The Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association will hold its annual meeting Saturday at the Cortez Elks Lodge.
A morning session will kick off the event at 9 a.m. with appearances by several Colorado elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other organizations. The association’s business meeting will begin at 1 p.m., but the highlight of the day will be the announcement of the 2018 Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year awards at 7 p.m. after a steak dinner. Tickets to the banquet are $30.
Among the guests of honor at the meeting will be Rep. Scott Tipton, a representative from Sen. Cory Gardner’s office, state Sen. Don Coram and state Rep. Marc Catlin. They will update guests on state and national legislative issues of interest to ranchers. The other speakers will address local agriculture issues.
During the association’s meeting at 1 p.m., members will conduct annual business like the election of new directors. The group has appointed a new president, Wayne Rogers, and a new vice president, Joe Lanier, since last year’s meeting.
The annual Stockman and Cowbelle awards are given to outstanding members of the Livestock Association and the Southwestern Cowbelles, who will also provide a potluck dinner during the meeting. Last year’s winners were Bunny McComb, co-owner of a cow-calf operation in Montezuma County, and Dolores rancher Al Heaton, who also received an association award for distinguished service in 2012.
After the award winners are announced, local country band Vanishing Breed will provide music for a dance starting at 9 p.m. Dance tickets will be available at the door for $5.
The association will hold a silent auction throughout the meeting to raise money for its annual scholarships, which are awarded to both high school and college students from Montezuma and Dolores counties. Over the past few years, about $100,000 has been awarded to students through the scholarships, according to a news release from secretary treasurer Lynelle Brumley.
Any interested Montezuma County resident can attend the meeting, but the board of directors especially encouraged members of the association to attend.
“We need you at both the meetings and the evening events,” a board news release said. “This is your opportunity to get involved and give the board of directors input and guidance on critical issues for our industry.”
The board recommended guests buy tickets in advance. They can be purchased from any board member.