New Mexico Cowbells Jingle Jangle
by Dalene Hodnett & Members
Amazing. The more time I spend meeting CowBelles across the state, the more I’m amazed by what you do to spread awareness of BEEF in particular and agriculture in general. We’ve just wrapped up the District Workshops and they were a wonderful, educational experience. Thank you to these hosting locals and their respective presidents: Silver Spurs – Rachel Ricklefs; Otero – Linda Lee; Tobosa Belles – Calista Kerr; Chamiza – Gloria Petersen
These ladies and their hard working crews organized district workshops that offered delicious beef meals, beautiful decorations and lots of local flare. Each of the workshops featured a R & D segment (we’re too frugal for research and development, this was rip-off and duplicate!) where each local shared their unique activities. Here is a summary of their initiatives:
Beef for Father’s Day promotions where community members put their name in a bucket and winners are drawn for either steaks from the grocery store, or a steak dinner at a local restaurant. Winners’ photographs run in the paper and are posted on Facebook.
Many groups purchase the Grand Champion steer from the county fair. One groups goes a step further and raffles off the beef they just purchased as a fundraiser. Another local does a $100 add-on for beef exhibitors that don’t make the sale. We heard about a local that hosts a dinner, dance and silent auction as a fundraiser, while another sells cookbooks comprised of recipes from their members.
In order to spread awareness, one group sponsors an art contest featuring ag themes. Winners’ entries serve as the pages for the lunch menu calendar of the area school district. Many offered details of their Kids, Kows and More presentations from Beef Nutrition, to the history of brands, to the traditional clothing of cowboys – Fashion vs. Function. Hosting booths at county, health and career fairs was a popular outreach activity, as was participation in ag days.
A couple of locals partner with area newspapers to run quarterly articles on local beef producers, or entire sections that can be used as curriculum enrichment by teachers. And finally one enterprising local, in order to strengthen their efforts in BEEF education, are working on their MBA as a group. Do you know the Masters of Beef Advocacy program? “Through this program, you will be better equipped to tell the story of modern beef production in presentations to schools and church/civic groups, through local media and in the “virtual” world of the internet,”
Funded by the your check-off dollars, the MBA is a terrific opportunity to equip yourself with answers to typical consumer questions regarding antibiotic use in beef production, levels of hormones in beef, and the nutritional difference between grain-fed and grass-fed beef. There are five segments to complete, each taking around 45 minutes. As an incentive, if you complete your MBA by the summer meeting, (Monday, June 15 at 9:00 at the Ruidoso Convention Center) your name will be entered in a drawing to win a gift basket of items for our sale inventory including Rada knives, a Beef throw, a cookbook and various and sundry goodies. Just email me a copy of your certificate of completion and you’re in!
And finally I’d like to introduce you to this year’s Beef Ambassadors. Lauren Schlothauer, a sophomore at NMSU studying agricultural communications is our senior winner, and our junior winner is Rebekah McCarty, a sophomore at Reserve High School. We are so proud of these ladies and know they’ll represent us well at the national competition. You’ll get a chance to meet them at our summer meeting and you are encouraged, if you have a little money in your budget for their gas expense, to invite them to attend your meeting, fair or special function. They need all the practice they can get sharing the BEEF story.
Thanks again to all those that hosted and attended the district workshops. We appreciate the time you spent with us and away from your families, ranches and jobs. Thank you as well to our state officer team, their presentations were awesome and they are definitely “Making a Difference” for the beef community.
Dalene, President, New Mexico CowBelles, 575-649-0917, dalene.hodnett@gmailcom
The Powderhorn Cattlewomen met on April 14 at the Ft. Sumner Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. The agenda was light and included the status of scholarship recipient selection, discussion on volunteers for Kids, Kows, and More on April 16 and May 6, and continuing the practice of giving CowBelle brand napkins as speaker’s gifts. The group also agreed to buy the beef for the Ft. Sumner Elementary School honor roll hamburger fry. The meeting was adjourned for lunch and a talk on carbon credits by Louis King of NRCS. Kelsey McCollum
The Frisco CowBelles held their March meeting on March 16, 2015. Pat Hunt from the Copper CowBelles was their guest. The group planned who would be attending the District Meeting; there will be 7. It was decided to support the 4-H’s Bingo with a donation. Marge McKeen reported three new schools for Ranch Days. The Ranch Days will be held on April 21-22. Pat Hunt shared her editorial on the USDA Food Guide and how special interests put pressure to reduce protein from animals and get it instead from plants. The entire editorial can be seen on the web site “Grant County Beat”. For the Fourth of July Barbecue Bucky Allred will be playing. This will be held in Glenwood. Respectfully submitted by Martha A. Stewart, Frisco CowBelle Reporter
The Chamiza CowBelles April 2 meeting was called to order by President Gloria Petersen at 11 a.m. in the conference room of the Geronimo Springs Museum in TorC with nine members present. Treasurer sent word there was no activity in either account since the March meeting. The secretary’s report was approved as read. Robbie and Cathy presented an audit letter and reported that the books balance as of February, 2015; with two outstanding checks. Final arrangements for District meeting were discussed and finalized. Rooms reserved for the state officers; Nancy Phelps made flower arrangements and brought photos; Cathy and Dolores will be in charge of check-in and door prizes. Three large items were donated for door prizes, but group decided to disburse them via silent auction. The supply of beef license plates is low so Gloria will contact the state officers to bring an order with them. Ag Day is May 1 and will be held at the Petersen Arena in Winston. The May meeting will again be held at Jodell’s and Michelle, from Michelle’s Beauty Salon, will give us a demonstration. Bring finger foods. The scholarship award will take place in May and Anita Petersen will verify the high school has the information. It was decided to conduct the beef raffle again this year; everyone agreed it has become a tradition. Meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m. followed by a potluck lunch. Following the meeting there was a short work session to fill the goody bags for the district meeting. Submitted by Cathy Pierce
The March meeting of the Corriente CowBelles was called to order by President Ashley Ivins at 6 p.m. The meeting was attended by 13 members and three guests. Keith Shafer, Beef Superintendent, Lincoln County Fair, guest speaker, discussed the new county bred calf show. 4-H and FFA members select a calf (Kyle Traylor, Troy Stone, and NMSU calves). Wade Stearns, Clay Bob Stearns, and Abby Day Morris will be participating. Kyle Traylor offered the calves at a $300 discount each. Keith asked CowBelles to contribute $250 toward the cash award for the winner of the carcass grading. Participants can keep the meat, sell privately, or pre-sale the beef. The treasurer’s report was read and filed for audit. The minutes were accepted as read. The Cash Cow was passed and members contributed to help defer costs of pocket expenses. Fundraising was discussed: cookbook, license plates at $5 each and come in a box of 25, brand napkins (Genora Moore Canon, Roswell)-each rancher paid $50 to have their brand included on the napkin, with 200 napkins per sleeve at $18. The group has a box with 18 sleeves available for purchase. Raffles, cash party, wearable art, brand printed bandanas, were discussed. Any items printed with brands will need to include the brands for Fern Sawyer, Pat Ward, and Janice Herd; a decision voted on by a previous membership. Keli Cox offered to sponsor these three ladies’ brands if need funding for printing. It was suggested to start with smaller fundraising items and then tackle a larger event like the cash party. It was suggested to partner with the race track and set up booth during Futurity weekends and The Cowboy Symposium and market to that group in addition to renting out the turf club for an adult event. District Meetings were discussed. A narrative will be sent to local newspapers and schools regarding scholarships. A committee was formed to review applications and report to membership. A certificate of award will be presented to winners at graduation and a check will be given to the individual upon providing enrollment information. The applications will be due April 30, 2015. Scholarships will be offered to graduating seniors, continuing and graduate students studying agriculture. JulieAnne will present to the Lincoln County Fair Board the dummy roping event CowBelles would like to sponsor and will ask to sell T-shirts. It was decided to purchase the small tag board journal as membership directories. Name tags will be ordered at $9 per tag. Smokey Bears Days will be May 1-2; group will decorate ATVs to ride in parade. It was decided to donate $100 to the Cream of the Crop fund for the fair kids. The Family Picnic will be at Cedar Creek on June 7 at 2 p.m. CowBelles will purchase the briskets, Martha will have them prepared. CowBelles will provide all paper goods. Members are to bring side dishes, desserts, and drinks. Keli will work on getting script to install new officers. It was decided the club will spend $75 to purchase a silver bracelet with a custom brand on it for Kimberley Stone for her Past President award. Ashley discussed Agritourism and the Capitan Farmer’s Market. A committee was formed of: Ashley and JulieAnne to find out ATAC rules and search for a commercial kitchen for homemade goods. This committee will also research insurance and business licensing and taxes. The next meeting will be April 21 at 6 p.m.The May meeting will be on the 19. Ashley adjourned the meeting at 8:27 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Sharon Young, Corriente CowBelle Secretary
The Chuckwagon CowBelle meeting was held at Farm Credit of New Mexico on April 14. There were 12 members and two guests in attendance. President Carolyn Chance opened the meeting at 10:30 a.m. with the CowBelle invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and the CowBelle Creed. Speakers were Max Wade and Jenifer Romero from Galloping Grace Youth Ranch (GGYR), a 501(c)3 organization. GGYR was started in 2006 to educate and inspire youth in or to get into the agricultural industry. Max’s comment was “I wanted to change the world”. For those who are not familiar with GGYR, this is the same group who hosts the Pumpkin Patch where the CowBelles help in the fall. GGYR started with horseback riding. Now they are a full scale agricultural operation on 22 acres of land. The ranch has grown from horses to chickens, goats, pigs, and cattle. GGYR is considered a children’s organization with family involvement. Youth and their parents can volunteer for a half-day or more approximately three (3) months each year during the summer. In addition there are three (3) summer Ranch Camp sessions: June 15-19, July 6-10 and July 20-24 where young people get to spend a day with different animals on the ranch. Since there are so many people, especially in the cities, which have minimal information about the food industry, GGYR provides hands-on experience for people to learn firsthand how we get our food. In addition to volunteering, young people can also have a coop at the farm to raise chicks. This is not a firm commitment, so if the youth decide raising chicks isn’t for them, everything reverts to the ranch. GGYR is strongly supported by daily donations from Albertson’s who provides leftover fruits and vegetables every day. In the course of a year, the total is in the tons of food that would otherwise be thrown out as waste. Unfortunately, many of the animals turn down the old standby, corn, in favor (flavor?) of tastier items. The Pumpkin Patch will be held from September 26 to October 31. In 2014, there were about 40,000 people who attended. 50,000 are expected in 2015. This is their biggest fund raiser. Bec Campbell volunteered to collect pumpkin recipes for GGYR to encourage people to buy and use more pumpkins. (There’s more than pumpkin pie?) You may bring any to a meeting or email them to Carolyn or me. It was decided to give $200 to GGYR. For more information on Galloping Grace Youth Ranch, see their website at www.GGYR.org. The meeting readjourned at 11:30. Fifty dollars was collected in the bucket for FFA. It was decided last month to give the “bucket funds” to FFA for six (6) months, and to Horses for Heroes for six (6) months. $25 was given to the Pat Nowlin Scholarship Fund in memory of Jackie Brown. Roll call was read and those in attendance gave us their personal updates. Upcoming events: Region VI ANCW in Tucson: April 29 to May 1; New Mexico Indian Livestock Days at Route 66 Casino, May 12, 13 and 14. CowBelles have a free table/booth; WALC – May 26-28 at Embassy Suites, Albuquerque; Next month’s meeting will be at Tommie Aber’s in Jarales. Meeting adjourned at 11:58. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca (Bec) Campbell, acting secretary