Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Hold 145th Annual Banquet

LAS ANIMAS – Industry updates, elections and a team sorting drew ranchers from throughout Southeast Colorado to the Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association’s annual events on Saturday, April 11.

The membership heard updates and had an opportunity to interact with State Sen. Larry Crowder (R-35) and numerous speakers. Updates were from brand commissioner Chris Whitney; Beef Council’s Fred Lombardi, and district wildlife manager Steve Keeler, as well as Bob Patterson, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association president-elect; Terry Fankhauser, CCA executive vice-president; and Sallie Miller, Colorado CattleWomen president.

The Bent-Prowers Cattlemen is Colorado’s oldest livestock organization and serves members in the multi-county area. Pat Ptolemy of Rocky Ford was elected as president; Colby Mick of McClave as first vice president; Nolan Davis of Lamar as second vice president; and Susan Russell of Sugar City was re-elected as secretary/treasurer. Directors elected were, Baca County: Randy McEndree, Amanda Sanders, Derek Schroder and Ron Wait; Bent County: Lori Chase, Tim Erickson, Pat Karney and Joe Kasza; Kiowa County: Bruck Fickenscher, Ron O’Neal, Tim Trosper and Dustin Wyckoff; Otero/Crowley counties: Bill Gray, Tyler Karney, Leon Leonard and David Mendenhall; and Prowers County: Amber Freouf, Cade Hasser, Matt Neuhold and Leonard Pruett.  Outgoing president Bill Hancock, plus recent past presidents Reggy Lusk and Kevin Hefley, round out the board.

Saturday’s break was sponsored by Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, with other day sponsors including Colorado East Bank & Trust, Community State Bank, Elkhart Co-op, McClave State Bank, Colby Mick, and Skyland Grain.

The association kicked off its 146th year by adding a new item – a team sorting at the Bent County Fairgrounds – to its agenda. Under sunny and windless skies, 35 teams participated in the new event. Many family teams and a variety of ages were among those who sorted cattle in specific number order by horseback in the timed event. The winning two-man team was Blake Pennington and Correy Taylor. Thanks to donations, the event gave 100% cash payout to the top three places.

The schedule then shifted back to the Heritage Center, where a social, banquet and dance were held. Hand-made horseshoe chandelier, hat rack and coat hooks all were auctioned. Outgoing President Bill Hancock was presented a custom-made branded belt buckle set, long-time secretary Susan Russell was given the book “Century in the Saddle,” and past Honorary Life recipients were individually recognized.

Instead of a gavel, a traveling trophy belt buckle was passed to incoming President Pat Ptolemy. She is the third woman to serve at the association’s helm and follows her husband in the leadership role. Steve Ptolemy served as association president in 1994.

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