The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that one-in-eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. And this disease has touched the life of Amy Harper, president of the Hernando County Cattlewomen.”I have had two close friends diagnosed with breast cancer,” she revealed. “One is a survivor. One passed away in her 40s.”
As president of an association of strong women, one whose mission is dedicated to promoting the beef industry in our county through public relations, educational and promotional projects and supporting our youth’s agricultural endeavors pertaining to the beef industry, Harper and her officers launched a campaign two years ago to join the fight against breast cancer–and in their own inimitable style.
This year, the group is selling pink t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “Save a Life, Squeeze the Teats,” with ten percent of the t-shirt sales going to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. Last year, the group’s shirt was printed with the slogan, “Save the Udders.”
“We like to keep a sense of humor with our campaign, to keep it light,” said Harper. “And it fits with our mission. You can’t have beef without mama cows.” Behind the light-hearted messaging of these shirts is a serious message about breast cancer awareness. “We want to give back,” she said. “And we want to spread the message that we need to pay attention and monitor our health. Early detection, education, healthy living, those are the keys to fighting breast cancer.”
Many of the Cattlewomen are also participants in the City of Brooksville Parks and Recreation Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, which this year took place Oct. 8 at the Jerome Brown Community Center. At the association’s next general membership meeting at 7 pm on Oct. 13 guest speaker Rebecca Finley, an officer of the Florida Cattlewomen, will be on hand to discuss her own experiences as a breast cancer survivor. “Breast cancer is never easy for women to discuss,” said Harper. “But once you introduce the subject, they start to tell stories–their own, or of family members and friends.”
Harper hopes that women everywhere “saddle up” for the Hernando County Cattlewomen’s breast cancer campaign. “To do the job of a cattle woman, you have to have good health,” she said. “We want to help keep all women healthy and strong.” For more information about or to order a Squeeze the Teats T-shirt, visit https://www.facebook.com/Hernando-County-Cattlewomen-167509813912501.