of:

     • Grant, president

     • Brian Cooper, vice president

     • Breanna Adams, secretary

     • Beringer, treasurer

     • Kellie Lasack, marketing

     “We’re all super passionate about the beef industry,” said Beringer.

     The group was inspired by the fun activities the Jones County Pork Producers were engaged in throughout the county and wanted to offer the same for their own demographic: Beef Producers.

     “We hope to partner with them (Pork Producers) on upcoming activities,” offered Grant.

     One thing they hope to bring back is Beef Royalty.

     “It’s been gone for years,” they said. “Seeing the Dairy Royalty working to promote dairy in the community gave us more ideas.”

     Grant said Beef Royalty went by the wayside when candidates simply quit applying.

     They also want to encourage youth to be involved compete in beef producer/cattlemen events at the state level.

     “Jones County is one of the biggest counties in Iowa in terms of beef production,” noted Beringer. “There are a lot of opportunities we can create here for young people to be involved in.”

     Before the JCBP was even developed, Grant reached out to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Iowa Beef Center, and Iowa State Extension.

     “They gave us their support,” she said.

     “They encouraged us,” added Beringer.

     Then on Dec. 21, they attended a meeting of the Jones County Extension Council.

     “We presented our organization, our goals, and what we’re all about,” recalled Grant. “It was all well received. We got some great support. The more opportunities provided, the better for the youth.”

     Growing up in the industry, both Grant and Beringer admitted they were unaware of the plethora of ways in which youth and young producers could get involved.

     “As I got older and my network expanded,” said Grant, “I saw what other (beef) groups in other counties were doing. I wish those opportunities were around when I was in high school.”

     Earlier this month, the group sent out membership and sponsorship letters to area businesses. Their membership levels are based on the different grades of meat:

     • Select (base membership), $30

     • Choice, $100

     • Prime, $200

     Those at the Choice and Prime levels will have their business name and logo advertised on the JCBP Facebook page and website (once it’s fully developed).

     “We had more than just businesses send memberships in,” said Beringer of the 30-plus businesses and producers who are in support of their efforts.

     The names of each business were compiled and a random drawing for $100 in Beef Bucks went to the Monticello Veterinary Clinic.

     This was just one of the many events that have been keeping the JCBP busy in their first 30 days.

     Their very first order of business was creating a 2022 calendar featuring, what else, but Jones County beef cattle and farms! Each photo lists the producer, the name of the fam, and the town it’s located in.

     “We had 84 photos submitted from local producers,” said Grant.

     They had 150 calendars printed at Julin Printing, with 100 already sold or given away to Prime and Choice members.

     After covering their expenses, the JCBP were in a position to donate $500 of the proceeds to Lambert Livestock in Monticello (Tom, Phil, and Steve Lambert). The money is to assist them as they rebuild and recover from a devastating fire in June, which caused them to lose several structures and some livestock.

     “We want to be able to support other beef producers when something like this happens,” offered Beringer. “They (the Lamberts) were very appreciative of the donation.”

     On Dec. 18, the JCBP set up a photo booth inside the Renaissance Center in downtown Monticello for the first annual “Holiday on 1st” event. They set up a beef photo booth promoting beef, they interacted with kids, passed out cow cookies, beef sticks, cattle coloring sheets, and hot chocolate.

     Two special guests were also on hand for that event: the 2021 Jones County Cowgirl Queen and Great Jones County Fair Princess Jaelynn Kraus, and Junior Cowgirl Queen Dani Gravel.

     Now, the organization is working on an upcoming event in March, a beef workshop for local youth. The event will offer information and guest speakers highlighting nutrition, health, as well as a fitting clinic for 4-H and FFA members. Tim and DeLainy Fellinger will also be demonstrating how to prepare show cattle.

     “It’s a pre-fair event,” explained Beringer.

     Watch their Facebook page for more details as the date approaches.

     They’ve also formed subcommittees within their organization: Youth Beef Workshop Committee and Beef Royalty/Ambassador Committee.

     “We still have a lot of details to nail down and iron out,” Grant said of establishing guidelines for royalty and beef ambassadors.

     They’d like to see a core group, though, of five to 10 kids assist in the promotion and education of beef around Jones County.

     “We’d like to offer on-farm experiences where we take youth to a feedlot and cow/calf operation so they can get a perspective of the full life cycle of beef cattle,” offered Grant.

     “But we don’t want to overdo it our first year,” she added of their schedule of events. “We have a lot of ideas, but one at a time.”

     The JCBP is also open to suggestions and other ideas, as well as more members.

     “What would you like to see in Jones County?” proposed Beringer.


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