Houston County Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting

The Houston County Cattlemen Association Board is shown above. There are from left, Bob Scanlan, Greg Myhre- vice president, Carol Abrahamzon, Jerry Welke- president, Judy Tollefsrud- secretary/treasurer and Ron Moen. Photo by Jan lee Buxengard

By Jan Lee Buxengard
Special to the Argus

The annual meeting of the Houston County Cattlemen’s Association was held February 21 at the Back 40 Supper Club, rural Caledonia.

Jerry Welke, president of the organization, conducted the meeting, attended by 31 local farmers, the program speakers and a news reporter.

Membership in 2011 included 42 local members, 18 state members and seven national members.

A new grill was purchased for $4,411.95 last year. The organization received donations towards the grill in the amounts of $4,500 from Merchants Bank, $500 from Caledonia Haulers, and $500 from Bank of the West. The old grill was kept. Both grills will be used for large events.

Welke reported a busy 2011 with grilling beef at various activities and events in the area. Cattlemen members grilled 1,600 ribeye steak sandwiches for Merchants Bank Appreciation, 400 ribeye steak sandwiches for Hammell Equipment Appreciation Day, 60 ribeyes for a Spring Grove class reunion, 400 hamburgers for the Joe Hammell bull sale, 1,500 beef sausage patties for Dairy Day at the Houston County Fairgrounds (no Breakfast on the Farm in 2011), 550 hamburgers for Farm Safety Day in Mabel, 400 steaks for sandwiches for the 4-H Food Stand at the Houston County Fair and most recently, on Feb. 13, 2012, grilled 500 rib eyesteak sandwiches for Hammell Equipment Appreciation Day.

Upcoming events scheduled include on March 16, grilling 400 ribeyes for Coulee Region Bobcat at Dresbach.

Also, the organization continues sponsorship of Rate of Gain at the County Fair.

Treasurer Judy Tollefsrud reported a beginning balance for 2011 of $1,965.46, with income of $6,059.43, and expenses of $6,550.18, leaving a balance of $1,474.71 at the end of the year.

A donation of $251.41 from Farmers Coop helped with expenses for Farm Safety Day Camp.

Profits from the annual steak fry/picnic go towards the new red gates the cattlemen purchased for the fairgrounds. The profit from last year’s event was $990.85, while year 2010 showed a profit of $520.42. This year’s event will be held Aug. 12 in Eitzen.

Gates and scale

A benefit of belonging to the local cattlemen’s association is being able to use the organization’s gates. The newer red gates stay at, and are to be used at the fairgrounds, while the older green gates are available to be loaned out. Some of the green gates have been repaired, but members will look into purchasing more for those that need replacement.  Contact president Welke at 894-4845 to reserve the green gates.

It was reported that the portable scale, which was purchased in 2001 is in need of attention. It shows weathering from sitting outdoors, has a sprung frame, and one of the tires needs replacing. The membership directed Jeff Gerard to go ahead and get the necessary repairs done by a blacksmith, and to also replace the tire.

Guest speakers

Scott Rain, of Fountain, Minn., a beef production specialist for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, LLC, and works for Farmer’s Coop, gave a presentation on Mineral Management in the Cow Herd. “This isn’t only about cows, but also greatly affects the feedlot,” he pointed out.  “If you don’t feed minerals in the cow herd, you would have trouble in the feedlot.”

Rhonda Sorg of Prescott, Wis., senior territory manager for animal health/animal genetics for Pfizer, spoke on the topic of investing in vaccinating in the spring for better returns of the herd. Cow calf inputs of fertilizers, seed, and herbicides are factors that come into play of the animal’s health. Immunizing in the spring with two doses, injected under the skin at the same time, provide a fast-release, as well as a timed-release dosage.

Sorg also touched briefly on the topic of pinkeye treatment and prevention.

Jerrold Tessmer, U of M Extension educator for Fillmore and Houston counties, reported on the annual Farm Safety Day camp, where fourth graders rotate through 12 sessions relating to farm safety and health.

Held last May at the Mabel steam engine grounds, there were 402 students participating from 12 schools in the two counties. The previous year, 475 students attended, compared to 290 attending in 2007, when the event began. After five years, a total of 1,958 students have attended. This year’s event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15.

Election of officers

By unanimous ballot, board members were re-elected for another term. They are Jerry Welke – president, Greg Myhre – vice president, and Judy Tollefsrud – secretary/treasurer. Others on the board are Bob Scanlan, Carol Abrahamzon, and Ron Moen.

The organization welcomes new members, and encourages cattlemen to renew their membership locally, as well as in the state and national association. Cost is $25 for county membership, $50 – Minnesota State Cattlemen, and $100 to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. For the female counterpart, membership to the Minnesota Cattlewomen is $25, and $50 to the national organization. Submit payment to Judy Tollefsrud, treasurer, at 17575 County 27, Spring Grove, Minn. 55974.