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Cattlewomen bring the best to beef industry

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

A group of unique women filled with grit and grace spend their time taking care of their families, farm and livestock, while also making time to support their community through volunteer work, education and promoting the beef industry.

Local cattlewomen often support several national projects and work closely with the National and Wyoming Cattlewomen’s Associations, Wyoming Beef Council, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom, as well as the local Cow-Belle organizations.

Wyoming Cow-Belles originated in 1940 headed by Charlotte Snodgrass. Snodgrass and a group of ladies wanted to do more for the livestock industry. In 1992, the organization changed its name to Wyoming CattleWomen, Inc. 

However, some counties still function under the same name, but the primary goal of the organization has never changed, to increase the demand and awareness of Wyoming beef. 

Natrona County events

Natrona County Cow-Belles President Melissa Carter notes her branch of the organization hosts an annual gala every year, and this year it will be held on March 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Casper. 

This is the group’s main fundraiser for the year, and all money raised will go toward the Natrona County Cow-Belles’ scholarship fund and help support other activities throughout the year.

“Every year, we host what is known as the Ag Expo. It’s a two-day event where all local schools are invited to bring their third-grade classes to learn about agriculture,” explains Carter.  “We have a wide variety of booths every year – horses, beef, alpacas, working cow dogs, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Weed and Pest and beekeeping.”

“Also, twice a year, on the first day of spring, and then again around Christmas, the Cow-Belles donate money to the Senior Center in Casper to host a beef meal, and we help serve the meal and visit with the attendees,” she continues. 

Around the first of December, the group purchases gift cards and hands them out at local grocery stores for community members to buy groceries.  

“We want nothing in return. We just ask they consider eating beef for their holiday meal,” she adds. “We hand out the gift cards with pamphlets of different recipes for beef-centered meals.”

Join the local Cow-Belles 

As the number of individuals involved in ranching continues to shrink each year, it is imperative community members support local and national groups who are united to promote beef. 

And, in Natrona County, the Cow-Belles seek leaders, advocates and sponsors to uphold this legendary organization and its mission. Members don’t have to own cattle or a ranch to be involved – they just have to have a passion for educating consumers.

Carter states, “What I find most rewarding about being a part of the Natrona County Cow-Belles is how we can impact a consumer’s knowledge. By being out in the community, we can educate people who may not know a lot about agriculture or beef husbandry.” 

“Even in Wyoming, there are people who don’t know where their meals come from. We have had third graders at our Ag Expos say they were in awe because they thought all of their food just came from the grocery store. I love how we are able to heal the disconnect between an everyday consumer and agriculture,” she concludes. 

Those interested in joining the Natrona County Cow-Belles, can attend their monthly meetings, held at the Hangar Restaurant in Barr Nunn on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. 

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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