Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado CattleWomen recognize outstanding ranchers and members at convention in Colorado Springs | TheFencePost.com

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado CattleWomen recognize outstanding ranchers and members at convention in Colorado Springs

Sue Cummings laughs at one of the speakers Monday at the Colorado Cattlemen's Association annual convention at the Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs. Cummings was recognized by the Colorado CattleWomen for her contributions to the organization.

"I still have a heart in it," she said. And she still has a heart — and a membership — in the Colorado CattleWomen.

Cummings can't put her finger on how long she's been a member of the organization. When she was a little girl, her mother was a member, so she grew up in the group.

June 13 at the Colorado Cattlemen's Association annual convention, Cummings was recognized for her contributions to the organization — something she said was very humbling to receive.

The Colorado CattleWomen erupted in cheers when organization president, Sallie Miller of Briggsdale, Colo., called Cummings' name.

"She's a long time member, she's been a president, she's done a lot of things for our org, she's currently the beef account chair and in charge of state fair committees," Miller said in her speech.

Cummings said her sister-in-law received the same award several years ago from the CattleWomen. It was something planned in secret, so Cummings' sister-in-law didn't see it coming. This year, it was the same for Cummings, and with a grin, she wondered how long her fellow cattlewomen schemed.

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Cummings was one of the several Colorado Cattlemen's Association or its affiliates recognized at the convention. One prominent award was the Leopold Conservation Award, which was given to the Tureceks family of Stacked Lazy 3 Ranch from Deer Trail, Colo., for their work in land conservation and ecosystem preservation.

The Tureceks operate 5,000 acres of farmland and 30,000 acres of pasture, as well as run Angus cross cattle.

"The Turecek family represents the very best of production agriculture," said Erik Glenn, Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust executive director in the news release initially announcing the award in April. "They are outstanding stewards of the land, passionate advocates for conservation and genuinely good people. Their love for the land and their family is evident in every decision that they make and that results in outstanding management decisions that produce one of the most well run farming and ranching operations in Colorado."

The award was announced earlier this year, but was presented and celebrated at the convention. Keven and Sandi Turecek accepted the award for the family.

"We kind of felt like there are some responsibilities of being in production agriculture, some 'have-tos.'" Sandi said. "The first have-to is, one: We have to be good stewards of the land, whether we're farming or ranching. Number two: We have to take the best care of our animals that we can. Three: We have to reach out to the consumer whenever possible. Four: We have to encourage our youth to come and stay a part of production ag. Five: We have to support the balance with nature and give wildlife a place to thrive. Six: We have to have a succession plan to pass on our life's work to the next generation."

Sandi joked about the ups and downs of ranch life in between details of the work she and her family do to keep their land in good condition.

At every joke, Cummings laughed and smiled just as brightly as she did when she received her own award. ❖