Murphy-Brown donates materials, labor to Graz’n project

Published 9:04 am Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mike Neill of Murphy-Brown holds a beam while Graz’n Acres’ Phil Raiford checks to make it is level. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

Mike Neill of Murphy-Brown holds a beam while Graz’n Acres’ Phil Raiford checks to make it is level. — CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

When Lynn Hayes of Murphy-Brown LLC called Cyndi Raiford of Graz’n Acres, after the initial shock wore off, she knew what she wanted.

“You don’t get this every day — a corporation called me and asked me what I needed,” she said. “They were not only going to provide all of the materials, but they were going to provide the manpower and spend 2-3 Fridays working on the project.

“We were ecstatic.”

Raiford said she wanted to be reasonable, so she’d have the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods build a run-in for the horses.

“We were looking for something that was not outlandishly out of range,” she said. “And we can use more run-ins for the horses. It is our goal to have one in most of our pastures.

“This is something hard for a non-profit organization, as it’s hard to put together the money and manpower to build one, and I definitely cannot hire someone to come in and do it.”

A run-in is important for the horses.

“It’s a three-sided structure that allows horses to come in and get out of the sun if it’s too hot, or the weather if it is raining,” Raiford said. “It’s also important that if it should storm, and during the summer in our area, its nothing for a nasty storm to blow through. It’s good to know that the horses can get in somewhere if we are not on site.

“It’s healthier for the horses to be able to be outside, than in a stable.”

Sedley resident Jerry Trier, a senior maintenance manager with the company, was on site serving as the supervisor.

“We work for Murphy-Brown during the week,” he said. “This is an example of what we might be doing one day for the company, but we don’t let it stop there. On the weekends we’re volunteering, such as with the Ruritan club.”

Hayes, who lives in Surry County, said she often goes to Waverly Division Director Keith Allen with community organizations to support, and so far, she’s not received a no.

“It’s important to support our community,” she said. “Keith Allen said that Graz’n Acres is a good organization, and we’ve done things with them on a small scale before, so we should go for it.”

Once it is all said and done, the run-in barn will cost Murphy-Brown approximately $3,500. But it’s worth it to help the children that the center helps.

“Murphy-Brown is based in this community, and we want to give back,” she said. “Our employees live here. Our farms are here. We want to do what we can.”