From left, Reid Nevins, Jeff Hays, Craig Canull, Stacey Beam and Brad Williams prepare supper for one of the Lowndes County Cattlemen’s Association “eating meetings” in this Dispatch file photo. The association will hold its annual carry-out steak dinner fundraiser Friday and Saturday at the Kroger parking lot on Highway 45 North in Columbus. Look for their mobile trailer. Photo by: Dispatch file photo
May 7, 2014 9:58:48 AM
The Lowndes County Cattlemen's Association wants you to take it easy this weekend. Chill out, take a load off, let someone else do the cooking. Between 50 and 60 association members and volunteers will be at the Kroger parking lot on Highway 45 North in Columbus Friday and Saturday to make it possible. The Cattlemen's annual steak dinner carry-out offers 10-ounce steak dinners, with baked potatoes and salad, for $12 from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"We expect to cook about 2,500 steaks this weekend," said longtime association member and cattle farmer Doug Yelverton. With three large grills and an army of experienced chefs staying busy, a steady supply of sizzling, savory nutrient-rich beef will be available to those who stop by the Cattlemen's mobile trailer on the spur of the moment, or call in ahead with larger orders.
The annual event is the association's only fundraiser and supports its youth scholarship program for graduating seniors. Any high school senior planning to attend college in the fall may apply. Applications are available at the Mississippi State University Extension Service office at 318 Seventh St. N.
The carry-out does more than help send kids to college. It brings attention to a significant component of Mississippi's economy. The total value of production of cattle and calves in the state in 2013 is estimated at $289 million, according to the Extension Service. Total cattle inventory in Mississippi on Jan. 1 of this year was 930,000 head, and beef cattle operations numbered approximately 18,000.
Cattle and food marketplaces have been hard hit by the continuing drought to the west.
"Herds today are as small as they were in 1951," observed Yelverton. Mississippi cattlemen have been more fortunate, in terms of rainfall, and try to keep a close eye on costs like equipment, fertilizer and fuel.
Association members come from all backgrounds but share a common goal: to promote Mississippi's beef industry and provide a voice for its interests and sustainability. Any cattle industry supporter is encouraged to join, including affiliate members such as commercial businesses and banks.
"Anybody who supports the beef industry and its producers is welcome to join," invited Yelverton. "There are no local dues, although members are required to belong to the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association; its dues are $40 a year."
Chances to win a whole ribeye loin will be sold for $1 during the carry-out sale May 9-10.
"For every 250 tickets we sell, we will give away a whole loin," said association member Reid Nevins.
To place larger orders for carry-out dinners, contact Yelverton at 662-574-3909, or Craig Canull at 662-386-6329.
Rain or shine, the Lowndes County Cattlemen will be cooking Friday and Saturday, so take advantage of it. Your weekend just got a little easier.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.