What would the Mills Branch Neighborhood Association think about a herd of cattle in our backyard? I am serious, and you could have that same herd in your backyard, too.
Not-for-profits count on the goodness of their donors to survive. They come up with unique ways to thrive, especially in a COVID-19 environment. Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation is running a benefit that ought to catch a few eyeballs, “Beef on the Brazos.” It caught my eyeballs and is the topic of this week’s Tall Tale.
Here is the recipe for getting a start on becoming a cattle baron. Purchase a $50 raffle ticket – a mere 2,000 will be sold, the press release declares. You could be the possessor of 20 F1 Bradford heifers worth $20,000, subject to market price at the time of the sale, the press release says.
The 20 heifers will be delivered free of charge right to your backyard if you live within a hundred miles of wherever the heifers are being raised.
And what would you do with your F1 Bradford heifers? I had to Google it to discover that they are usually raised for their beef, but they are great as rodeo stock, too.
It is time for some truth in advertising – you don’t have to accept the cattle. If you are the lucky winner, the press release says you can “… take home the cash or take home the cows!”
If you prefer, the 20 F1 Bradford heifers will be delivered instead to Cattleman’s Livestock Auction in Brenham, auctioned off, and you get the proceeds, currently valued at $20,000 – a generous return on a $50 investment.
All kidding aside, win or lose, your donation is going for a noble cause. Beef on the Brazos benefits the Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation, a nonprofit preserving the historic site where 59 delegates met in 1836 to declare independence from Mexico and form the Republic of Texas – “Where Texas Became Texas,” they like to say.
Having beef in your own backyard is not that odd in Lake Houston. I remember going to former Humble Mayor Wilson Archer’s home on Shirley Street many years ago. As he signed the papers I had brought, I remember him looking at the surprised look on my face when I saw a steer in his backyard staring back at me.
Seeing that look on my face, the mayor said, “That’s my granddaughter’s. She’s raising it for the Humble ISD livestock show.”
Raising livestock in Humble’s city limits is allowed for student-raising projects such as FFA and 4-H, I am told by my Humble city expert, Mayor Pro Tem Norman Funderburk, unless it is a nuisance violation.
And then there is my “saving the lamb at any cost” story. Early one workday morning, before I retired, I got a call from a colleague.
“Remember that lamb you bought at the Humble Livestock Show?” the caller asked.
I certainly remembered. Each year, the hospital and the Northeast Hospital Authority partnered to purchase livestock. We especially liked to bid on animals raised by our employees.
“Can you get it back for us? My daughter is beside herself. We don’t want it slaughtered,” she pleaded.
I made a few phone calls to make sure I was not asking for something I was not supposed to. I followed those calls with a call to the processing company.
“Yes, we still have the lamb. Yes, the lamb is alive. Well, I guess they could pick it up,” said the slaughterhouse lady. I cannot describe the tone of her voice without smiling. She sounded, well, skeptical.
The employee was thrilled. She drove to New Caney, loaded the animal into her SUV, and drove up to Willis where the fortunate little critter is spending the rest of its lucky life in a petting zoo.
Back to the “Beef on the Brazos.” The drawing for the heifers takes place June 30 at Independence Hall in Washington on the Brazos. And, just like Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto Texas, the Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation people are live-streaming it on Facebook.