“Every time I see an ambulance go by, I stop and say a prayer because odds are, I know the person riding inside,” says Adam Jones, an Angus cattle rancher near St. Francis, Kansas. It’s a sentiment many in rural America share, where neighbors may not be just around the corner, but the bond of community is thick nevertheless.
Jones’ family ranch, Crooked Creek Angus, is one of 40 featured in the new coffee table book Sheltering Generations — The American Barn. The book, written and designed by members of the Certified Angus Beef brand team, features stories of ranchers in more than 20 states. It celebrates their way of life, the bonds formed in rural communities, and the importance of barns in the American landscape.
In the same spirit of community that inspired it, funds from sales will support farmers and ranchers. The entire purchase price of each book will benefit the new Certified Angus Beef Rural Relief Fund, helping cattlemen recover from natural disasters.
“We’ve all heard some weather event referenced as the drought/flood/blizzard/fire of our generation too often already,” says John Stika, president of the brand. “As a member of the beef community, when our farmers and ranchers are hurting, our brand family from gate to plate is committed to providing help.”
The book is dual purpose: a way to share the stories of everyday ranch life and to help provide relief when those who raise quality beef need a helping hand.
“The next extreme weather event may not be tomorrow,” says Stika. “But when we see the pain caused by natural disasters in cattle country, our partners and consumers look for ways to help. This fund allows us to channel that community spirit the next time someone calls.”
While each family featured in the book has their own special tale — worthy of sharing, worthy of preserving — each also has at least one thing in common: they all have the brand logo painted on their barns. In 2018, in a throwback to “old school” marketing, the brand painted 40 barns to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
At each painting, something special occurred. The small-town community grew. Ranchers, processors, food bloggers, government dignitaries, meat salespeople, and local community members gathered together to “watch paint dry” and eat great beef. Sitting around a shared table, these diverse families recounted stories of how the barns were built, life lived under their roofs and cattle cared for in their shelter. Guests were able to appreciate more fully the grit and love that’s required every day on the ranch.
Sheltering Generations — The American Barn is on sale now at shop.certifiedangusbeef.com for $19.95 and should arrive at homes in time for Christmas.