By Sgt. Crystal Adamosky, 316th ESCFebruary 1, 2010
GREENSBURG, Pa. (January 28, 2010) - Support for service members and families comes in a variety of forms, but rarely straight from a farm. Recently, the owners of a local farm found a fresh new way to pay tribute to local Army Reserve Soldiers and their families- by donating meat. Approximately 10 families of deployed Soldiers from the 14th Quartermaster Company here received wrapped and freezer-ready, free-range beef, courtesy of Jemajo Farms. From steaks to ground meat, the quarter of beef was distributed through the efforts of Joy and Keith Palmer, the farm\'s owners, Dorothy Benyacko-Carbisiero, Family Readiness Group leader, as well as Laura Yuhaniak, from the Soldiers' Angels, a non-profit organization. "We just wanted to show our appreciation for the local military. We didn't know how to do it, and then...we thought of donating meat," said Joy Palmer. According to its owners, Jemajo Farms was founded in 2005 with a very important goal in mind; to raise cattle in a chemical-free field and a stress-free environment. In its infancy, the Palmers decided that they also wanted to find a way to support local military, but didn't know how to get involved. The Palmers met Yuhaniak from Soldiers' Angels, who works closely with Carbisiero and the Greensburg Army Reserve Center, and quickly the Jemajo dream moved into production. In its second year, the Palmers would like to keep the tradition alive as long as the farm and business permits. Last year, Soldiers accepted the donations with their families in person, prior to deploying to Iraq; a special and memorable meeting for the Palmers. Those who received meat last year said they were thankful and that the meat was "very tasty." This donation does more than just fill stomachs; it helps military families to save pennies. The financial impact of a deployment goes far beyond what meets the eye, to include the day-to-day household expenses that might normally be absorbed by the soldier's ability to take care of their own repairs, lawn care, snow removal, child care, car repairs, etc. These families may now incur additional expenses because of the necessity to hire someone to do these jobs. Eliminating any additional expense can also reduce some of the stress deployment and separation brings, said Carbisiero. This year, the Soldiers are still serving in Iraq, but they remain close to the Palmers' hearts. "We just want to let the Soldiers and their families know that we truly appreciate the sacrifices that these Soldier and families make, and for the security they provide. We sleep peacefully knowing that they're out there protecting us," said Joy. "And so do the cows," she said jokingly.