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CCA honors 2020 leaders at 1st virtual annual convention

Nearly 100 cattle ranchers and industry stakeholders gathered around their computers on Wednesday, July 1, for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Leadership Election and Social Hour. Leaders were recognized and the CCA board of directors settled into their new roles; while attendees saw familiar faces and reconnected with old colleagues and friends.

The event kicked-off a series of virtual meetings that CCA will hold in place of its traditional 2020 Annual Convention, which was moved online due to government regulations and gathering restrictions. The revised event will still provide educational sessions, networking opportunities, leadership recognition and policy development. CCA is dedicated to delivering an exceptional and special event in this new, online format and also plans to host in-person meetings later on this fall.

The evening began with the nominating portion of CCA’s Business Session. Jim Santomas was nominated as the newest CCA board of directors member for the northeast quarter of the state. After the nominations concluded, Tim Lehmann was wished farewell and honored for his service on the CCA board, while Philip Anderson was recognized as the outgoing chairman.

Steve Wooten gave his departing speech as he moved on from his role as CCA president and welcomed Janie VanWinkle as the 2020-2021 president, where she addressed the virtual crowd.

CCA is pleased to welcome the CCA 2020-2021 board of directors.

• President: Janie VanWinkle, Fruita

• President-Elect: Troy Marshall, Burlington

• 1st Vice President: Philip Anderson, Walden

• 2nd Vice President: Robert Farnam, Brush

• Treasurer: Brett Datteri, Greeley

• Northeast reps: Jim Magnuson, Eaton and Jim Santomaso, Sterling

• Northwest reps: Tom Harrington, Carbondale and Mike Camblin, Maybell

• Southwest reps: Al Heaton, Cortez and Mark LeValley, Hotchkiss

• Southeast reps: Curt Russell, Sugar City and R.J. Jolly, Kit Carson

• Immediate Past President: Steve Wooten, Kim

• Past President: Mike Hogue, Steamboat Springs

As with the officers from years before, this year’s officers will be leading the association as CCA continues its mission of being the premier cattlemen’s association that serves as the principal voice and advocate for Colorado beef production.

Following the nominations, CCA awarded Officer Christopher Johnson, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, with the Public Service of the Year award. Officer Johnson suddenly passed away on June 21. He was a great ally and friend to the beef industry and was recently honored as CCA’s 2017 Outstanding Law Officer of the Year. His service and dedication will be missed, and his legacy will live on.

The evening wrapped up with a special performance by Caitlyn Ochsner and her band. Ochsner’s family have been long-time members of the association, and her love for agriculture shines through in her music. Then, attendees were given the opportunity to mingle, tell stories and reminisce about past meetings and their experiences within CCA.

If you missed the event, check out CCA’s Facebook page to watch the live presidential speeches and make sure to tune into the CCA Business Meeting: Issue Discussions and Resolutions virtual event on Thursday, July 30 at 1 p.m. For more information, please visit CCA’s website or call the office at (303) 431-6422.

Sponsorship opportunities are also still available with this new format, and create a unique opportunity to connect with CCA’s members and industry leaders in a new virtual and in-person setting. Please contact Sarah Dideriksen at sarahd@coloradocattle.org, or at (303) 431-6422 for more information.

Janie VanWinkle takes reins as CCA president

Janie VanWinkle was elected as Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s 115th president during CCA’s Leadership Election and Social Hour on July 1. VanWinkle has served on CCA’s board of directors for over six years, and has spent countless hours promoting and advocating on behalf of the beef industry. VanWinkle follows Steve Wooten, outgoing CCA president, from Kim, Colo.

VanWinkle and her husband, Howard, own and operate VanWinkle Ranch, LLC, located in Mesa County just outside Fruita, Colo.

VannWinkle has a diverse background, including working in a corporate environment as well as a small-business owner. The VanWinkle family have been active members of CCA for over 30 years. Janie, Howard, and their son Dean, the fifth generation on the ranch, proudly provide safe and nutritious beef for consumers in their local community and beyond.

“Thank you to CCA’s membership for having the confidence in me and allowing me the opportunity to serve as your president. It’s certainly very humbling. One of my intentions as president is to focus on our connection to the consumer. I believe that this could help us with a myriad of issues, particularly the wolf ballot initiative, which is imperative to defeat this November,” VanWinkle said. “We need to connect better with our consumers and build trust, because our consumers are the reason we are in business.”

As the industry continues to face unprecedented challenges in the coming year, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association will benefit from its strong leadership and its grassroots connectivity to individual beef producers. “I am looking forward to advocating for CCA and its membership throughout Colorado and our country on issues and opportunities pertinent to producer sustainability. I firmly believe we must find new and engaging ways to promote our way of life,” VanWinkle said. ❖


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