Community Ag Alliance: Supporting Routt County CattleWomen |

Community Ag Alliance: Supporting Routt County CattleWomen

Marsha Daughenbaugh/For Steamboat Today

Have you ever thought you might have what it takes to be a Routt County CattleWoman? It is not for the faint of heart, but it is rewarding and entertaining.

Surprisingly you do not have to own a cow to be a member of Routt County CattleWomen, but you are required to recognize what a cow looks like. You do not have to be a woman, but you probably should like to be around us. It also helps if you believe that the beef industry is important and that agriculture is valuable to our economy, health and culture.

In the early 1950s, Routt County “Cowbelles” began to educate, outreach and market. Renamed Routt County CattleWomen in the mid 1980s, we are an active organization that continually promotes the importance of the agricultural industry in our everyday lives. We endorse and encourage our western heritage. We are a group of women who believe in walking the walk and talking the talk — pay attention, and you will see us everywhere.

Our annual fall business meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Haymaker Golf Course Club House. If you are interested, come meet our members, learn about who we are individually and what we do as a group. After our business meeting, Haymaker will serve a prime rib dinner at $20 per plate. For full details and to make reservations for the dinner, call RCCW president Mary Kay Monger at 970-879-1663.

If you don’t want to join the organization but would like to support us, there are several ways of doing that. Shop locally this fall and look for RCCW at the following holiday shows:

• Nov. 7 at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Show

• Nov. 14 at the Home Town Holiday Market

• Nov. 21 at the North Routt Holiday Bazaar

• Dec. 5 at Christmas in the Rockies.

Our show stopper this year is a beautiful historic quilt, designed and stitched by members of RCCW and depicting five area barns. You will be able to buy chances to win the quilt, and the drawing will be held Dec. 13 — what a gift this will be if you are lucky enough to win.

Cattle were first introduced into Northwest Colorado by Sir George Baggs in 1871 when he trailed Texas Longhorns into Browns Park. The following year, he moved his operation to the Little Snake River Valley and built his ranch headquarters on a site that later became Baggs, Wyoming.

Word spread that cattle gained well on the grasses here, and by the early 1880s, thousands of head were brought into the region — trailed in during the spring and trailed out during the fall. It was open range, and the law of the West ruled. As miners, homesteaders and businesses followed, grazing areas became fragmented with towns and private ownership, so the days of open-range grazing were limited. But cattle producers adapted, purchased their own land, obtained grazing permits from the U.S. Forest Service and became an integral part of Routt County’s history.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is a member of Routt County CattleWomen and a third-generation cattle rancher in Elk River Valley.

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