Mid-Winter Conference

Each January, CCW and Colorado Cattlemen's Association members gather to gain knowledge about their industry, create policy that drives their trade association, and present awards to those who have served the state's beef industry in an exemplary fashion.

Watch for more coming about the 2025 Mid-Winter Conference!

2024 Mid-Winter Meeting Overview

Sudzy Benesch, CCW State Secretary

A wintry blast welcomed CCW CattleWomen to the mid-winter general membership meeting held at the Denver Mariott West in Golden on January 15. Present were seven board members, seven members and two guests. Minutes from the annual general membership meeting through the December meetings were available for members to peruse.  A financial report showed a balance of $43,304.24 in checking, $30,48 in the money market and $12,000 in the Heather Hays Stinnett memorial CCW Legacy scholarship fund.  Sudzy Benesch shared that the beef ambassador committee was working on curriculum and resources for the newly incepted CCW Beef Ambassador program that will be distributed to all affiliates upon completion. Joanie Shoemaker reviewed the criteria for the Heather Hays Stinnet CCW Legacy scholarship and reminded everyone that the application deadline is April 1 with the first $4,000 being awarded in June at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Convention. Christy Hawk is sending all locals the Pearl Ann Adams Reimbursement Form which, if approved, will pay up to $150 to help with costs for an Ag Day or Meat-In Event. Applications are due June 1.

Kathleen Shoemaker announced the winners of the membership drive: Elbert County (52% increase in membership), receiving $250 and affiliate dues paid and Black Mesa (46% increase) earning $150 from Jo Stanko’s donation. Due to time constraints the quarter rep reports were in written form and available for review. 

Cliff Polk, president of Rocky Mountain Financial Group emphasized that most U.S. businesses needed to file a report to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act which went into law January 1. He also discussed insurance options to stem financial gaps for ranchers. Jo Stanko, the regional assistant commissioner for the Colorado Department of Agriculture updated membership on five current issues; water policy, the 2021 FASFA Act, the Social Exchange Commission rule changes and the Colorado wolf introduction—all of which negatively impact ranchers and agriculture. Katie Kixmiller, ANCW Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program co-director and Brittley Bower, current beef advocate, shared a power point outlining the program’s goals and Brittley, who recently attended the Denver National Western Stock Show, shared the many promotional activities she has been apart. Julie Moore, the director of nutrition and education of the Colorado Beef Council and CCW liaison, announced that the current Colorado Beef Council executive director, Todd Inglee, will be the new brand commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. She expressed her appreciation for his past and continued leadership. Julie shared that the Stock Show numbers were down due to cold weather but that the Beef Council booth was in a high traffic area and the panels were effective in promoting beef nutrition, land stewardship, sustainability and animal welfare.

Three guest speakers then took the floor.  Olivia Wilrett, the Five Rivers corporate market analyst, discussed upcoming forecasts in the cattle market. In 2023 the national cattle herd was liquidated by 5 million due to droughts and forage availability and predicted another smaller liquidation in 2024.  Beef remains a staple on the consumer plate despite inflation, but the emphasis is on hamburger rather than specific cuts. Dan Byers, executive director of Beef for Backpacks, stated the mission of his organization was to alleviate hunger for Colorado students who suffer from food insecurity.  The non-profit distributes high quality sticks with 9 grams of protein per serving into kids backpacks for free across the state due to sponsorships including Colorado State University where students make the sticks in a state-of-the-art lab. Todd Inglee outlined the Beef Council activities including Dashboard technology findings, farm tours, beef grants, NCBA YouTube advertising campaigns, billboard signage initiatives, TEAM BEEF running events and social media promotions and engagements. Kathleen thanked him for his many years of service and then adjourned the meeting.

Mid-winter, Olivia Wilrett
Mid-winter, Jo Stanko, Kathleen Shoemaker and Christy Hawk presenting CW of the Year awards
Mid-winter, Todd Inglee