South Dakota youth nonprofit to breed cattle with donation
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A nonprofit that operates a ranch for troubled boys in South Dakota has joined the local food movement.
A donation of five cow-calf pairs from the South Dakota Farm Bureau means the McCrossan Boys Ranch will soon be able to feed its approximately 65 boys beef from cattle they’ve bred and cared for themselves, the Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/2ryWK1k ) reported.
The last of the pairs arrived earlier this month. The nonprofit marked the event with a public viewing of the cattle and a competition in which the boys had a burger grill-off.
The animals will serve as the basis of a cattle-breeding program at the 90-acre campus long known for its horse rearing and 4-H programs. Some of the cattle born in coming years will feed the boys, and others will be sold.
“With 65 boys out here, so our grocery bill is pretty high,” said Christy Menning, the ranch’s director of development.
Menning said Interaction with the horses, sheep and chickens on the ranch teaches work ethic, but that it’s also a therapeutic exercise for the boys, who range ages 9 to 20. Most are placed at the ranch by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Social Services.
South Dakota Farm Bureau Director Krystil Smit said the breeding program was a good fit because it lays a foundation for years of learning and has the potential to become a more integral part of an established program.
“Sometimes you don’t really know what impact these projects are going to have,” Smit said. “With this one, we really believe the impact will be long-lasting.”