Wyoming CattleWomen attend national meeting, work on local projects
At the beginning of February, three Wyoming CattleWomen, Gwen Geis, Angela Whitlock and Kay Wright, attended the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) meeting, where they received updates on a number of issues and continued work on important initiatives.
“We had around 200 women at our membership meeting from across the U.S.,” says Wyoming CattleWomen president Gwen Geis. “Our incoming national president is from Arizona, and she will be attending our state meeting in June.”
ANCW President Barbara Jackson will be traveling to states and providing 300 custom ear tags to the Wyoming CattleWomen to promote beef and work towards building relationships for membership drives. Both the ear tags and Jackson’s travel are sponsored by Z-Tag.
“We are really excited about that,” adds Geis.
The ANCW organization works to promote youth development, beef promotion and legislation.
“We are also working to continue to keep our membership up,” adds Geis.
She also highlights a few new areas of focus that the ANCW have been working on, including “tool kits” to help people organizing events that feature beef.
“We are working on tool kits that provide step-by-step instructions for events so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she explains. “There are tool kits for Father’s Day barbeques, 5K races or farm tours.”
Geis also adds that they are working on a number of other kits, saying, “The ANCW is doing some really good things to help the grassroots groups promote beef.”
This year, the group is also hosting their biennial National Beef Cook-off, and Geis notes that Cody rancher Angela Whitlock is one of the team members for the committee.
Geis serves as chairman of the Board of Directors for ANCW, noting it is her second year as a director. As chairman, she also serves on the executive committee.
“State Presidents and the regional directors of ANCW are members of the Board of Directors,” she explains. “Bylaw changes and similar proposals come before the Board before it goes to the executive committee.”
After being nominated for to as a member-at-large last year in Nashville, Tenn., Geis was elected to the chairman position in Tampa, Fl.
Looking forward to their regional meeting, Geis notes that they will be meeting in Loveland, Colo. on April 19-20 to accomplish a number of goals, including election of a regional director and a presentation by guest speaker Temple Grandin.
On the national level, the ANCW also supports the National Beef Ambassador program.
The National Beef Ambassador Contest is held each September, with last year’s being held in Sacramento, Calif.
On March 23, the Wyoming CattleWomen will hold the Wyoming Beef Ambassador contest at Casper College.
“We encourage any youth that are interested in participating in the Wyoming Beef Ambassador Program to give it a try,” says Geis.
The winner will represent Wyoming throughout the summer at various events and will compete for a position on the National Beef Ambassador team in Bentonville, Ark. in September.
“Wyoming has been very fortunate to have several beef ambassadors who have made the national team,” she adds. “One of the benefits of the Ambassador program is that those on the National Team have gone on to receive choice internships and superior career opportunities with prestigious organizations.”
Geis also notes that the Wyoming CattleWomen donate $200 to the winner’s 4-H club or FFA chapter, if they are involved in one.
At the local level, Geis notes that Wyoming’s CattleWomen are working to continue to build their membership.
“We are trying to get our membership built up,” says Geis, noting that the CattleWomen support a number of programs that promote agriculture.
“A lot of the local groups will be having their Ag Expos, where they bring in third graders and educate them,” she explains. “We support the local groups by providing ‘Ag Bags.’”
The Ag Bags provided by Wyoming CattleWomen are red bags printed with beef facts that can be filled with more information for students.
“Additionally, some of the local groups will be doing Father’s Day presentations, demonstrations and are preparing for county and state fair,” she adds.
Geis also notes that Wyoming CattleWomen are encouraged to complete Beef Quality Assurance certification, as well as the Master of Beef Advocacy program.
“We are trying to build our membership so they have more of a voice,” Geis comments.
Currently, 300 women are part of the Wyoming CattleWomen, and 175 also a part of the ANCW.
“If anyone has questions about the Wyoming CattleWomen, I am available to take calls and answer questions.” Geis says.
“Recently, I have been promoting the idea that we need to support not only the local and state organizations, but also the national beef efforts,” comments Geis. “My beef doesn’t stop at the county or state line, and sometimes not even the national borders, so we need to provide support at the national level.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.