While there is a vast array of things that effect our industry from climate to economics, legislation is high on the list of crucial factors we as producers need to monitor and engage in. Legislation is one of the pillars the Oklahoma CattleWomen stand on and as a grassroots organization we are proud to have a voice on both a state and national level. Recently, OCW participated in two events at the Oklahoma State Capitol where both members and officers held open discussions with legislators about the impact of the beef community in Oklahoma.
In celebration of National Ag Day, OCW had the pleasure of visiting with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell and his staff. Led by OCW Asst. Treasurer, Meg Stangl, a group of OCW officers presented him with a tray of locally raised beef from Native Acres Meat Co. of Kingfisher. During our visit, Lt. Governor Pinnell presented us with a proclamation recognizing beef producers for their contributions to the state and proclaimed the May 24, 2022 as “Beef Day”!
OCW returned to the Oklahoma State Capitol in May for Beef Day at the Capitol hosted by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. While there, Cattlewomen shared with legislators the long list of by-products that come from cattle proving once again just how much the beef community contributes to the state’s economy.
Nationally we saw two past OCW Presidents travel to Washington, D.C. for an American National CattleWomen Fly-in. ANCW Vice President, Ruth Coffey and ANCW CFO, Tammi Didlot met with several senators and representatives to discuss topics such as the Farm Bill, labor issues, WOTUS and estate taxes.
All these things are important for our livelihood and by sharing our needs and answering questions to give a better understanding to our congressmen of what it takes to produce food for the world and our families.
These meetings, both locally and nationally, are important because it helps provide insight to the legislators from a grassroots perspective. It is important for us as an organization to be a voice for those out in the country producing our food and fiber. I am incredibly proud of the work CattleWomen have accomplished so far this year for ag legislation!
To find your Oklahoma legislator, go to http://www.oklegislature.gov/findmylegislature.aspx.
Beef & Blessings,
Another spring brings another fresh crop of Beef Advocates! The Oklahoma Beef Advocate Contest was held on April 8, 2022 at OKC West Livestock Market in ElReno, OK in conjunction with the Commercial Cattle Grading Contest. I am excited to share that we saw a record number of students participating in the contest this year!
The OK Beef Advocate Contest was created to provide opportunities to beef industry advocates interested in bridging the gap between the farm and the fork. Ddee Haynes & Tammi Didlot have chaired this event for several years, and I am incredibly thankful for their passion for nurturing the next generation of beef advocates. When talking to Tammi after the event she shared how great it was to see the contest continue to grow and the competition get stronger each year. I absolutely second that!
The contest is split into two age divisions: Juniors (5th-8th grade) & Seniors (9th-12th grade). The 2022 Senior Division Winners are: First Place, Morley Griffith of Shawnee, Second Place, Bridger Arrington of Mulhall and Third Place, Blake Janssen of Amber. The 2022 Junior Division Winners are: First Place, Jade McPeak of Checotah, Second Place, Kade Henrichs of Okarche and Third Place, Kaitlin Adams of Amber. The top three competitors in each division were awarded scholarships and the first-place winners will receive custom jackets. I hope you will join me in congratulating these amazing young beef advocates!
Even though there were a select few winners, it was made clear that any student that stepped out of their comfort zone and into the advocacy roles was a winner just for participating! I am already looking forward to next year’s event and the return of some familiar faces. Students do not need to have competed in speech or advocacy competitions prior to attending. They can find resource materials as well as a beef advocate training video featuring 2021 ANCW Collegiate Beef Advocate Member, Carli Eubank. This year was Jade McPeak’s first year to participate and she shared that the online resources were valuable in her preparation for the event. She added, “It was a valuable experience because I feel more knowledgeable about the nutritional benefits of beef and feel better equipped to share this information with consumers”.
Of all our resources, children are by far our most valuable resource. Our youth are our future leaders, producers, AND consumers. I highly recommend any Cattlemen or CattleWomen to encourage their kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews, etc. to learn about beef advocacy. You can find information about our state program as well as the ANCW Collegiate program on our website: okcattlewomen.org.
Please join me in thanking OKC West and the Oklahoma Beef Council for sponsoring this event! We would also like to express our appreciation to all our judges and volunteers that helped this year. Thank you for your dedication to the youth of our community!
Until next time wishing you all the beef & blessings.
Beef Advocacy Senior Division Winners for 2022- Left to right- Tammi Didlot with Oklahoma Cattlewomen; Morley Griffith, Shawnee (first place); Bridger Arrington, Mulhall (second place); Blake Janssen, Amber (third place) and Ddee Haynes with Oklahoma Cattlewomen.
Beef Advocacy Junior Division Winners for 2022- Left to right- Tammi Didlot with Oklahoma Cattlewomen; Kaitlin Adams, Amber (third place); Jade McPeak, Checotah (first place); Kade Henrichs, Okarche (second place) and Ddee Haynes with Oklahoma Cattlewomen.
Spring has officially sprung and as the days get longer, so do our schedules. CattleWomen have been boots on the ground as they travel across the state to gather, promote, and uplift the cattle community.
March was a month for education as OCW partnered with Oklahoma Ag In The Classroom (AITC) to bring “OCW Read an Ag Book Week” to classrooms across the state! OCW Vice President of Education, Peggy Castleberry, along with her committee coordinated the delivery of an estimated 100 ag kits to schools with teacher resources donated by AITC. Each kit also included a copy of “Cattle Kids” by Cat Urbigkit. “Cattle Kids” proved to be a favorite in my daughter’s pre-k classroom at Pioneer Elementary and I would highly recommend it. It sparked conversations and allowed the kids to learn about the day-to-day operations on a cattle ranch from farm to fork.
OCW was able to donate these books in part with donations made in memory of the late Charles and Nancy Buckminster. We will forever be grateful to them for their love and generosity towards the cattle community and I was honored to be able to share their legacy as I read to the students.
Although OCW Read an Ag Book Week is over, I still encourage you to get involved with the youth of your community! If you are a teacher looking for agricultural resources, AITC has plenty of resources both online and available at their offices located at the OK Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry.
Looking forward, OCW has several events already on the books including the Oklahoma Beef Advocate Contest taking place on April 8th at OKC West in El Reno, OK! This event takes place immediately following the Commercial Cattle Grading Scholarship Contest. The goal of the contest is to create and implement youth advocates who will further their knowledge of beef education and consumer interaction. There will be cash scholarships awarded to the top three winners in both age divisions so make sure and bring your kiddos out to participate. You can find more information and training videos on our website, okcattlewomen.org.
The new OCW website has made it easier than ever to stay connected with your fellow CattleWomen. Login to your own personalized account, register for upcoming events, access our online directory and more+! If you ever need anything, feel free to reach out to myself or my fellow officers and we would be happy to help in any way that we can.
Wishing you beef & blessings!
Oklahoma CattleWomen crossed the red river to attend the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in Houston, TX last month. While there, OCW members networked and learned alongside their fellow American National CattleWomen to become better advocates and ranchers. I continue to be in awe of the presence and impact of OCW and OCCW on the national stage.
We were proud to see two CattleWomen from Oklahoma added to the ANCW Executive Team. Ddee Haynes has once again joined ANCW leadership as the Region IV Director. In this position she will be a direct line of communication between ANCW and the three states in our region: Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. Past OCW President, Ruth Coffey, transitioned out of the Region IV Directorship as she was elected to the position of ANCW Vice President! Over the next year, Ruth will support the initiatives of ANCW along with fellow officers President Reba Mazak of Florida and President-Elect Pamela Griffin of Arizona. OCW Member, Jill Worthington and Past-President, Tammi Didlot remain in their positions on the ANCW Executive Team as Business Manager and CFO respectively.
As a past Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewoman, I always enjoy seeing our collegiates at ANCW events. This year our collegiates not only showed up but they came to impress! OCCW President, Rachel Williamson was chosen as the 2022 ANCW Intern where she spent the week aiding the ANCW planning team in order to create a great convention. OCCW Advisor and OCW Member to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Cheryl DeVusyt, was elected to the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. The BPOC are the body responsible for developing the annual budget for developing plans and programs in the areas of promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. These are just a few of the many Cattlewomen from Oklahoma making an impact on the U.S. beef community and I hope you will join me in congratulating each of them on their accomplishments.
Of all the ANCW meetings I have had the privilege to attend, this year’s was by far the most impressive with captivating speakers and engaging learning opportunities. If you are not yet a member of ANCW, I highly encourage you to check out their website and/or plan to attend a future meeting. If you have any questions, please consider reaching out to one of the ladies mentioned above or myself and we will be happy to help in any way that we can!
Until next time, I wish you plenty of beef and blessings!
This February, the Oklahoma CattleWomen are looking to add some beef to your Valentine’s plans! While beef is a delicious protein for meals throughout the week, there is nothing quite as special as a great steak dinner on date night. That is why we are partnering with the Made In Oklahoma Program (MIO) to provide the makings of a memorable date night experience to one lucky couple in the “For the Love of Beef” Giveaway!
MIO is a free-to-join program intended for small businesses who grow, process or manufacture a good within Oklahoma. All products, whether they are a food item or a handcrafted good, are welcome so long as they are made in our state. What better to partner with a great steak than great ingredients made right here in Oklahoma?
The winners of the date night basket will receive a $50 OCW Beef Certificate that can be used to purchase steaks from local beef producers or can be used at accepting restaurants for a night on the town. They will also enjoy a variety of donated MIO products that compliment beef including pastas, chocolates, brewery items and more! A full list of products and the businesses that donated to the giveaway are available on our facebook page and website.
The “For the Love of Beef” Giveaway is free to enter and will take place on the Oklahoma CattleWomen Facebook page. Winners will be drawn on February 11th.
Wishing you Beef & Blessings!
Happy New Year! As we kick off a new year we reflect on all that we have accomplished in 2021 and look towards the coming year with optimism and excitement. It is my hope that this new year will be filled with exiting new opportunities and events as OCW continues to strive toward our mission of being a voice for women who share a passion for the beef community.
This past year OCW shared the message of beef across all 77 counties with a variety of events including: the ever-popular Oklahoma Beef Advocate Program where students of all ages learned how to become better advocates, the inaugural Beef Around the World Dinner where attendees were treated to a delicious beef menu of varying cuisine, and the Cultivating CattleWomen event that saw 60 attendees from 4 different states expand their ranching skills. Events like these are not only educational and informative, they also give us as members the chance to network with their fellow cattlewomen! I believe the biggest accomplish that OCW made this past year was our ability to grow closer as a membership. These past couple of years have been challenging as the pandemic made gathering together a difficult affair but over time we have slowly but surely come back together.
In the coming year I challenge you to grow both your voice and your audience. Take a look into your beef journey and find the connection that will better convey the value of beef to both consumers and your peers. There are a few resources that can help you become a better beef advocate including the Masters of Beef Advocacy Program and the Beef Quality Assurance Program. While you are welcome to embark on these two learning opportunities on your own, OCW will also strive to bring training sessions to our membership this year so that we may all grow together.
We will be continuing the Cultivating CattleWomen events in 2022 as we return to the Oklahoma City Stockyards for the second event of the series. The goal of this series is to cultivate knowledgeable and successful ranchers through hands on experiences and trainings. We are not only advocates for our community but we are also stewards of the land and animals. These trainings will help you grow your confidence in your ranching skills and give you’re a safe space to do it in. Keep an eye out for event details coming soon!
One thing I know I am looking forward to in 2022 is traveling to meet and engage with my fellow American National CattleWomen! The ANCW Annual Meeting will take place January 30th – February 1st at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. While there we will enjoy a “Dine Around Houston” event as well as learn about the most current information regarding the U.S. beef industry. The 2022 Annual Summer Conference coming up in July has found a new home in Reno, NV. This event, while smaller than the Annual Meeting, is a beneficial experience for members looking to grow in their beef advocacy skills. Both of these events bring exponential knowledge and experiences to their attendees and I would love to see as many OCW members in attendance as we can!
This is just a small look at the year ahead! We have plenty in store for the coming year for each member to get involved. If you have any questions on upcoming events or would like to get involved in one of our many committees, head on over to our website for a full directory of officers, directors and chairmen. I look forward to seeing you all soon!
I hope this finds you and your herds both happy and healthy during this holiday season. This is by far my favorite time of year as we prepare to gather with our loved ones and rejoice in our ability to fellowship together once again. I always feel like this time of year flies by so quickly.
With all the shopping to do, decorating to be done and food to cook; it can be overwhelming! One thing we all know to be true is that ranch work never stops, not even for the holidays. To lighten the load, here are a few gift suggestions for your cattle obsessed loved ones.
OCW Afghan: Available on our website, this throw features the brands of your fellow Oklahoma ranchers surrounding a custom art piece by Kathryn Leitner. www.okcattlewomen.org/ocwstore
ANCW Wildrag: As vibrant as the CattleWomen that wear them, the ANCW custom wildrags are both stylish and functional. You can purchase this year’s design at www.ancw.org/merchandise.
BEEF: Give the gift of delicious BEEF this holiday season! Oklahoma is home to many ranching families that sell beef direct to consumers. Two of my favorites are Callison Ranch Beef and Blevins Family Ranch Meat Co. Reach out to your OCW District Directors to find local producers in your area!
Membership: The gift of an OCW Membership is the gift that keeps on giving! At just $20, an annual OCW Membership easily fits into even the smallest of stockings. Members receive monthly updates on the cattle industry, networking and educational opportunities, and the ability to gather with like minded women that love BEEF.
No matter what you place under the tree, I hope you will place nutritious beef on your tables! I have my eye on some delicious recipes in the “Classic Holiday Recipes” collection on the oklabeef.org website. From small gatherings to large, they have recipes to suite any holiday gathering. If you are stuck on what to make for Christmas Dinner, this is a great place to start!
I hope these recommendations make your holiday preparations a bit easier and a bit beefier. From my family to yours, I wish nothing but blessings to you and your loved ones. See you in 2022!
Fall is the time for good food and great fellowship! There may be less daylight hours as the seasons change, but that hasn’t slowed the Cattlewomen down any.
This issue will be hitting your mailboxes smack in the middle of the Fall Gatherings which are by far the highlight of the fall season. There are 12 gatherings planned with 2 in each district for members to come and enjoy. Fall Gatherings are a perfect place to not only learn and engage with your fellow cattlewomen, but they are a great way to get your neighbors and friends introduced to the OCW family! I encourage you to invite at least 1 guest to attend a Fall Gathering with you and learn about the opportunities that OCA and OCW have to offer. For a full list of dates and locations go to okcattlemen.org.
One of the benefits of being a member is the joy of meeting and engaging with women that share your passions and values. By attending events and activities over the years, I have grown to call many cattlewomen family rather than just friend. These deep connections have been a major support system for me in both my personal and professional life and I hope that each of our members will grow to find similar connections.
Understanding that it can be difficult to travel across the state as we get busy with fall-calving and family affairs, OCW will be hosting Secret Santa for its members to get to know their fellow cattlewomen from their own homes! All you have to do is sign-up on our website, look for an email with the details of whom you are buying for and then mail their gift to them before Christmas. To sign up, go to okcattlewomen.org/ocw-secret-santa. The last day to sign-up is November 17th.
Fall also means fairs and we all know what that means; the Tulsa Beef Tent! Over 25 Cattlewomen gathered and promoted beef to a great crowd at the 2021 Tulsa State Fair. Over the course of 2 days, OCW served 2,575 ribeye sandwiches! That’s a lot of delicious beef going out the door! I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our volunteers and their husbands that came and made the fundraiser so successful.
We have a full schedule of events ongoing so make sure to stay connected via email or social media to get the most recent updates. I know I am excited to get out and meet as many cattlewomen as possible. If you see me out on the trail, please introduce yourself! As always, if you have any questions, reach out to your District Directors or Executive Team via the directory on our website and we would be happy to help you in any way that we can.
Until next time, I wish you plenty of beef & blessings!
CattleWomen from across the country “Tuned In To Tennessee” for the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville last month. We usually arrive at the Gaylord wearing our winter coats and felt hats but due to health protocols the convention was postponed from January to August. That word postponed has come up quite a bit lately! American National CattleWomen President, Evelyn Greene of Alabama said it best: “When it comes to moving forward in challenging times, Cattlewomen from sea to shining sea made these challenges into opportunities.” This resiliency was never more apparent than in Nashville where we learned from each other how to not just survive difficult times but how to thrive in them.
Even though it has been almost 18 months since we last saw our fellow CattleWomen, you wouldn’t have known it from the energy in the room. The comradery and fellowship shared between these women is remarkable to witness and something I am so honored to be a part of.
We kicked off this year’s convention with the 2021 ANCW Ag Tour that was jam packed with good times and great people. Our first stop was the Nash Family Creamery in Chapel Hill, TN where I enjoyed learning about the way in which family played a major role in their success. Next up we toured the Jack Daniels Distillery where we learned that their leftover mash is sold to local cattle ranchers for feed. If you haven’t heard of this process before I highly suggest you research it! Last up was Deer Valley Farm where we were served delicious BEEF and learned about their operation and ties to their community.
Oklahoma didn’t just show up to Tennessee, they showed out! From presenting committee reports to being the Region Director to serving as a Collegiate Beef Advocate, Okies were both present and well represented. A highlight of our meetings was when current Washington County CattleWoman President, Norita Martin, was awarded the ANCW Promoter of the Year Award. Her passion for the beef industry, extensive work in her local grassroots chapter, and dedication to the state and national CattleWomen missions are just a few of the reasons she was chosen for this great recognition. We couldn’t be more proud to call her one of our own!
There isn’t enough space in this entire magazine for me to adequately describe the experiences, knowledge, and fellowship you receive by joining ANCW, but I hope this quick glimpse into our time in Tennessee is a good place to start. If you have any questions about how OCW and ANCW work together to serve the beef community, shoot me a message or go to ancw.org to join today! The Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show will be returning to its normal schedule when we head south to Houston, TX for #cattlecon22 in January! More information will be sent out in our newsletter so stay tuned.
I hope this finds you and your herds both happy and healthy! We are fresh off our state convention and let me tell you, it sure was nice to see everyone in person again. This convention brought us back to the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK where we kicked things off with a few words from Immediate Past OCW President, Robyn Peterson and ANCW President Evelyn Greene at the OCA Opening Session. I couldn’t be more thankful to these wonderful ladies for representing CattleWomen so well. We then went into our 2021 OCW Workshop Sessions where we welcomed Carli Eubank of the Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program and the Oklahoma Ag Mediation Program as they presented helpful tools to learn and grow as cattlewomen. These workshops are so valuable to members and were graciously provided by our sponsors Oklahoma Farm Bureau and National Livestock.
OCW is nothing without its passionate and dedicated members, two words that I believe accurately represent our 2021 CattleWoman of the Year, Connie Tabor! Connie is our new President-Elect and has been an integral part of OCW’s successful fundraisers. Speaking of fundraisers, Connie worked closely with a talented western artist that graciously donated her art to the OCW Afghan Fundraiser and because of that generosity and her love for the cattle community, OCW is excited to announce our 2021 Honorary CattleWoman of the Year is Kathryn Leitner.
OCW proudly offers multiple scholarships for all ages. This year’s Dolores Finney Memorial Scholarship was presented to Amarie Griffeth of Cushing, OK in the total of $500. The J.B. and Betty Smith Memorial Scholarships were presented to two recipients: Bailey White of Ninnekah, OK and Raydon Kuehne of Cordell, OK in the total of $1,000 each. Terri Krag of Oklahoma City, OK was named the first recipient of the Brenda Frymire Memorial Scholarship. She received funding to attend the ANCW Meetings at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention held in Nashville, TN. Please join us in sending congratulations to our scholarship winners!
Each of these awards and scholarships were presented at our Annual OCW Awards Luncheon where BEEF is always on the menu! I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Oklahoma National Stockyards for sponsoring this year’s luncheon. Kelli Payne is not only a great supporter of OCW but a member!
Convention marks a new year and a new team for OCW. You all got to hear from me in our last article but I would like to introduce you to my fantastic team that I look forward to working with during my term. Our President-Elect is Connie Tabor, VP of Education is Peggy Castleberry, VP of Beef Promotion is Amarie Griffeth, Secretary is Becca Imgarten, Assistant Treasurer is Joyce Freeman and Parliamentarian is Patti Townsend. You can find a directory for all OCW Officers, Directors and Representatives on our website at okcattlewomen.org. If you are interested in joining an OCW committee, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I wish you all the beef and blessings!
Cheyenne SparksOCW President
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