Halsey- AL Ranch, north of Halsey has welcomed guests from around the world. On Friday, the family hosted the first ever ‘PAC in the Pasture’, an effort to bring awareness and funds to the political action committee of the Nebraska Cattlemen. “This was just a great time to socialize with friends and fellow cattlemen and share what the PAC has done for the state’s cattle producers,” stated Sallie Atkins, who along with her husband Al, daughters Tessa and Terra, and their husbands, Adam and Brandon, respectively welcomed approximately 100 friends. Sallie is the Agricultural director for Congressman Smith. The Quittners’ two children, 2-year-old son, Rex and three-week-old daughter Aspen, are the fourth generation on the family’s ranch.
The evening began at 5:30 with a tantalizing steak supper and all the trimmings provided by Gregg and Dawn Mallory, owners of the Chuckwagon and Jug restaurant in Mullen. NC staff was on hand to mingle, answer questions and to help serve the meal. Staff included from Lincoln- Pete McClymont, NC Executive Vice-President, Laura Field, Vice-President of Legislative Affairs, and Jessica Herrman, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs. Out state staff included Melody Benjamin, Lakeside, Vice-President of Member Services, Bonita Lederer, Pierce, Director of Producer Education and Mackenzie Johnston, Milburn, South Central Member Services Representative.
NC board members on hand included past NC president, Barb Cooksley, Anselmo, current President, Galen Frenzen, Fullerton, President-elect, Mike Drinnin, Clarks, Vice-Chair for member services Region 2, Brenda Masek, Purdum, and for Region 7, Ed Klug, Columbus. Also present were Steve Sunderman, Norfolk, chairman of the Marketing and Commerce Committee and serving as emcee, Jacob Mayer, Wahoo, vice-chairman for the Natural Resources and Environmental Committee of the NC. Also, on hand was past president of the National Cattlemen Beef Association (NCBA), Craig Uden and his wife Terri from Elwood.
Sponsors besides NC, were Neogen GeneSeek Operations, headquartered in Lincoln, and Aurora Co-op. Rick Pfortmiller, Neogen representative for Kansas and Nebraska spoke briefly on the research being done at all five of their facilities to benefit beef genomics and DNA testing, thus helping provide food and animal safety.
Several items were on hand for a silent auction to benefit the PAC, or one could simply drop money into a bucket. One live auction item was sold, a flag that flew over Congress, complete with the date it flew sold for $600 to Mike Drinnin. Joel Warren, rancher from Thedford, provided music to end the evening.
Fundraising was not the primary goal, socializing and getting the staff to meet the people that set the policies NC operates on was key. By looking around, this first PAC in the Pasture at the AL Ranch north of Halsey, accomplished that very well.