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Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association prepares for annual raffle and banquet

The Southwestern Cowbelles brand quilt will be auctioned Feb. 11. To buy a raffle ticket, contact any Cowbelle member. From left are Joylene Higgins, Erin Gordanier, Mary Ellen McComb and Debbie Miller. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Banquet and meetings Feb. 11 will feature policy discussions, crown Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year

The Southwestern Cowbelles have again created their classic keepsake quilt, which will be raffled off to members of the community at the annual Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association banquet this month.

The quilt can be viewed at Brand Central, on the southeast corner of East Main Street and South Beech Street in Cortez.

The Cowbelles quilt has been an annual tradition since 1959 and has carried on for more than 60 years. The first person to win a Cowbelle quilt was Lila Zwicker in 1959, five years after the Cowbelles formed in 1954.

The quilt is composed of local cattle brands, and many of the brands remain on the quilt until the owner passes away. Cattle brands are used by ranchers to identify their cattle and ensure they can be recovered if lost or stolen. Many brands have been passed down through the generations and have deep meaning to the owner. Some brands can be sold if the owner retires or passes away without anyone to hold onto it in the family.

People who wish to purchase tickets for the quilt raffle can buy directly from Cowbelle members. Tickets are $1 for one or $5 for a pack of six.

If you go

What: The annual Southwestern Livestock Association meeting and banquet.

Where: Cortez Elks Lodge, 2100 North Dolores Road.

When: The annual meeting and banquet run from 9 a.m. to about 10 p.m.

Open policy session: 9 a.m.

Lunch: Noon

Business meeting and election: 1 p.m.

Silent auction: 3 p.m.

Steak dinner and awards: 7 p.m.

Dance with Vanishing Breed: 8:30 p.m.

Tickets and scholarship fund

To purchase tickets to the banquet or to donate to the youth scholarship fund, call a Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association board member:

Secretary and Treasurer Lynelle Brumley, 565-1972.

President Wayne Rogers, 739-0682.

Vice President Joe Lanier, 560-2363.

Board member Jason Blackmer, 739-5577

Board member Drew Gordanier, 759-5392.

Board member Zane Odell, 749-5476.

Board member Jonathan Patcheck, 759-4766.

Board member James Snyder, 560-4629.

The winner of the quilt will be announced Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association banquet after a raffle drawing, which starts at 7 p.m. at the Cortez Elks Lodge, 2100 North Dolores Road.

Along with the announcement of the quilt winner, the banquet will include a steak dinner “with all the trimmings,” live music from the Vanishing Breed band, the naming of Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year and dancing. Tickets for admission to the banquet are $40 each.

After the announcement of the Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year, attendees will put on their dancing shoes and hit the dance floor about 8:30 p.m. People who want to skip the formalities and attend the dance may buy a discounted ticket for about $5.

Proceeds from silent auction at the banquet will go to scholarships for youths. Association board members also accept donations to the scholarship program.

The Saturday morning sessions, which will include presentations from Ken Curtis of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin and state Sen. Cleave Simpson, begin at 9 a.m. and are open to the public for free.

Lynelle Brumley said speakers including members of the Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners “give us an update on things and a summary of what’s going on and important issues affecting agriculture in Montezuma County from the past year.

It was unclear whether Republican state Rep. Marc Catlin or U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert would be in attendance.

Other reports come from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Canyon of the Ancients, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Dolores Water Conservancy, Farm Service Agency and Soil Conservation Service, along with the Montezuma County Weed Control District.

“They come and they inform the members on programs that our cattlemen or ranchers or farmers would be qualified for so they know what’s available,” Brumley said.

After the morning meeting, the Cowbelles will host a potluck lunch at noon before the business meeting at 1 p.m., when directors speak about the board’s activities during the past year.

Many of those activities and initiatives include 4-H program sponsorships, Future Farmers of America and beef for Montezuma County Fair.

After a quick break following the business meeting, the banquet will start at 7 p.m.

To purchase tickets to the banquet, call Brumley at 970-565-1972 or any board member: President Wayne Rogers at 739-0682, Vice President Joe Lanier at 560-2363, Jason Blackmer at 739-5577, Drew Gordanier at 759-5392, Zane Odell at 749-5476, Jonathan Patcheck at 759-4766 and James Snyder at 560-4629. Tickets can be purchased from board members or at the door.