County cattlemen gather in drove

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, February 1, 2017
A prime cut of people hoofed it out Friday, Jan. 27, to the Fourth Annual Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association Banquet.

Held at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds, hundreds from the county gathered for the Muscatine chapter’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“This is our main fundraiser, each year attendance just keeps climbing,” said Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association President Ron Cox. “We donated almost $6,000 in awards for scholarships and more last year.”

Even though they sold more than 200 tickets before the Prime Rib dinner, attendance was more than triple that in the Activity Center.

Besides steak, which was bountiful and plentiful, the evening also included a live and silent auction, door prizes, comedian John DeBoer and several awards.

Louie Danner was inducted into the Iowa Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame, which honors those who have contributed a great deal to promoting the beef industry of Iowa.

“For three decades and more he was known as one of the top fitters in the country, he helped many top operations win national shows throughout the country,” President Cox said.

He noted Danner’s long career, from selling high quality seed stock, involvement with 4-H and FFA and how he’s passed that cattlemen love onto future generations.

A big ol’ smile crept across Mr. Danner’s face as he walked up to receive his award to the applause of everyone in the audience.

“This is certainly quite an honor for me, and unexpected,” he said. “Thank you very much, I appreciate it.”

During the evening the Muscatine chapter highlighted three of its $1,000 scholarships to the college bound Alyssa Scholz, Sara Burlage and Gracie Danner.

They also handed out a Certificate of Appreciation to Becki Petersen, 4-H County Youth Coordinator at Muscatine County Extension. She organizes the 4-H and FFA activities at the Muscatine County Fair.

“Well, 2016 was a little bit of a wild year,” said Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Membership Coordinator Casey Allison, special speaker that evening.

“From cavin’ to mother nature being unable to decide whether it’s hot or cold, it feels like we’re wading through the muck every day,” she said.

She was referring to the oddly warm then cold weather coupled with the ups-and-downs of the beef market, which made 2016 rough for many Iowa cattlemen.

“But 2017 is a new year,” she added. “If I know cattle people, one thing I can always count on is a positive attitude and a hard work ethic, so we’re excited.”

She also spent a little bit of time emphasizing the purpose of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, which has chapters in counties all over Iowa including Muscatine.

They’ll be working on limiting environment regulations, exploring ideas to decrease market volatility, protect Iowa’s fence law and its right to farm legislation and disease preparedness.

“I feel the most important job we have is protecting our way of life, that’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about working for the Cattlemen’s Association,” she added.

The Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association officers and directors include President Ron Cox, Vice-President Ben Lenz, Treasurer Jerry Anderson and Secretary Bryan Dobbins.

Board members are Tony Brus, Chad and Brandi Clausen, Jeff Chown, Ben and Monica Danner, Bill Frauenholtz, Derek Honts, Jim Kessler, Charles Rife and Jack Rife.

A big part of what the Muscatine Chapter does includes raising money for scholarships, the Iowa Junior Beef Breeds Association and the Southeast Iowa Showdown.

Of course, they’re also active during the Muscatine County Fair, including Fair-Roof events, the Clevenger Trophy, Ribbon Auction, Junior Beef Show and other 4-H/FFA events.

The members help out at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines every year and also cook at Fairway and Hy-Vee during Beef Month.

But most of all, the Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association exists as a way for its members to be a part of each other’s lives and promote their livelihood.

The evening’s fundraiser/dinner was a big part of that goal as hundreds gathered, yet everyone seemed to know everyone’s name.

“There’s no better time than now to promote our product and to talk more about what we do as producers to produce a safe product,” said Coordinator Casey Allison.

“Sometimes that’s something we’re not very good at because we’re a little bit too humble and we are working at home at the farm,” she added. “We have to tell our stories.”
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