T-Bone CattleWomen Make Ad Day Beef Donation

Image via Stillwater County News
Image via Stillwater County News

Project Hope board member Sue Geraghty (left) and Sonja Windecker of the T-Bone Cattle Women. The T-Bone Montana Cattle Women are promoting March 18 Ag Day by providing beef certificates in Carbon, Sweet Grass and Stillwater Counties to promote agriculture. Project Hope will use these funds to purchase beef for the family food boxes they distribute each month. — via Stillwater County News

Montana CattleWomen Offer $1000 Memorial Scholarship

For the 53rd consecutive year, the Montana CattleWomen are offering a $1,000 scholarship to a Montana resident. Applicants must be enrolled in a Montana college or university, be at least a sophomore with a 2.7 or better GPA. Preference will be given to an applicant majoring a field beneficial to the livestock industry.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student based on a balance of grades, citizenship and financial need. Last year’s recipient was Ariel Overstreet-Adkins, originally of Big Timber, who is currently a student at the University of Montana School of Law.

Application forms are available at college Financial Aid Offices throughout Montana or online at MontanaCattleWomen.org. Completed applications must be submitted to the Montana CattleWomen office (420 N. California, Helena, MT 59601) and postmarked no later than April 15, 2015. For questions or more information, contact the Scholarship Chair, Lindsey Habets at (406) 861-8655 or email lindsey@hilinewebdesign.com.

This memorial scholarship is funded entirely by donations given in memory of friends and loved ones of Montana CattleWomen.

CattleWomen offer Personalized Beef Signs

Montana CattleWomen Ranch Beef Sign
Promote the beef industry and the Montana CattleWomen with the purchase of a personalized “BEEF” sign! The 18” x 24” steel signs are designed for outdoor durability and to hang from a gate or fence. These also make great gifts for friends, family, or fellow ranchers!

Print off this order form and mail with payment to MCW.
Signs are $50 each, plus $10 shipping and handling. Allow approximately three weeks for delivery. Please send order form information with payment to Connie Ahlgren, P.O. Box 56 Grass Range, MT 59032. Make payment to Montana CattleWomen. All checks accepted. Signs may be picked up at the Lewistown Farm Bureau office without shipping cost. The Montana CattleWomen receive a portion of the proceeds from all “BEEF” sign orders.

Click image to print this order form and mail with payment to MCW.

Montana CattleWomen growing and plan Fall education events

Montana CattleWomen is excited to announce the addition of two new local groups who will be joining us for the New Year. If any CattleWomen from Cascade and Custer County are interested in joining them, contact MCW. The Montana Beef Council granted our project funding requests for 2015 and with their financial support, we will be able to continue with our educational and promotional activities.

MCW will take part in the NILE education days in Billings, October 15-18. We will have seven minutes with each group of students to present information on grazing practices, importance of minerals and vaccinations, and we go through the cheeseburger, ZIP and beef by products kits. I realize this seems like a lot of info in such a small time, but the students do learn and enjoy the sessions.

The Beef Education packets will be mailed to the Family & Consumer Science Teachers soon. Remember to ask your local teacher if they use or order the material offered to them and encourage them to utilize this year’s information. The cost of this project is covered by the $0.50 of your beef check off dollars that stay in state.

If you ever have any questions concerning MCW, just contact me, Wanda Pinnow, 406.978.3521.

Montana Rancher Q&A Feature: Wanda Pinnow, Montana CattleWomen President

Wanda Pinnow of Baker, Montana is currently serving as the Montana CattleWomen Association’s president and has spent her life raising cattle and sheep on her family’s ranch. Like all businesses, running the ranch hasn’t always been easy, but the work created a life that Wanda and her family are passionate about and are excited to pass that joy on to the next generation. Read more about Wanda in the follow Q&A: 

How long has your family been involved in ranching?

My grandfather homesteaded the farm that I grew up on in 1913.  My parents had cattle, grain crops, forage and a garden that would feed us for the year.  I learned early that we all had a purpose on the farm.  Dad worked part time in the oilfield to help pay the bills.  Mom milked three cows to feed our 20 bum lambs, (summer project).  At an early age, I was outside helping my parents work the farm.  We all learned early how to ride the square baler so we could make sure the bales fell correctly.  My dad’s idea of Sunday family fun was hauling 600 square bales.   My husband, Craig, and I were married in 1980, after two years of living in town, his grandfather (maternal side) asked us to move onto his place.  We became cattle owners! In 1988, we moved to the farm (where we live now) that my husband grew up on.  We purchased Bracket Butte Ranch two years later.  Our greatest joy was making our last payment for the ranch.

What was your favorite part about growing up on the ranch? 

My favorite part of growing up on the farm was all ranch seasons: winter was feeding calves, cows, and of course, snowmobiling. Spring was the birth of all of the babies.  We couldn’t wait to see what the milk cows would have, for they would be our pets.  Branding was time for all of our neighbors to get together.  Horseback riding to move cattle, pulling rye out of the wheat field, and just play time on our horses.  Summer was a really busy time, fixing fence, swathing, baling then right into combining and seeding, there was never a dull time on the farm and my Parents made us a part of all of it.  They taught us well, so we would know what to do when they were not there.

Tell us about your ranch today.

Montana Charolais Cattle in BakerOn our ranch today, we have a cow-calf pairs that are Black Angus cross mommas and we use Charolais bulls.   We also run Ramboulet cross ewes with Hampshire bucks. It is just Craig and I out working on a daily basis, but our son wants to come back someday when the ranch can support two families.

What have been some of the trials you’ve had to overcome?

In 1993, we bought some replacement heifers and one of the heifers was a carrier of BVD.  We were told that they had had all of their pre-breeding shots.  We bought 50 head and 30 of the 50 lost or aborted their calves.  It also affected us the following next two years.  Our weights were down and we had a lot of sick calves.  The sheep were also affected the following year. This is a very bad disease.  Our marriage of 13 years almost did not survive this trial.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about life on the ranch?

Bracket Butte Ranch in Baker MontanaOne thing I wished people knew about ranch life is that the livestock and the care of land are very important to us. We do not take being stewards of the land very lightly.  God put us here to be care takers and to flourish and live off of the land.

What does it mean to you to be able to work with your family every day?

To be able to work with my family is an honor.  Our grandchildren come  over and I get such joy teaching them how to be caretakers of the land and animals, just as my parents taught me, and I taught my children.

How would describe “building a legacy” on the ranch? 

Baker Montana Ranching Pinnow FamilyOur son and daughters know how we do things on the ranch. They have come to understand that you do take care of the land to make it a renewable resource every year.  You need to take care of your livestock properly by feeding minerals, giving vaccinations yearly, and making sure that they have proper nutrition.

Do you have any advice for future Montana rancher generations about running a successful beef cattle business?

Ranchers can’t be big spenders. You will need to have an outside income to help support your household.  Look in to the Farm Service Agency and see what kind of loans they have for beginners.

What is your favorite part about being the Montana CattleWomen president? Why did you decide to lead this group of ladies? 

Visiting and sharing ideas with the members from around the state.  I knew that I wanted to be president after a year of being State Beef Ed Chairman.  I was impressed by how many schools and students we were able to teach using the Beef Ed curriculum!

What’s your favorite beef dish?

Montana CattleWomen President Wanda Pinnow of BakerEye of round roast slow cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, and a gravy sauce.

Is there anything else you can share with us?

The young people  today feel that they are too busy to belong to Beef  Industry organizations.  Our industry would greatly benefit If they only realized that “to have a voice in our industry they need to be involved”.

If you’d like to see more of Wanda’s Montana ranch adventures, you can follow her on Twitter: @Wanda_Pinnow.

Calling All Montana CattleWomen to Mid-Year

By Wanda Pinnow, Baker, Montana CattleWomen President

I would like to take this time to invite you and your members to come to Montana CattleWomen’s Mid-Year meeting to be held in wonderful Livingston. Park County CattleWomen will be our host for this year’s event on June 20-21 at the Yellowstone Inn and Convention Center.

We have several items available for each affiliate who attends this year’s Mid-Year meetings. To guide you in presenting to local classrooms, we will have DVDs on the Cheeseburger and “Wow the Cow” programs. There will be Beef Checkoff signs available as well. With the help of Bayer and American National Cattlewomen, each Affiliate that attends Mid-Year will receive the book, “Our Star Goes West” by the Chaney Twins. This book will be provided for you to take into local classrooms and read to the class or to donate to donate to the library of your choice.

We will close out the meeting with a few speakers this year including the new Montana Beef Ambassador, Landra Lucas and Park County’s own Lois Olmstead. You might think you have heard Lois before, but she has promised something new and entertaining. Montana Stockgrowers’ Ryan Goodman will wrap up the day with a discussion on how we can be advocates for the ranching and beef communities across Montana.

We always have learning experiences at our Mid-Year and Winter conferences and we encourage more Montana CattleWomen to take advantage of these workshops. We learn by sharing ideas and discussing our dilemmas that we run into.

Registration is $60 and includes dinner on Friday; breakfast, lunch and snacks on Saturday; along with speakers and materials. Rooms are available at $79.99 per night plus taxes if reserved by June 1. Contact Suze Bohleen of the Park County CattleWomen for more information and registration details. We hope to see you in Livingston!

MSU Collegiate Cattlewomen making a difference with big food donation

BOZEMAN – A Montana State University club has won a national competition, and the prize – 30,500 pounds of chicken products from Tyson Foods, Inc.  – is scheduled to arrive the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.

The Collegiate CattleWomen’s Club won the contest by collecting 500 pounds of canned goods during the annual “Can the Griz” food drive last fall and completing other weekly assignments in the annual Animal Agricultural Alliance Online College Aggies Scholarship Competition. The Animal Agriculture Alliance is one of the largest animal agricultural industry nonprofit organizations in the country. Since the group launched the national online competition in 2009, more than 1,500 college students from more than 100 colleges and universities have participated.

Bronya Renfrow, president of the Collegiate CattleWomen’s Club, said the MSU club decided to donate its prize to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Food Bank Coordinator Jill Holder said the food bank will share the gift with other groups, which might include senior centers, group homes and nonprofit organizations.

She has never received a single donation this large during her time with the food bank, Holder said.

“This donation is a really big deal, and it’s incredibly helpful to our valley families,” Holder said. “This donation will provide protein for almost an entire year, so it’s an enormous contribution. Buying protein can get expensive so we’re thankful and excited for the donation.”

Renfrow said she is proud of her club for winning the competition.

“For such a small club to be able to accomplish something like this is incredible. It’s a huge honor. It hasn’t quite sunk in how many local families the donation will help to feed,” said Renfrow from Pleasantville, Iowa, a senior majoring in agricultural education (agricultural relations).

The club only placed food boxes in Linfield Hall and the Animal Bioscience Building for the fall food drive, Renfrow said.

“We were really surprised we won the food drive because we only placed boxes in a few buildings, so it’s a real testament to the staff, students and faculty in those buildings who helped us to win this,” she said.

The Collegiate CattleWomen Club has approximately 15 members, Renfrow said. One of 27 clubs in the MSU College of Agriculture, its mission is to promote beef.

“We emphasize that meat is a good source of zinc, iron and protein, and lean meat can be good for you,” Renfrow said.

In addition to the food drive, the MSU club handed out beef sticks and fact sheets last fall for a “Meet the Meat” event on campus. Last spring, it held a 5K race and barbecue, titled “Meat at the Finish Line.” It will hold the same event this year on Saturday, April 12. Throughout the school year, club members give “Perfect Cheeseburger” presentations at elementary schools, demonstrating and explaining the nutrition in each layer of a cheeseburger.