Grassfed Kansas Beef Feeds Overseas Troops

Southeast Kansas beef operation grows right along with morale of overseas soldiers.

| July/August 2010

Imagine the sense of satisfaction Lt. Col. Kevin Schenker, stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, felt when, while seated in a dentist chair awaiting treatment, the dentist walked in eating one of his beef sticks. Hearing Kevin’s wife, Cherie, tell the story, you can’t help but feel the pride in her voice.

The dentist came in talking about how good the beef stick she was eating tasted, and Kevin couldn’t help but smile. When asked why he was amused, he needed to only motion to his nametag and the label on the beef stick. That beef stick came from one of his own Kansas grassfed steers.

The Schenkers’ story is one of farm life, traditions passed down from one generation to the next, and an altruistic spirit they take into their niche-market business that is not often found or able to be applied in modern agriculture.

The basis for it all is a grassfed meat operation, located on a farm near McCune, Kansas (population 400 on a good day), that was started by Cherie’s great-grandfather. What separates the Schenker farm from others that are emerging – as the grassfed, back-to-the-land movement becomes a more popular trend across the nation – is that the Schenkers, through Adopt-a-Platoon and their own efforts and out-of-pocket expenses, have developed a method for shipping their products to soldiers stationed overseas.

“One of the coolest things for me is when I get – I call it fan mail – a letter from some private first class who’s probably 19 years old, thanking me for a touch of home,” Cherie says. “He’s over there so far away with a lot of people he’s never met before, he’s young, and it is just something to remind him of home.”

The appreciation that Cherie and her farm express for the service of overseas soldiers is more than lip-service – or even its meat products. Kevin joined the National Guard when he was 17 years old and will retire in 2011, having spent 31 years in the armed forces.

Nebraska Dave
7/1/2010 8:58:53 PM

This is a great article. It makes me proud to be an American when I hear stories like this one. I've not been in a war zone but I've spent my time away from home in the military eating world war II K rations. I certainly know what it would have been like to receive some good old Nebraska beef grass fed or not when I was there. I hope that Cherie nevers loses the desire to let our military people know that we haven't forgotten them and we appreciate what they are doing to keep us safe in our country.

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