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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Beef packers make ‘huge’ contribution

  • Events like Dodge City Days would not be possible were it not for the contributions of individuals, civic organizations, and businesses.Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef, two of the area’s biggest businesses and largest employers, have taken and continue to take an active role in supporting organizations ...
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  • Events like Dodge City Days would not be possible were it not for the contributions of individuals, civic organizations, and businesses.
    Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef, two of the area’s biggest businesses and largest employers, have taken and continue to take an active role in supporting organizations and events that benefit the citizens of Dodge City, according to Dan Schenkein, the president and chief executive officer of the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce.
    A recent example of the companies’ contribution to the community is the role that each played in making the 23rd Annual Barbeque/Backyard Barbeque Contest an event that attracted a large and diverse crowd, Schenkein said.
    Cargill and National Beef each volunteered to donate and distribute samples of barbeque to attendees of Saturday’s event. Each of the companies prepared thousands of pounds of barbeque and gave it away to the public. According to Schenkein, the companies prepared and distributed five tons of food at no additional cost to the attendees.
    The packers’ decision to offer barbeque to the public makes the event bigger and better, Schenkein said. The contribution that the packers make enables the contest to attract a larger and more diverse audience. “It is huge. (Their) contribution is the difference between a barbeque contest and a community festival.”
    Tom Allen, the general manager of Cargill’s Dodge City plant, said that Cargill prepared 5,000 pounds of barbeque. That seemingly large amount was not enough to serve everyone that wished to try some of Cargill’s offerings, though. The last of Cargill’s barbeque was given away well before the end of the contest.
    The total number of people served was not known by Allen. “I have no idea,” he said. “In years past we tried to keep track by counting the number of napkins that we passed out. One year we had brought 20,000 napkins and they were gone in an instant.” Some of the contest goers took multiple napkins which made it difficult to determine how many people had actually passed through the serving lines. Cargill no longer attempts to determine how many people were served, he said.
    This year’s barbeque contest attracted a larger crowd than last year’s, according to Allen. “There are lots of folks here. This is a great turn out.”
    The total attendance of the barbeque was most likely in excess of 3,000 people, Schenkein, the president and CEO of the chamber, said. A more precise estimate is currently being figured and was not available at press time.
    Members of Cargill’s second shift management team and employees of the human resources department were on hand to fill plates and greet the festival goers.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Cargill employees were assisted by members of the Dodge City Community College Conquistadors football team. The football program offered its assistance to show gratitude for Cargill’s previous and current support for the school and athletic teams. “They’ll enjoy some barbeque, too,” Allen said.
    Cargill participates in events like the barbeque in order to give back to the community, Allen said. “It shows our support for the community and for Dodge City Days.”
    95 percent of all job applicants at the company’s Dodge City location list a Dodge City address on their application, according to Allen. For many of its employees, Dodge City Days is an important an event and a rare opportunity to participate in a large and exciting outdoor festival.
    Cargill supports the festivities because it is important to the company’s employees and because it “enriches” the community by giving citizens one more thing to do locally, Allen said.
    National Beef distributed a similar amount of barbeque at the event and makes comparable contributions to community events and organizations, Schenkein, the president and CEO of the chamber, said.
    “I am thrilled that both plants are willing to participate. They are both really involved and dedicated to the community,” Schenkein said.
    Cargill and National participate in the community because it is important to them, not to benefit financially or to build a positive reputation, the chamber president and CEO said. “They were there knowing that it was meaningful to the community. It was a great way to demonstrate that they are great community and corporate neighbors.”
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