Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Hold Annual Banquet Meeting

LA JUNTA – David Mendenhall of Rocky Ford was honored during the annual Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association banquet March 23rd here. Mendenhall, a third-generation rancher, was selected as the association’s prestigious Honorary Life Member Award recipient.

 (David Mendenhall was presented the Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Grower’s Association Honorary Life Member Award. Joining in the award recognition is, from left, incoming Pres. Reggy Lusk, presenter Bill Gray, Mendenhall, and outgoing Pres. Kevin Hefley.)

He has been a Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Grower’s Association and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) member since 1986, following in his father’s footsteps to be involved and make a difference. He has served as president of both organizations – at the helm of the multi-county affiliate in 1996, and the state association in 2011/12.  He continues on both boards, and stays current on industry issues and potential legislation. 

He and his wife, Laura, have one daughter, Taylor. Mendenhall is active in his community. He is currently Master of St. John’s Masonic Lodge in Rocky Ford. He has served as Arkansas Valley Fair board president twice and still serves as a director. He also is a past Rocky Ford Chamber of Commerce board member.

He attended Western State College in Gunnison, then Mendenhall worked on large ranches in Nevada and Oregon. When Mendenhall’s father died, he returned to the family ranch south of Rocky Ford and assumed running operations. He bought out other family members since then. Menhandall’s cow/calf operation uses Brahman, Brangus and Hereford bulls on Hereford cows. He also raises a few bucking bulls and horses. 

Fellow cattlemen board member Bill Gray of Ordway made the presentation, adding in tales of traveling in similar conditions to the weather outside, when they both served on the state board together. Unfortunately, many of Mendenhall’s family and friends were unable to make it past the closed highways to watch the awards ceremony. Video is available via the affiliate link on

Mendenhall’s honor highlighted the evening, which also included a cowboy punch bowl sponsored by La Junta Livestock Commission, and banquet, sponsored by Waddell & Reed and Forbush Legal Services. Prior to the steak supper, an etched glass window was auctioned to raise travel money for Colorado CattleWomen Assoc. president-elect Jo Ann McEndree of Springfield. The weather cancelled the dance. 


LA JUNTA – While whiteout conditions dampened attendance at the Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association’s annual meeting March 23 at Otero Junior College’s student center, those brave ranchers who made it to town were rewarded with one-on-one time with industry leaders. 

The membership interacted with State Sen. Larry Crowder  (R-35); Fred Lombardi, Colo. Beef Council director; Terry Fankhauser, Colo. Cattlemen Assoc.’s executive vice-president; and Travis Black, Colo. Parks & Wildlife area wildlife manager.   Each leader also gave updates and fielded numerous questions. 

The Bent-Prowers Cattlemen is Colorado’s oldest livestock organization that serves members in Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero and Prowers counties. Members elected Reggy Lusk of Springfield as president; Bill Hancock of Rocky Ford as first vice president; Pat Ptolemy of La Junta as second vice president; and re-elected Susan Russell of Sugar City as secretary/treasurer.  

Directors elected for the multi-county area are: Nolan Davis, Tim Erickson, Bruce Fickenscher, Amber Freouf, Bill Gray, Cade Hasser, Pat Karney, Tyler Karney, Joe Kasza, Leon Leonard, Amanda McEndree, Steve McEndree, David Mendenhall, Colby Mick, Clint Mundell, Leonard Pruett, and Milton Rink. Outgoing president Kevin Hefley, plus recent past presidents Lori Chase and Timy Trosper, round out the board.

Since the icy roads limited attendance, the board hopes to host a summer membership picnic.

Saturday’s break was sponsored by Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, with other day sponsors including Colorado East Bank & Trust, Elkhart Co-op, and WW Feed & Supply. 


Jo Ann McEndree, Colorado Cattlewomen president-elect (left of center) is flanked by winning bidders of the etched window, which was auctioned off to provide McEndree with travel money. The window originally was in the old Bent County courthouse and now is etched with a ranch scene, created by Debbie Cardinelli of McClave. The etching was sold and resold to raise more than $900, from buyers Courtney Neuhold, Robin Karney, Carol Greer, Bonnie Lusk and Kaye Kasza. (from left – Neuhold, Karney, McEndree, Greer, Lusk & Kasza.)

Also at OJC, Southeast Colorado Cattlewomen and Southeastern Colorado Junior Cattlemen members met. The CattleWomen displayed their new scenic “Colorado Beef” promotional signs, which are for sale. The youth organization, with help from advisors Jo Ann McEndree and Hans Hasser, held its annual meeting and bowling outing.  

Chad Russell, incoming Southeast Colo. Junior Cattlemen’s president, highlighted youth events during his presentation at the Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Grower’s banquet in La Junta.

Chad Russell of Sugar City was elected president; Lakota Roberson of Eads is vice president; and Hunter Thorn of Hasty is secretary/treasurer. Rounding out the youth board is Matthew Hartshorn, Shelby Davis, Olivia Thorn, Dorian Ray, Clay Davis, Tatum Chase, Quad Malone, Kyle Hartshorn and outgoing president Bo Karney.


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