Community Agriculture Alliance: Routt County CattleWomen still going strong |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Routt County CattleWomen still going strong

Karina Spitzley/For Steambat Today

Community Ag Alliance

The Routt County CattleWomen is one of the oldest continuously run organizations in Northwest Colorado.

The group began in 1955 (then named the Cowbelles) and is still going strong. RCCW promotes and supports the cattle industry through education, outreach and marketing. It also raises and distributes scholarships every year to students from cattle-producing families and students from all backgrounds who pursue agricultural-related degrees. This all-volunteer group educates the public about the importance the beef industry has in every day lives and in maintaining our Western heritage. Every year, RCCW raises thousands of dollars toward these endeavors.

All this work involves a dedicated group of women who volunteer at numerous events throughout the county and state and through the course of the entire year. You will find the CattleWomen at the holiday craft fairs, the National Western Stock Show, the Winter Carnival, July Fourth Rodeo, the Yampa Valley Crane Festival and OctoberWest, to name a few.

You will also find members teaching elementary school classes in South Routt, West Routt and all points between and providing ranch tours to third- and fourth-graders during Ranch Days, an annual, week-long educational event created by RCCW.

The group is frequently asked to cater meals for other organizations and their events. This comes as no surprisem as the group has won first place — judges award many times in the Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge and girst place — people’s choice in 2014 and 2015.

While we can’t share the secret chili recipe here, we can offer our recipe for the Winter Carnival barbecue beef:

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20 lbs ground beef, browned

1 pint (2 cups) water

1 large onion, chopped

1 bunched celery, chopped

1 gallon tomato purée

1/2 gallon (8 cups) ketchup

3 tablespoons dried mustard

3 tablespoons chili powder

Combine browned beef and remaining ingredients in a large electric cooker. Simmer at least 4 hours. NOTE: This recipe makes 125 servings with buns and fills one large electric cooker. That's great for a party, but the recipe can be adjusted, as needed.

If you have questions about RCCW, are interested in becoming a member or want to learn more about beef or the beef industry, visit or on the group's Facebook page.

More CattleWomen and beef recipes can be found in “Fair Family Favorites: A Cookbook Celebrating 100 Years of the Routt County Fair.” The cookbook is available at Off The Beaten Path Bookstore, the Tread of Pioneers Museum and the Routt County Extension Office.

Karina Spitzley is president of Routt County CattleWomen.