The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 18, 2014

Alabama ranchers helping South Dakota ranchers

GREENHILL, ALABAMA — Brian Smith said Southern hospitality is alive and well — in South Dakota.

Smith, president of the Lauderdale County Junior Cattlemen's Association, led a group of 56 students and adults to South Dakota earlier this month.

The group delivered 21 heifers to ranchers who lost cattle during last winter's blizzard.

"They just gave us a huge welcome," Smith said. "They opened up their homes to us. There were 12 families that divided 56 of us into their homes."

The junior cattlemen delivered one heifer to 21 different families.

"All the ranchers had their own branding so the kids got to help with that," Smith said. "That was something new to them. They still have branding up there so they can round up their herds in the fall."

Smith said the kids will remember the experience for the rest of their lives.

Chores aplenty

They spent their days working on fences, clearing brush and other ranch chores. Each night, the families gathered for a potluck supper for their visitors from Alabama.

"They learned a lot of things with all the sights they got to see and about beef production," Smith said. "But the most important thing was the citizenship and the bonding, the relationships that were formed. When I was leaving, I felt more like we were leaving home instead of heading for home."

Smith said the group had lots of invitations to come back.

"It would be interesting to see what kind of calves these heifers give birth to next year," Smith said. "There's already a group of ranchers talking about chartering a bus and coming to Alabama to pay us a visit."

Smith said the area the group visited was 60 miles from the nearest town.

"I was really impressed with the ranching heritage of the area," he said. "They remember the stories of their pioneer ancestors. The old schools, old homesteads and barns are still there."

Smith said the elementary school students still attend a two-room school. Once they get old enough for high school, they move into town and board with someone.

"They do that just to get to go to high school," Smith said. "It's a great sense of community there. They are so incredibly remote that they really bond with each other. They are so proud of their heritage."

Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee