Western Nevada CattleWomen: Promoting beef as good food is group’s goal
What’s for dinner tonight? If the Western Nevada CattleWomen does its job – your answer will be beef.
Annalyn Settelmeyer, president of The Record-Courier’s organization of the month, said that this chapter of the American National CattleWomen has some very specific goals.
“Our most important goal is to promote, through education, beef as a nutritious food,” said Settelmeyer. “As a matter of fact, everything we do is designed to promote the beef industry, whether it is teaching about nutrition and food safety or reaching out to children with our Ag Day or Farm City Day.”
Western Nevada CattleWomen is 60 members strong, with members coming from Washoe, Lyon, and Douglas counties, Carson City and neighboring California towns. Although you could assume that the group is made up of ranchers, Settelmeyer said that this isn’t necessarily the case.
“The membership is open to women, or anyone, interested in the beef industry, beef by-products or beef in general,” said Settelmeyer. “You don’t have to grow up on a ranch. All you have to do is like beef and want to help promote it.”
The organization has two educational meetings during the year. Members share the latest information and concerns facing the beef industry. There are also several Web sites for members to access.
During the rest of the year, the organization sponsors monthly activities that promote beef as a healthy and nutritious food item.
In January, the CattleWomen are co-sponsors of the Cattlemen’s Update with the Cooperative Extension Office, the state veterinarian and local vets providing the newest technology and information on herd health and animal health.
Several times during the year, the CattleWomen meet at Costco in Reno to educate the public about the affordability of beef and to demonstrate the ease of preparing it.
“The meat department chooses the cut of beef that they want us to promote. We cook and serve it and use the opportunity to discuss the benefits of beef,” said Settelmeyer.
“We have heard for years, ‘We don’t eat that,’ or ‘It’s high in fat.’ People in the beef industry paid attention and changed the herds to provide a leaner product. Now it is up to us to educate the public about their misconceptions and to explain the benefits of beef.”
Every March, the organization hosts a dinner and dance, which is their only fund-raiser for the year.
“Part of our program is giving scholarships to agriculture students. We select two students from western Nevada or the eastern California communities with a 3.5 grade point average or above,” said Settelmeyer.
Farm City Day is a popular event with the CattleWomen. Elementary students are bussed to the fairgrounds in Reno to learn a hands-on approach to agriculture.
“According to most kids, beef comes from the grocery store. So do milk and eggs,” said Settelmeyer. “This gives them a chance to learn why agriculture is so important to all of us.”
While the clock ticked from 1999 to 2000, the CattleWomen waited for the last child of the 1900s and the first child of 2000 to be born. Each family received a $50 gift certificate for beef.
In June, the CattleWomen sponsor the Beef for Father’s Day contests. Students are invited to write an essay on why their fathers deserve a steak dinner.
Relatively new to the organization is an outreach program that contacts hunting-related organizations.
“We volunteer to serve beef at their annual dinners in a good will gesture,” said Settelmeyer. “Seventy percent of a rancher’s land is wildlife environment. This gives us a chance to open communications with the hunters, as we are working for the same goals.”
Settelmeyer is joined on the board by vice president Patricia “Scooter” Uhart, secretary Liz Carrasco, treasurer Nissa Chichester, parliamentarian Beverly Ervin and past president Keri Pommerening.
“We are all like-thinking people, interested in preserving and promoting the beef industry and agriculture as a way of life,” said Settelmeyer. “Western Nevada CattleWomen isn’t just about the promotion of beef. It’s about a way of life.”
For more information about Western Nevada CattleWomen, contact Settelmeyer at 265-2499.
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