The Colorado Beef Council has joined with the United Service Organizations (USO) to begin “Operation BEEF UP Our Troops.” The program will supply high quality beef jerky - one of the most requested items by troops - to American service members overseas.

Every month, the USO sends 20,000 to 30,000 care packages to American troops overseas through “Operation USO Care Package.”  Currently, beef jerky is included in the care packages only when the USO receives product donations, so this is an excellent opportunity for America’s farming and ranching families, who produce the best beef in the world, to say thank you to the men and women in uniform by making a monetary donation to “Operation BEEF UP Our Troops.”  Other individuals who want to support the troops also are encouraged to contribute to the program. 

“When we learned from the USO that beef jerky was one of the most requested items, we wanted to ensure that as many of our troops as possible received it,” said Steve Gabel, chairman of the Colorado Beef Council.  “The Colorado Beef Council has provided financial support to kick off the campaign, but we are also working as a catalyst to help the USO reach as many producers as possible so we can all have the opportunity to donate.”

Beef jerky funded through the program will feature a label with the message, “Donated by America’s farming and ranching families.  We thank you for your service to our country.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” 

The Colorado Beef Council is writing letters to all state beef councils and state cattlemen’s organizations asking for their financial support of this program.  Individual producers and others may phone in donations through the USO’s customer service at (800) USO-SHOW (876-7469).  Callers need to specify that their donations are for “Operation BEEF Up Our Troops.”  Donations also can be made by logging onto the USO’s Web site at www.uso.org.  In addition, donations can be mailed, noting “beef jerky” in the check memo, to:

“Beef Up Our Troops”
Operation USO Care Package
PO Box 8069
Topeka, KS  66608 

According to Fred Lombardi, executive director for the Colorado Beef Council, “We have already seen wonderful response from Colorado producers, and we are looking forward to the same support from other states’ producers.”

For more information on “Operation BEEF UP Our Troops” or to download an easy form for mail-in donations, go to www.cobeef.com.  For additional information on the USO Care Package program, go to www.usocares.org