CCA members and stakeholders gather for another highly successful and policy-driven Mid-Winter Conference
ARVADA, Colo. — It was a busy two days for Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s at the 2022 Mid-Winter Conference, which wrapped up recently at the DoubleTree Hotel in Denver. After a virtual 2021 event, it was great to return to business and tackle issues and opportunities facing the industry. The event was full with member engagement, policy discussions, award presentations, and catching up with new and old friends from across the state. Attendees also had the unique opportunity to network with Colorado’s legislators at CCA’s Legislative Reception and 1867 Banquet.
The event kicked off on Monday with meetings amongst leadership and members. The day concluded with an Environmental Stewardship Award Program Reception, honoring Beatty Canyon Ranch as the 2020 ESAP award winners, and a Capitol Hill briefing for members and stakeholders to get an inside look at what to expect in the 2022 Legislative Session. Tuesday, members gathered for a productive day beginning with CCA’s 10 steering committee meetings, which help establish the organization’s policies and stance on a wide range of legislative and regulatory topics that impact Colorado’s beef industry.
Following the committee meetings, CCA held its Awards Lunch where the association recognized some of the best and brightest from our industry honoring their service and dedication. After lunch, CCA hosted its Business Session before heading to the state capitol to meet with legislators.
That evening, CCA held its Legislative Reception and 1867 Banquet, where members and legislators had the opportunity to not only discuss ag related issues, but also build a more personal relationship through discussing issues of mutual importance. “CCA is a grassroots, member-driven organization that represents the interests of the over 10,000 cattle ranching families throughout the state. While our primary focus relates to the beef industry, CCA also has an interest in all issues dealing with natural resources, private property rights and small business viability. We appreciate that the 1867 Banquet generated many beneficial conversations between CCA members and legislators,” said Steve Wooten, CCA president.
The evening ended with additional award presentations, including honoring Evan Slack as an honoree of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Foundation Endowment Trust. This successful event would not be possible without members, industry stakeholders, and sponsors’ involvement. CCA thanks all those who traveled to Denver for the event to engage in the grassroots policy process that is so important to ensuring agriculture’s success in Colorado for generations to come. We look forward to gathering again this summer at our 2022 Annual Convention in Colorado Springs.
EVAN SLACK HONORED
At our 2022 Mid-Winter Conference, CCA honored Evan Slack as an honoree of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Foundation Endowment Trust. The Endowment Trust began in 1959 as an idea to help secure a financial future for the association and today, it continues with this mission. One form of support to the Endowment Trust is through contributions made in memory of a family member or friend. This has provided many with a way to help the Endowment Trust and remember those who have been a part of the beef cattle industry.
Evan Slack, hall of fame farm broadcaster, had a radio career spanning 68 years and during that time, he broadcasted from 45 states, four Canadian Provinces and Australia. Not only did he interview thousands of farmers and ranchers during his career, but also several celebrities and politicians like John Wayne, Elvis Presley and President George H.W. Bush. Evan was a leader in the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. Once he got his pilot’s license in 1967, he literally took off and he has been flying the friendly skies of this country ever since bringing his own brand of personal charm to the airwaves via the airways.
Evan had a great impact on our industry and will be dearly missed.
OUTSTANDING COMMERCIAL PRODUCER
The 2021 Outstanding Commercial Producer of the Year is Warner Ranch of Fort Lupton, Colo. The Warner Ranch, owned and operated by Bob Warner since 1970, is a Colorado Centennial Ranch and raises an Angus-based cow/calf herd. In addition to ranching, Bob has served on local conservation districts for the past 49 years and has been a member of CCA for over 40 years.
OUTSTANDING SEEDSTOCK PRODUCER
The 2021 Outstanding Seedstock Producer of the Year is Bridle Bit Simmentals. Bridle Bit Simmentals, located in Walsh, Colo., is owned and operated by Erroll Cook and his three sons, Chad, Brent and Brad. The Cooks have been in the seedstock business since 1969 raising purebred simmental cattle. The Cooks focus on economically relative traits and have recently installed a GrowSafe system on their ranch to gain additional feed efficiency data. The Cook family are longtime members of Bent-Prowers and CCA, as well as active with the Simmental association at the state and national level.
COLORADO CATTLEWOMEN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The CCW Rookie of the Year award’s purpose is to honor and recognize a new Colorado CattleWoman/CowBelle who has served and promoted the programs and purposes of CCW in an outstanding manner. This year’s recipient is Nikki Wernsman from Logan County CattleWomen.
CATTLEWOMAN OF THE YEAR
The CattleWoman of the Year Award is presented to Sharon Clever of the Routt County CattleWomen. Sharon has held multiple leadership positions since 2018 and is always finding different ways to support her local organization. She continually puts in her time and efforts to promote beef and the agriculture industry as a whole.
BRAND INSPECTOR OF THE YEAR
The 2021 Brand Inspector of the Year award is Deb Veron. Verson is the Brand Inspector supervisor for the South Central Area and has served for over 10 years. In recent years, he was instrumental in resolving a lingering livestock loss problem in the San Luis Valley. As the Electronic Brand Certificate Project Coordinator & Supervisor, Veron has helped design, led, managed and implemented the brands division’s conversion from paper-based inspection certificate system.
CCA also recognized the 2020 Brand Inspector of the Year, Terry Florian, for his over 30 years of commitment and service in the Northeast Central area.
LAW OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Although CCA did not receive a specific law officer candidate this year, we want to extend our appreciation and thanks for the law enforcement community and all they do to help and protect our industry.
Membership is our lifeblood. We thank everyone that is a CCA member, as well as those that help recruit on our behalf. The winner of the 2021 Individual Membership Recruiter Contest and the wonderful S01 Priefert Rancher chute is Joe Kasza, who recruited an impressive 56 members.
CCA’s Rate-of-Growth winner is given to the affiliate with the highest rate of growth averaged based on the size of affiliate, retention of members, and new members recruited. The affiliate with the highest rate of growth for 2021 is Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association.
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