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Troops Line Up For Steaks

“Your dedication and sacrifice allows Canadians the privilege of living in peace, while enjoying the freedom and benefits of a democracy.”

– HARVEY DANN

Under a warm summer sun, and with a band playing live music from an outdoor stage, Canadian Froces soldiers who recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan chowed down on 1,000 New York steaks donated by the Canadian cattle industry.

“The beef industry is here today to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice that you, the men and women of the armed forces, and your families have made over in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world,” said Harvey Dann, an organizer and industry representative, in a short address prior the meal served up by volunteers at CFB Shilo.

“Your dedication and sacrifice allows Canadians the privilege of living in peace, while enjoying the freedom and benefits of a democracy.”

He added that the idea of showing gratitude to the armed forces by serving up steaks was first conceived a few years ago by the industry’s counterparts in the United States. The first event of its kind was organized at CFB Petawawa in 2006.

Some 12,000 steaks, donated by the cattle industry will be served to returning troops at various bases around the country over the next two years.

Dann added that there are some commonalities between military and farm families, noting that the profession is often passed on from generation to generation.

“The main difference is this: In our profession, we put our assets on the line everyday to carry out our function in food production, whereas you people put your asses on the line to carry out your profession, every day, on foreign soil and in times of conflict,” said Dann.

Major Jay Fox, president of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, thanked the troops on behalf of the 10,000 ranchers in the province.

“You allow us the freedom to raise our crops and our livestock in the best manner possible. We hope that you enjoy this meal,” said Fox.

John Masswohl, director of intergovernmental relations for the Canadian Cattlemans Association, said that farming, like being in the military, is “not just a job, it’s a big part of your life.”

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