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Cattlemen Making A Comeback


Cattlemen Making A Comeback

Abby Heidenreich, ANR Extension Educator/CED

The Orange County Cattlemen’s Association have stood the test of time and have been a cornerstone of the Orange County 4-H Fair and Orange County agriculture in general. Members from all over the county have gathered to support causes and share in their passion for their cattle. Over the past few years, they’ve been experiencing some generational turnover of members, which is completely normal for an organization to go through. Attendance at monthly meetings had dwindled, and membership dropped overall. After having some honest discussions at the Annual Meeting in February, however, The Cattlemen are making a comeback.

A few of the changes that have taken place this year include moving from monthly business meetings for the board of directors to quarterly events for all cattlemen to learn and gather together, followed by short business meetings. The idea behind this switch comes from the time crunch usually felt to get evening feedings done and get into town for a meeting, along with many cattlemen working off-farm during the day. Hopefully moving to quarterly meetings usually held on Saturdays will create opportunities to tour, learn and gather as families and neighbors. COVID-19 has certainly wrecked its signature havoc on the plan of action, taking away the famous county fair ribeye sandwiches and keeping members from meeting for a few months, but it hasn’t eliminated the need for the Cattlemen’s Association.

Orange County has a rich cattle industry, with over 8,000 head of cattle in the county according to the latest USDA report. The purpose of the Orange County Cattlemen’s Association is to allow those farmers and ranchers to connect with and support each other in their endeavors. While the internet has made information easier to access for everyone, there’s a lot of experience in wisdom that doesn’t come from google. Talking with others who have similar operations and ideas, as well as some who have new ideas, is crucial to the success and longevity of beef production.

Jim Daugherty, longtime Cattlemen’s member and a pillar of Orange County agriculture, has emphasized the need to bring younger generations of cattlemen and women into the association. Each year, he claims it’s his last year to serve the board of directors in many of his roles as grillmaster, treasurer, and recruiter. His goal is to pass on his legacy to those beef producers in Orange County that are out there doing great work every day.

Jim - along with the board of directors - invite anyone of any age working with cattle, raising beef in any capacity to come to the next quarterly meeting on October 24th at the Orange County Community Center. Nick Minton will be presenting on EPD’s and how to best utilize information in your breeding programs and a pitch in dinner will follow. If you could RSVP to give an idea of attendance, call 812-723-7107 by October 19th.

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