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Southwest Colorado Livestock Association prepares for annual banquet

Montezuma County Commissioners Jim Candelaria and the late Joe Stevenson gave updates on roads, grazing, and wolf reintroduction at the 2021 Southwest Colorado Livestock Association meeting. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Traditional event is Feb. 12 and returns to the Elks Lodge in Cortez

The Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association will hold its annual meeting and events Feb. 12 at the Cortez Elks Lodge.

The popular annual event goes on all day and costs $40.

It kicks off at 9 a.m. with reports from county, state and federal officials, followed by a potluck lunch at noon served by the Southwestern Cowbelles, the women’s branch of the livestock association.

The SWCLA holds its meeting in the afternoon and presents additional reports about agriculture topics in the area. Then at 7 p.m. it’s on to a traditional steak dinner, silent auction, and announcement of Cowbelle and Stockman of the Year.

Last year, the winners were LaVonne Heaton and Tim Lanier.

At 9 p.m., the celebration continues into the evening with a country-western dance with live music by Vanishing Breed. The cover charge is $5.

LaVonne Heaton, center, is made 2021 Cowbelle of the Year, presented by Southwestern Cowbelles President Bunny McComb, right, and former Cowbelle of the Year Beverly Scott, left.
Tim Lanier, right, was made Stockman of the Year in 2021 by the Southwest Colorado Livestock Association.
At a previous livestock banquet, rancher Zane Odell received an award from Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin for his help training deputies on livestock health.

“It is an important and fun tradition for our community. We’re glad to be back at the Elks Lodge,” said organizer Lynelle Brumley, secretary-treasurer of the SWCLA.

Last year, the event had to be moved to the Montezuma County Fairgrounds because of pandemic-related restrictions on indoor gatherings.

Brumley said the reports by local officials are a valuable way for the community to learn about issues and upcoming legislation, and meet their representatives.

“A lot of good information is presented by knowledgeable people,” she said.

Officials invited to speak are newly appointed county Commissioner Gerald Koppenhafer, county Administrator Shak Powers, Sheriff Steve Nowlin, Ken Curtis of Dolores Water Conservancy District, Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co., Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg, Colorado Independent Cattleman Association, a Colorado brand inspector, state Sen. Don Coram, state Rep. Marc Catlin, state Sen. Cleave Simpson, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service officials, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife official, and Naomi Dobbs, field officer for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert.

“We are looking forward to getting to know Mr. Simpson, who will be our new state senator for District 6 because of redistricting,” Brumley said.

A silent auction will be held with proceeds awarded as scholarships to local youths.

For information about the scholarship program or to contribute to the silent auction to help students in Montezuma and Dolores counties, contact a board member.

Tickets for the banquet and dance are available at the door and from board members.

Members of the Board of Directors include President Jason Blackmer (739-5577), Vice President Joe Lanier (560-2363), Wayne Rogers (739-0682), Drew Gordanier (759- 5392), Zane Odell (749-5476), Jonathan Patcheck (759-4766), and James Snyder (560- 4629). For more information, contact a director or Secretary-Treasurer Lynelle Brumley at 565-1972.