Who Are the Nevada Cattlewomen
State Officers 2012
HISTORY OF NEVADA CATTLEWOMEN
By: Annalyn Settelmeyer 2002-2004
The Nevada CattleWomen Inc., once known as the Nevada Cowbelle Inc. is one of the oldest women organizations in the state. Anna Dressler of Minden, Nevada in 1939 attended a luncheon meeting at the 4 bar 4 Ranch near Douglas, Arizona. At this luncheon meeting there were sixteen women who were a part of the cattle community and had gathered to form an organization. They agreed to set forth at this meeting an organization to promote beef while promoting “social relations between cattle people and the community”. Anna Dressler then came home to Minden, Nevada and in 1956 organized a meeting of local women on March 24, 1956 at the Minden Inn (now where the Douglas County offices are located) to establish bylaws, draft a constitution and elect officers of the Western Nevada Cowbelle. On October 31, 1958, one hundred twenty-six women signed the charter in Elko, Nevada to form the Nevada State Cowbelle. The Nevada State Cowbelle was born; the Constitution and By-laws were adopted with Mrs. Fred (Anna) Dressler serving as first president. Mrs. Dressler was also while serving as the President of the American National Cowbelle in 1958.
Nevada CattleWomen is made up of members who are interested in education of consumers and the promotion of beef. We are ambassadors at large of the cattle industry. We work to maintain and build the demand for beef and satisfy the consumer’s needs. We help to promote a positive image of the cattle industry and our way of life. Members do not need to have an agriculture background but interested in the welfare of the cattle industry. As a member you have a voice in the local, state and national level on issues that affect our industry. Members receive current information on issues of animal care, marketing, regulations, litigation, promotion and environmental issues. Our members can participate in the formulation of regulations that affect the business environment of the cattle industry. This network of local, state and national membership allows for quick response to public relation issues that arise that affect our industry.
In 1972, the Nevada Cowbelle reached a goal that they had long been working for when all local groups voted for across the board 100% membership where every member of a local was part of the state and national organization. There were 365 members at this time.
There are currently six local groups in the state; Western Nevada, Elko, Humboldt, Pershing, White Pine and Collegiate. The Western Nevada CattleWomen whose members are from parts of Lyon, Washoe, Carson City, Douglas, Nevada and parts of Mono Alpine County, California. They where soon followed by Elko County whose members are from all over Elko County and parts of Eureka, Lander Counties. Then followed by the Churchill County and Pershing CattleWomen. Pershing CattleWomen members are from all of Pershing County and parts of Humboldt, Churchill County. Humboldt CattleWomen joined the state group in 1966and their members are from all of Humboldt County and parts of, Washoe and Pershing Counties. The White Pine County CattleWomen joined the state in 1968 there members are from all of White Pine County and even parts of Eureka, Nye, Lincoln and Clark County. There was a group called the Southern Nevada CattleWomen who joined the state in 1969 but later became inactive in 1971 due to lack of leadership and members. A group was also organized in Smokey Valley (near Round Mountain, Nevada) called the Central Nevada Cowbelle, but the group also dropped out because of the long distances between members and at the time no means of easy communication. At the time they only had walkie-talkies, no telephones or Internet and cell phones. In 1992 the Nevada Collegiate members joined with only six members these members are enrolled at the University Nevada Reno with Jolinda Ferraro as their president. Currently the Nevada Collegiate group has over 20 members and has always been very enthusiastic and does a good job of promotion in the large city of Reno.
State meetings have always been held in conjunction with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. The mid year Board of Directors meeting held around early May and the general membership meeting in November. Two state meetings are held each year.
Beef promotion has been the driving force of our organization since it was founded. We promote Beef for Fathers Day, Beef for Baby, Agriculture in the Classroom projects, food safety, in store demos. There are many major projects that each local does.
Beef Education used to be done with the cooking schools around the state, books about the beef industry were placed in libraries. The Cowbelle taught classes on the history and value of beef, as well as the beef by products. A beef by product display board was built and used at fairs and in the schools through out the state. Today this is accomplished by in store demonstrations and by the American National CattleWomen with the National Beef Cook-off.
The National Beef Cook-off is a premier cooking contest that has received national and international acclaim. Individual states used to have their own contest then send the winners to the National Contest. Now, everyone is allowed to send in a recipe to the National Beef Cook-off and indivdual winners are chosen on their recipes quality. The first beef cook-off contest for the state was held in Wells, Nevada and was cosponsored by the Wells Rural Electric Company in April of 1969. From 1966-1972, demonstrators from the National Livestock and Meat Board came to Nevada to present meat programs and demonstrations. Those groups that took part in this program were White Pine, Elko, Humboldt and Western Nevada. Local demonstrations were continued annually. The first state beef cook-off was held in Elko in 1975 our winner represented Nevada in Salt Lake City at the National Cook-off.
A scholarship is annually given to a student at the University Nevada, Reno. At first the amount given was around $200.00 but now we give a $500.00 scholarship through the collegiate group. Scholarship funds come from our fundraising activities and membership dues and chapter donations. Originally fundraising was collected by fruitcake raffles at the state convention that were homemade by Anna Dressler. Then later at the cattlemen’s request our organization assisted with the convention saddle raffle and received one-half of the profit. After this project was discontinued, each local group was asked to send money to the state treasury to be used for operating expenses. Additionally a silent auction is held at the state convention to defray costs of travel to national meetings.
In 1971 the Cowbelle (Nevada CattleWomen) recognized the Nevada Rancher, a monthly agriculture industry newspaper as our organizations newspaper and continue this relationship today. The owners have always been active and productive members.
Legislative work for Nevada CattleWomen is one of our quiet and not very public activities but has been very effective. We have a calling tree and an action network where members receive information about a current issue and we are encourage to write letter, email or fax their legislators.
In 1973 Nevada used to participate in the National Human Interest Essay Contest. The first state winner was Mrs. Lourinda Wines and then later became the National Winner that year. Even when ANCB discontinued this contest, the state still continued with this project until 1992. Two books of stories were published called the Cow Country Recollections.
CattleWoman of the year was first awarded in 1967. This award goes to the member who has made outstanding contribution to the organization. Each local group chooses a deserving member who is honored on the local level as well as at the state level at the state convention.
The American National Cowbelle has held their annual convention in Nevada on five separate occasions. The first in 1955 in Reno, before we were even a state group. Reno was also the host in 1987 and 1994. Then the conventions were held in Las Vegas in 1963 and 1971, 1974. We will be the host again in February 2008. We also have been fortunate to be host of the National Summer Conferences held in Reno in 1992, 2002 and scheduled for 2006. Along with being host to American National CattleWomen Region 6 host in Reno, Nevada in 1983, 1989 and 2003.
We have been very honored to have three National Presidents from our state. Mrs. Anna Dressler from Minden, Nevada in 1956. Mrs. Lourinda Wines from Ruby Valley, Nevada was president in 1965. Mrs. Janice Connelley from Mountain City, Nevada served as president in 1999. Many Nevada CattleWomen have served as chairmen or committee members on the National level representing Nevada Cattlewomen. We have always had an active role in the national organization since the beginning.
In 1986 the National Cowbelle changed their name to what we know it now as the American National CattleWomen. In 1988 Nevada also changed our name from the Nevada Cowbelle to the Nevada CattleWomen Inc. and still use the bell in our logo as homage to the past and the growth of our organization.
At this same time around 1989 Nevada CattleWomen formed a working relationship with the Costco Organization in Reno, Nevada. This is our state beef promotion project, every month our members from an area local travel to Reno to demonstrate the cooking of beef to the urban public.
In 2003 The Nevada CattleWomen decided to no longer reproduce our state coloring multi book and developed a muti age activity sheet that is the size of a place mat and is easy to reprint and transport. Also in 2003 the Churchill County CattleWomen resigned from the state organization and reformed at the Churchill County Cowbelle.
There are very many unique and wonderful things that our local groups do: to many to list. For more information please contact a local member, a state officer or even the American National CattleWomen.
To our members I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of a wonderful history of our organization. As you know the strength of any organization is in its membership. Nevada CattleWomen is future is very bright especially with our member’s dedication and determination. We will continue to promote the cattle industry and our wonderful product beef. We will continue to educate and inform customers of current food trends and nutritional information. We will continue to help with the formulation of policy that affects our business and our environment.