Hello Florida Cattlemen and CattleWomen,
Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the rains we have been receiving. As I stated in my last month’s article “We Got Something Going” is ringing true, as Florida CattleWomen are currently in the “Thick of Things” pretty deep right now, but that is a “Good Thing” because that reaffirms our mission of fostering the well being of the beef industry through education and promotion. Being busy is a very good thing, if what your doing is reaping positive results. I am very happy to report the goals Florida CattleWomen set are being accomplished well and surpassing many expectations. With those successes, Florida CattleWomen is not “resting on our laurels,” no sir and no ma’am, quite the contrary, in true horsemanship form, we are keeping the horse at a good steady lope, and always looking ahead to where our next target point is.
Before I talk about the target points that lie ahead, I would like to share with you, some very special successes Florida CattleWomen have recently experienced. This past June, the North Florida CattleWomen held their foundation meeting at Fifth Generation Farms, in Lake City, FL. The turnout was very promising and what was accomplished during that time was outstanding to say the least. The important things that stood out during that time is the connections that were made with the ladies. It was interesting to hear how each lady’s life evolved to her dedication to the cattle industry. A bond was formed very quickly among the ladies. Let me clarify these ladies came from all over North Florida, from Jacksonville, Jasper, Lake City, to Live Oak, FL, the distances from where each of them lived did not matter because they all shared a bond and connection. It is very special in one’s life when a bond can be made with another human being. Bonds can always make an association stronger, let us never forget that. From the meeting that day, we move forward to not letting that one meeting, only be a onetime occurrence. It warms my heart to announce the North Florida CattleWomen, will be holding the North Florida CattleWomen’s Ranch Tour, October 17th, at the Florida Youth Ranch in Lake City, FL. North Florida CattleWomen and those ladies interested in joining the North Florida CattleWomen’s Association please join us in a day that will always be remembered.
What a home run, ultimate touch down, mid court basket, or come out of nowhere goal, that was accomplished with the Florida CattleWomen’s “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest. Everyone’s knows sometimes you plan, execute, and promote, like no one’s business, an event or promotion, to not see that event accomplish the results you wanted it to accomplish. In this instance. of the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” campaign went above every Florida CattleWomen’s expectations. We receive many wonderful stories from Florida Cattlemen’s children sharing what made his/her Dad an “Ultimate Ranch Dad.” Yes, some stories were quite humorous, but the one thing that stood out through these children’s descriptions was; the strong Family Unit is still very much alive in the Florida Cattle Industry, Family Values are still very much intact in the Florida Cattle Industry, and the love of a father and child is ever so strong. I am happy to share with you the three division winners of the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest. Please be sure to view all the contestant’s nominations on the Florida CattleWomen’s Facebook and Instagram Pages, as their stories and pictures will warm your heart and give you reassurance that our next generation has much promise to lead our industry and nation.
Division One Winner of the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest was Beau Barthle of Pasco County, FL. In Beau’s view, his Dad, Chris Barthle, is an “Ultimate Ranch Dad” because his Dad has excellent behavior in the cow pens, as Beau confides; “Unless I ask to many questions, or a cow runs into him.” Beau is most proud that his Dad has taught him how to open all the gates on the family’s ranch, now that is Beau’s official job “head gate opener.” Florida CattleWomen will be sure to check in with Beau in a couple of years to see if that is still Beau’s favorite job on the ranch.
Division Two Winner of the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest was Cady Jane Jones of Manatee County, FL. In Cady Jane’s view, her Dad, Brian Jones, walks on water, but riding on top of his horse of course. Cady Jane’s Dad has taught her and her sister, Cooper, many things, including best safety practices on and off the ranch. One of those safety practices being “to always be aware of your surroundings.” Cady Jane also talked about “good manners” her Dad has taught her and her sister. One of those “good manners” is to always respect their elders, but Cady Jane zeros in on those “good ranch manners” for instance, to never stand on gates, and to always stop and wait on the gate guy. Catie Jane talked about all things she and sister like to do with their Dad, work cows, fish, do chores, but the one thing that stood out most was “Hog Hunts,” their Dad takes them on.
Division Three Winner of the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest was Harlee Farmer of Polk County, FL. In Harlee’s view, her Dad, Ellery Farmer, will give the shirt off his back to someone in need. Harlee shares that her Dad has taught her a strong work ethic in always getting the job at hand completed efficiently and to always to do the job right the first time. The best safety practice on the ranch her Dad has taught her is to “just get out of the way.” Harlee takes everything her Dad tells her to heart, in the case of taking care of their animals, “If the animals don’t eat, we do not eat.” What is important to Harlee is the strong values her Dad is instilling in her.
As you can see the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” contest caught the feelings we all have as Florida Ranching Families. I am very pleased to share with you, that through the promotion of those feelings, many people not related to agriculture and ranching, have been moved by the children’s stories of why his/her Dad is an “Ultimate Ranch Dad.” This beef promotion has been picked up and shared in many publications throughout the nation and locally. It is incredible and touching how an idea, can evolve into something great and far reaching beyond one’s own circle. I look forward to how far reaching the “Ultimate Ranch Dad” promotion will go, as I continue to witness the positive reach of this Beef Promotion to people unbeknownst to the Beef Industry.
Getting back to the “Thick of Things” this past month has been a great month of getting business done within Florida CattleWomen, as we held our BOD/General Membership Meeting, on July 11th, at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL. I, along with the Florida CattleWomen’s Executive Board, would like to thank the Marion County CattleWomen for their hospitality at the meeting. We all welcomed Florida CattleWomen who came near and far to join in a great day of celebrating what it is to be a Florida CattleWoman. We would also like to thank Mr. Rick Moyer, of the Florida Cattlemen’s Executive Board, joining us at the meeting, to share updates from the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.Thank you to Gator Collegiate CattleWomen Advisors; Dr. Tracy Scheffler and Allyson Trimble for joining us to award, Sydney Whitehurst, the 2020 Gator Collegiate Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year Award. We saved the best for last, as Florida CattleWomen’s Matriarch and Outstanding CattleWoman Committee Chair, Immogene Yarborough, and Outstanding CattleWoman Committee Member, Holly Newsome, awarded the Florida
CattleWomen’s 2020 Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year. Florida is so proud of three nominees that were presented Mrs. Emily Hobby, Levy County, Florida, Mrs. Ellen Bryan, Polk County, and Mrs. Jamie Graham, Sumter County for being nominated for this prestigious award. All three of you have made and continue to make great strides in fostering the well being of the Florida Beef Industry. A special article on the 2020 Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year will be featured in the September issue of the Florida Cattlemen’s Magazine.
Moving on now to the Florida Beef Ambassador Contest, as we promote our industry’s youth, that will in turn be promoting the Florida Beef Industry. Youth from all over the state converged on the Florida State Fairgrounds, July 31st, to compete in three age divisions, each division winner will hold a representative position as a Florida Beef Ambassador. For those who do not know what a Florida Beef Ambassador does, I would like to share with you the many positive attributes the Ambassador does for our industry. Each Ambassador will be in attendance at events throughout our state sharing with the public how the Beef Industry plays a part in the state of Florida. Florida Beef Ambassadors share the importance the Florida Beef Industry plays in our state’s economy, as well as, bringing a nutritious source of food to Florida family’s dinner table each night. This whole contest reflects back to the old adage; “Teach them when they young to advocate for something, they love, and they advocate for it, the rest of his/her life.” The Beef Ambassador Program is that program that produces a lifelong advocate for the Beef Industry.
As Florida CatttleWomen move into August. I am so excited for the Florida CattleWomen’s Workshop, August 1st, at the Lake County Extension Office, Tavares, FL. Florida CattleWomen near and far will join in a day of learning how to be a better promoter of the Beef Industry through many workshops geared at learning to communicate with the consumer better, learning to connect better with students in schools, refreshing on safe food handling practices, to learning to be the glue that holds a County CattleWomen’s Association together. Please make plans to join us in a day of building us up to be better promoters of the Beef Industry and better Florida CattleWomen members.
Florida CattleWomen, please plan to join us at the upcoming Florida CattleWomen’s Beef Short Course, Saturday, August 15th, Quincey Cattle Company, Cheifland, FL. Michele Curts our FCW President Elect will be holding a great day, on learning how this cattle operation works and people who are behind this operation. There will be a great lunch that will follow this program. So please join us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org that you plan on attending. All Florida CattleWomen should have received information about this event through the mail system.
In closing, being in the “Thick of Things” is a good thing for Florida CattleWomen. It is how we grow as an association in promoting the Beef Industry and giving our members the tools and reassurance that “yes” everyone in this association is an important piece of this puzzle. Never doubt the importance you hold in this World, everyone’s positive contribution can turn a negative into a positive.
I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.”