Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Harris Brantley Challenge

GCA Members Challenged to Continue Donation Traditions
By Sarah Grogan, Georgia Cattlemen's Association summer intern
Harris Brantley, a 94-year-old cattleman from Thomaston, Ga., has always had a hand in different businesses over the years. Everything from the laundry business, school bus driving, egg farming and since 1958, raising cattle and hay -- and even fundraising to build the Georgia Cattlemen's Association headquarters in Macon, Ga.

"We asked people to donate calves. I believe it was 14 calves donated by Mid-Georgia," Brantley says. "I backgrounded. I raised $3,400 on those calves."

In addition to the money raised from selling the calves, GCA raffled off two Ford trucks and asked for cash donations to pay for the headquarters building project 26 years ago. For the latest renovation project , GCA hopes to use Brantley’s advice and not have to rely on membership money, but instead rely on donations.

It’s definitely an inspiration to hear the stories of individuals such as Brantley and how their hard work and dedication to the cattle industry over the years has not only benefited themselves, but has also benefited cattlemen throughout the state of Georgia.  As part of the GCA Executive Committee for the original headquarters building project, Brantley had a big responsibility in selecting both a convenient and desirable location as well as helping to raise money for the project. Brantley, who is a member of both the Mid-Georgia Cattlemen's and the GCA Hall of Fame, is always looking for ways to help GCA, and this most recent renovation is no exception.

The tradition of donating calves over the years has become a great non-dues revenue generator for GCA that we hope cattlemen will continue to carry on in the years to come. Brantley challenges fellow members to follow his lead.

"I’ve always believed a person should support what they are trying to make a living out of. ... I sold my calves recently, so I’ll be willing to give a cash donation and I encourage all of our members to either do the same or donate a calf. It’s going for a real good cause," Brantley says. "By not having to use membership money for the renovation project -- that is the way to go.”

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Georgia Cattleman magazine.

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