T&E Meats and West Virginia flood relief efforts

The following article appeared in the Harrisonburg Daily News record a few days ago.  We appreciate the recognition:

Auction Pigs Head To W.Va. Flood Victims

By TONY BROWN

Daily News-Record – August 18, 2016

HARRISONBURG

These little piggies cried free-free-free all the way to West Virginia.

Two pigs that will be auctioned off Friday at the Rockingham County Fair will be headed to the Mountain State to feed hungry flood victims for free, thanks to three city businesses and the Harrisonburg Rotary Club.

The Rockingham Cooperative and Eddie Edwards Signs will purchase one pig each at the fair’s annual 4-H/FFA auction and donate them to the cause.

T& E Meats will donate the processing of the pork, and Rotary will distribute the cut and frozen meat with the help of a sister club in West Virginia.

“The auction is a big deal in the community, with hundreds of buyers, and it’s a way for the 4-H and FFA kids to raise money for themselves,” said Chris Runion, president of Eddie Edwards Signs and governor of Rotary District 7570, which includes 70 clubs from Tennessee to Winchester. “We’re going to use the meat for our neighbors across the mountain.”

Torrential flooding destroyed thousands of homes and killed about two dozen people in West Virginia nearly two months ago.

Runion says he’s not overtly trying to recruit other buyers to join in the cause.

“This is just something we personally are doing to help our neighbors; we’re one of hundreds of buyers,” said Runion, whose company makes signs that are used at the fair auction. “We’re one of three companies working together on this.”

But if other buyers at the auction want to follow suit, they should be prepared to pay a federally inspected meat plant such as T& E to process the meat, Runion said.

The idea came from the Rockbridge County Fair & Farm Show in Lexington, where a similar auction two weeks ago was attended by Sam Liggett. Liggett, operations manager for the Rockingham Cooperative, a farmer-ow! ned farm-supply business, saw a buyer there purchase a pig destined for the needy of West Virginia.

Liggett said he brought the idea back and found willing partners in Runion and T& E Meats co-owner Joe Cloud.

“We’re just three businesses in Harrisonburg trying to help out some folks in West Virginia; that’s the point,” Liggett said. “Three businesses and Rotary. Rotary is absolutely key to this.”

Contact Tony Brown at 574-6286 or tbrown@dnronline.com