Answering the Call

Kelly Armbrust, Ryan Schroeder, Emmet Caldwell, Hunter Schroeder, Garrett Long, Mike Pallas

December brings many things:  winter, the holidays, College Bowl Season and the passing of yet another year. For the farm crew at Omaha Home for Boys Cooper Farm, December signals cattle clipping.

Clipping the cattle at Cooper Farm is a process that includes bringing the livestock into the barn for washing, combing, trimming and grooming. Clipping in December is a necessary step in preparing the cattle for the 4-H show season in the spring. The process takes quite some time as each cow takes approximately one hour to clip and the Cooper Farm herd consists of several cattle.

The clipping process also takes a lot of man power, something that the crew at Cooper Farm found particularly challenging this year. One of the farm’s crew members had sustained an injury making it hard for him to be a part of the annual clipping.

That’s when Mike Pallas, Cooper Farm Manager, made the call. On the other end of the line was Garrett Long, a student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity. AGR is like many fraternities in that it focuses on leadership, social and professional development. However, the common bond that AGR members share is that they’re all preparing for an agriculture or food-related career.

“I’ve known Garrett for years. We see a lot of each other at 4-H events and during cattle shows,” said Mike. “I knew he was involved in AGR at college. When I called him to see if he’d like to help us out with clipping, he didn’t hesitate for a second.”

On December 13, Garrett and three of his fellow AGR brothers, Ryan Schroeder, Emmet Caldwell and Hunter Schroeder, traveled from Lincoln to Cooper Farm on the outskirts of Omaha to assist with the clipping process. They gave some much needed TLC to the cattle while filling the void of a short-handed Cooper Farm staff.

“Well, it’s finals week so we didn’t much mind getting away from our studies for a bit to lend a hand today,” Garrett said with a grin. “It’s really a nice break and a way for us to use our agricultural background to help our community.”

AGR answered the call, the cattle are clipped and all is merry at Cooper Farm.

To learn more about AGR at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, please visit http://www.agrunl.org/.

About Omaha Home for Boys Cooper Farm

Omaha Home for Boys Cooper Farm is located on the outskirts of Omaha and supports the Home’s 4-H program. Youth from Omaha Home for Boys have the opportunity to participate in 4-H where they learn to act responsibly, practice respect and build self-confidence. Cooper Farm also offers job opportunities to the Home’s youth through the farm and garden crews.

A Unique Way to Contribute

A donation of grain, feed or livestock to Cooper Farm can offer unique tax-saving opportunities to donors by reducing overall taxable income and providing a charitable benefit without filing for a charitable deduction. This donation also creates a growth opportunity for the young men who participate in 4-H or work at the farm.