Jingle Jangle

by Beverly Butler and Members. 

Calling all CowBelles. 

Well, here we are in June and in the midst of the “election season”. Before it’s over we will all be tired of the constant commercials, phone calls and mailings.

But as fed-up as we become, we also need to do our homework and find out where the candidates stand on the issues. Elections are important, and this one may be more important than most. One of the BIG issues will be the estate tax, better known as the Death Tax. There are numerous possibilities for how this tax will look in the future, but one thing is certain. This Is Important!

This tax is one of the leading causes of the breakup of family farms and ranches. In most cases these businesses have paid this tax several times over during their lives and when they must be paid again as a death tax families are forced to sell parts or all of their farms or ranches to pay off the tax liabilities. This is a tax that hurts the rancher who has land, cattle, maybe some equipment but no cash. That means most small and medium family farms and ranches. What we have worked a lifetime for must be sold to pay the taxes.

In January of 2013 the current estate tax rules are set to change again, reverting to the pre 2001 rates. Right now, estates worth more than $5 million are taxed at a rate of 35 percent. If there is no congressional action the estate tax will revert to levels where estates worth more than $1 million will be taxed at a rate of 55 percent. When you consider that rural land is often appraised at an extremely high level compared to its agricultural value it starts to hit home.

To make matters worse (can they get any worse?) there is such unpredictability with the death tax that planning is almost impossible. It’s difficult to plan for your estate because you’re dealing with an ever changing system. What the rates are today may not be what they are when your family business is passed down to your heirs; so whatever you do, you’re guessing. This tax is a death warrant for small and medium sized family businesses.

According to Katherine McFate, president of OMB Watch, “the accumulation of inherited wealth is one source of historically high levels of inequality that exist in America today. A vigorous estate tax keeps inequality in check and raises revenue for necessary public investments.” I don’t know about you, but that makes me very angry. The benefits of the hard work of my children and grandchildren should belong to them – not to “public investments”! When cattle need to be fed, when pipelines need to be repaired, when fences need mending I haven’t seen anyone from OMB Watch knocking on my door offering to help.

There are many issues to consider in choosing who you will vote for in the 2012 elections. The important thing is to do your research and stay involved. Find out where the candidates stand on the issues of importance to you. Make sure you are registered to vote. Encourage friends and family to register. Remember, agriculture is not just a way to make a living; it’s a Way Of Life. We choose it because this is where and how we want to raise our families. It’s what we love. If you want to protect it, Vote!

                          – Beverly Butler, NMCB President



  • May 21-23 – ANCW Region V & VI Meeting in Hawaii
  • June – Beef Month
  • June 17 – Beef for Father’s Day
  • June 24-26 – Beef Ambassador Contest/NMCB Mid-Year Meeting/
  • NMCGA Mid-Year Meeting/ NMSU Short Course at Inn of the Mountain Gods, Ruidoso
  • July 24-28 – ANCW Summer Conference & Cattle Industry Summer Convention – Denver
  • August 1 – ManPower Dollars & Insurance Due to Lyn Greene
  • September 13-23 – State Fair Booth
  • September 15 – Deadline for Membership Award
  • September 25 – Executive Board Meeting in Clayton
  • September 26 – Five States Round-UP in Clayton

The Powderhorn CowBelles met in May with 12 members and one guest present. Jim Koontz gave a short ranch history of the Koontz ranches in New Mexico. Jim had a copy of one original deed signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, and a map of the ranch showing the myriad of names of homesteaders who found they could not make a living on 160 acres and were forced to move off and eventually sell the land. Copies of deeds, maps, relics and arrowhead collections were of interest to the ladies. During the business meeting members heard that on April 17 Karen Kelling and Nancy Schade presented Kids, Kows and More to 245 third and fourth graders from Vaughn, Anton Chico and Santa Rosa. The program stressed the need for beef in the diet and its benefits. The children also heard that ranchers are good stewards of the land, livestock as well as wild life on their ranches. On April 20, Karen Kelling, Carol Church and Carolyn Bedford repeated the program to 250 children in Santa Fe as a part of Ag Day put on by NMSU and other industry representatives. Yetta Bidegain, Abby Hofman, Karen Kelling and Carolyn Bedford represented Powderhorn at the Health Fair at the Tucumcari Convention Center on April 21 by passing out brochures and recipes and talking to many of the 350 people visiting their booth. Work day for the Barbecue meal during Old Fort Days is June 6. Members signed up for work and donation of cakes. Lunch will be provided to those helping on work day! A donation was sent to the Pat Nowlin Scholarship Fund inmemory of Neal Vaughan. Powderhorn’s three scholarships were awarded to Felicia Moncayoof Santa Rosa, Victoria Sena of Fort Sumner and the at-large scholarship went to Kyra Grant of Fort Sumner. The club was honored to have a private book signing by Karen Kelling of her new book “The Comanchero’s Grave”. Dorothy Vaughan, Secretary

With eight members present, Lariat CowBelles met on May 8, at the Wild Horse Grill. Two beef processing plants have closed, with a loss of 600 jobs, due to the controversy over finely textured lean beef. Lariat Scholarship applications are available. ​The Beef Council will host the Gate to Plate Tour to promote the beef industry to the media. They are following the Santa Fe Trail and will be in Union County on May 9. Lariat CowBelles will present a $20 beef certificate to the first woman to have a baby in Union County the week before or the week after Mother’s Day. A halter will be presented by Lariat CowBelles to the child, aged 9, 10, or 11 years, who wins the mini beef showmanship at the Union County Fair this year. Lariats will hold their annual pie sale at the fairgrounds on July 4. The pies will sell for $2 per slice or $12 per whole pie. Lariat members will supply four pies each or pay $48. Workers at the pie booth should be there by 10 a.m., and pies should be dropped off before that time. The Mid-year meeting will be held at Ruidoso, NM, on June 24-26. The Beef Ambassador contest will be held at 1:30 p.m on Sunday, June 24. The CowBelle business meeting will be held at 9 a.m. There will be a silent auction and door prizes. An update on MBA issues was given. Marianne Rose presented a slide show and travelogue on her recent train trip to Los Angeles. On Wednesday, May 9, the Gate to Plate Tour visited Union County. Members of Lariat CowBelles helped serve breakfast at the Clayton Research Center and lunch at the TO Ranch. It was a wonderful experience to meet people from all over New Mexico who are interested or involved in the cattle industry. Respectfully submitted, Marianne Rose, Reporter, Lariat CowBelles

The May meeting of the Chamiza CowBelles was held at the Turtleback Mountain Resort Inn with nine members present. Gloria passed around a photograph of members who attended the district meeting from the Sun newspaper in Silver City. Those who attended all agreed that the speeches presented by State officers were very upbeat. There is still time to apply to have brands included on the new state napkins for $50 and the application must include a copy of brand card. Appreciation was given to all who helped pack and serve lunches for the school children on Ag Day. Robbie Lee wasn’t able to help that day so she sent substitutes: Frank Lacy and his two sons, Orrin and Tyrel. Gloria and Cathy went to the Socorro schools’ Ag Day on April 26 to present the Kids and Kows demonstration to nearly 400 students. Mike Shivers, guest speaker at last meeting, had a demonstration at Ag Day featuring using worms in composting. The worms were “borrowed” from Gloria who has her own worm farm. Mention was made of the need for all to practice recycling because of the upcoming closure of local landfill. It was decided to withhold group’s scholarship this year, since the only four received were applications from students pursuing non-agriculture fields. An effort will be made to make requirements more clear. The current treasurer is moving out of the area so need to elect a new Treasurer. Any volunteers? Myra invited the Cowbelles to again attend the City Celebration in Elephant Butte in September. The group agreed to participate. Details will be forthcoming. Meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m. Submitted by Cathy Pierce

The April 24, 2012 meeting of the Yucca Cowbelles was held in the Hope Community Center. The meeting was called to order by President Joan Kincaid. Memorial Heritage Quilt winner Mary Klay McCollum took the quilt to the Hagerman Quilt Show and announced the quilt received “Best in Show”. She offered the quilt to anyone who would like to display it or enter it in any competitions. Frances Barley gave the District meeting report. The group discussed the ad in the Albuquerque Journal by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for the celebration of Agriculture and all chapters were asked to help with the ad. The group decided todonate $50. All ladies were reminded of the Healing Waters program to be held May 15 at the home of Earlene and Jim Ellett, and we will be having an “Americana” theme. Everyone signed up to bring food for the event. Guest speaker Phyllis Gyllum, the proprietor of Rustic Spa and Healing Center gave information on women’s health, the value of massage therapy, meditation, and taught everyone several techniques on relieving stress. Submitted by Becky Crockett

The Otero CowBelles met at High Rolls on May 3. There were 14 members present and three guests, Melody Carpenter from Dell City, Les Bond and Morgan Mitchum. Otero’s newest member, Dion-Kidd Johnson was introduced. President Debi Rupe reported on the health fair at Holloman. Several members have been meeting at Nancy Cookson’s office and preparing “BEEF” bags to hand out at health fairs, parades, etc. They have assembled 1,700 bags. Debi, Linda Mitchum, and Morgan Mitchum worked at the Mountain View middle school and handed out approximately 600 bags on May 4. Jim Wagner volunteered the Otero CowBelles to enter a float in the Weed Centennial Reunion Parade on June 9. The people at Weed were so enthusiastic, that those at the Weed Cafe, when the offer was made, agreed that it would be the thing to do. At the meeting, it was decided to do the float. Debi, Barbara and Karen will make the banners to put on the float, truck will be furnished by Jim Wagner and several of the CowBelles volunteered to ride. The group will prepare and furnish the beef brisket, beans and rolls for the Old Timers’ Day celebration May 11 at Cloudcroft. Patty Posey’s husband, R. L. is one of the honorees. It was decided to re-instate the bazaar to be held in November. It is used to raise funds to send to the Boys’ and Girls’ Ranches. The communities around are asking the CowBelles to give out more and more information about beef and the group is more than happy to oblige. After all, that is what they do best — Promote “BEEF”.Thanks to Yvonne and Pres. Rupe, Otero CowBelles are getting more. From the April Meeting: Fifteen members and four guests present. The group’s newest member, Cathe Prather, gave a program on the duties of the county treasurer and many present were unaware of the scope of responsibilities. President Rupe presented a project which will involve use of cattle brands called “Building a Brand”; to-be used at “Kids ,Kows and More” May 8–9. The group will need to make 1,300 BEEF bags to be handed out at three health fairs and were reminded of the new NMCB napkin to get the information to Genora Canon and pay the $50 fee to Lyn Greene, NMCB treasurer. Submitted by Barbara Wagner, Secretary


New Mexico CowBelles: Thank you to all who have submitted their news to “Jingle Jangle.”
Please send minutes and/or newsletters to:

Jingle Jangle, Janet Witte, 1860 Foxboro Ct., Las Cruces, NM  88007 or email: janetwitte@msn.com