Montana Cattlewomen attend National Convention

Montana Cattlewomen attending National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 29–Feb. 3 were (from left) Lynd Grande (past President, National Cattlemen’s beef board) of Columbus; Suze Bohleen (National Education director) of Wilsall; Wanda Pinnow (ANCW president-elect) of Baker; Connie Ahlgren (Presidentelect Montana Cattlewomen) of Grass Range; Sarah Swenson (Montana vice president) of Billings; and Kelsi Gambill (Montana district director, National Communications director) of Billings.

Photo courtesy of Connie Ahlgren

Connie Ahlgren of Grass Range reported on the ANCW convention in sunny Arizona. It was a busy week full of educational experiences and catching up on beef promotion and education ideas.

Ahlgren said, “The first day we visited a carrot factory, which was very interesting, from the fields to the nice package you see in your local stores. The remains of the vegetable are also tied to the livestock industry through mixing with feed for livestock.

“Next stop was the Kerr Dairy; what an operation. I was amazed at what a professional operation they run; it’s great to know the process of putting milk on our table. Also, what a large impact the Holstein breed contributes to our industry; 80 percent of the JBS beef packing plant in Phoenix is Holstein steers from the area.

“The JBS Beef packing plant tour was very educational. It is interesting to see the whole process. Our cow-calf ranches here raise quality beef calves, that then get fed to approximately 1,300 to 1,400 pounds, then hit a packing plant similar to those in Arizona. We saw the whole process from the feed yard to the package you find in the grocery store. I would encourage any cattle producer to view the process; I was very impressed how professional the plant was. We can be proud that plants take such great food safety practices to our great product we provide for the world.

“During our ANCW business meetings, all states share beef promotion and educational activities done in their area. Social media is a great way to tell your story and spread the nutritional and educational material to the millennial group who are our target area. American consumers want to know how their food is raised and the care that goes into it.”

Ahlgren said the ANCW has a “great” leadership program called the Collegiate Advocacy program, new in 2017.

“Three outstanding young women were chosen and have done the training this past year,” Ahlgren said. “They reported on their past year being beef advocates. Our future is in good hands with such talented young leaders coming up in our industry.”

The new president for ANCW is Gwen Gies out of Wyoming, and Montana’s Past-President Wanda Pinnow from Baker is now presidentelect for ANCW.

“We are very fortunate to have such great leaders for our national organization from our region,” said Ahlgren.

The Region V National Cattlemen voted to make a statement to support a voluntary Country of Origin labeling on beef. There are currently programs for this.

Check out the new beefitswhatsfordinner.com campaign taking off across the nation,” Ahlgren said, “promoting our great beef product. We were updated on all the beef check-off campaigns; our money is in good hands and promoting beef throughout the world. Get involved. We are feeding the world.”

For information on how to join your local, state or national Cattlewomen organization, call Connie at (406) 428-2143.

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