UCCA Ball.

2014 Umatilla Cattlemen's Annual Meeting & Ball
Pendleton, OR

Every year on the second Saturday in December, the Umatilla Cattlemen get together for their annual meeting and Cattlemen's Ball.
The morning is filled with meetings & committee reports, lunch is served at noon and the scholarship & award winners are announced, informational sessions fill the afternoon and then we all head to the convention center for the evening ball.

Clint and Mike have been talking about putting together a group of donated heifers for sale as bred heifers for awhile now, and presented their idea to the cattlemen on Saturday morning.  It was approved as a fundraiser for the Scholarship Committee, and their goal is to have 40-45 heifers donated by February.  Those heifers will be put on feed donated by Double M, bred and then sold in as a lot of bred heifers. 
The funds raised will be put into the scholarship fund, and the goal is to raise $100,000 - $125,000 so that we can have a larger sum of money earning interest.  That money is then put towards awarding scholarships each year.
Everyone was on board with the idea - so now it's just a matter of getting letters out and heifers committed.  Exciting!

New OCA Exec. Director Jerome Rosa gave us an update on state actions.

Thank you Shevon for ALL that you do!

Melinda Platt giving an update on the Scholarship Committee

Each year, the Scholarship Committee awards one or two scholarships to youth involved in the beef industry from Umatilla or Morrow County, and the scholarship is named in memory of a past Umatilla Cattleman.  This year there were two scholarships presented - one in memory of Ty Hansell and one in memory of Larry Rew.
Francie Hansell (Ty's widow) and her family were at the luncheon, and spoke about Ty and his love of the cattle industry before the scholarship was award to Kylee Jensen (below).

Judy Rew was also at the luncheon, and spoke about her deceased husband Larry Rew and how much he loved the cattle industry as well.  Patrick Linnell was the recipient of that scholarship, but he is at school at CSU and wasn't able to be in attendance, although his family was.

Mr. Hansell & Mr. Rew were both upstanding, fine men and it was an honor to get to hear about their legacy as scholarships were awarded in their memory. 

  Brady Linnell (above) was also presented with the Allied Beef Industry award for the carcass merit of his steer at county fair, and Macy Machado (below) gave a presentation and update about her heifer that was awarded to her and donated by Terry Hamby.
The UCCA started a new award where they gift a replacement heifer to a 4-H or FFA youth, and they use that heifer to start their breeding project.  Macy was the first recipient, and the project was approved for 2014 so another youth will have a heifer donated by a UCCA cattleman to begin their project!

We enjoyed hearing from Kirby as he gave us an update from Representative Walden's office.

After lunch, we headed back to the conference room for a phone conversation with Dr. Tom Field about the future of the beef industry.

Todd Nash, OCA Wolf Committee Chair also gave us an update on the wolf situation and we heard from a representative from Oregon Fish & Wildlife.
Once the meetings were over, we headed to the Pendleton Convention Center for a prime rib dinner & entertainment!
So each year, the UCCA hire entertainment for the ball. Some years it has been a band, last year it was a hilarious and entertaining performance by Cara Ayres and her partner.  All have been great, but ever since we've been involved I've thought it'd be fun to watch the final performance of the NFR since the UCCA Ball always falls in Night 10 of the NFR.
There are perks to being the President's wife (wink, wink) and so this year my wish came true.  We streamed the NFR in from our DVR at home and after a little bit of a learning curve - we got it figured out and it was fun to watch the rodeo!
Clint also thought up a 50/50 raffle that raised funds for the scholarship committee and that went so well!  We just wrote the name of every rodeo contestant on an index card and dropped them into a bucket.  People there at the ball could buy a name for $10.  Once everyone had bought their names, we divided the money up in 7 pools, one for each event.  Then we split that money 50/50 and whoever drew the name of the cowboy (or cowgirl) who won the event that night won 50% of the pot!  So if you drew the cowboy who won the tie-down roping, you won $60 and the scholarship fund received $60.  We raised over $500 for the fun that night (no one drew the bull rider's name, so all $120 went to the scholarship fund) and it was a fun way to stay involved with the rodeo and bet a little.  If we couldn't be in Vegas, we figured we'd might as well bring a little bit of the Vegas atmosphere to Pendleton!

But the best part of the WHOLE day was getting to spend time with good people who love and live the cattle industry.  I am so thankful for this group of people who supports us, loves us, cheers us on - and hopefully we can do the same for them in return.

It's a great life we get to lead, and it's made better by all of the people you've seen in the pictures of this post.

Success is reason enough!


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