Nevada cattlemen gather in Elko
The Cattlemen’s College was overwhelmingly attended and the first topic of the day included a panel of experts who talked about wildfire prevention and suppression. The panelists included moderator John McLain of Resource Concepts; University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Range Specialist Emeritus Wayne Burkhardt; Bureau of Land Management Director Ron Wenker; Forest Service Supervisor Ed Monnig; Maggie Creek Ranch manager Jon Griggs; State Forester Pete Anderson; and Director of Natural Resources Allen Biaggi. Secondly, experts Gary McCuin, with the Department of Agriculture, UNR's Range Specialist Sherm Swanson, UNR’s Range Ecologist Barry Perryman, UNR Cooperative Extension Kent McAdoo, and UNR Beef Cattle Specialist Ben Bruce explained the importance of ranchers doing their own monitoring in cooperation with the federal agencies.
During the convention, new priorities and policies were adopted by the Nevada Cattlemen’s and Woolgrower’s membership. Following are some of the policies highlighted:
•A call for the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Nevada Department of Natural Resources, and Nevada Division of Forestry to aggressively move towards a fire prevention and pre-suppression mode, rather than a reactionary suppression approach.
•A request of the Nevada Congressional delegation to support modification of the estate tax that allows for the protection and preservation of farm and ranching lands and families.
•A request that the state Legislature amend the Nevada Revised Statutes to expand Nevada farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to post and identify their properties to reduce incidents of trespass by public land users.
In addition, several other policies from past years were renewed by the membership. In other related business, the membership approved the nomination of Neil McQueary of Ruby Valley and J.J. Goicoechea of Diamond Valley as new members of the Board of Directors.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a number of people who were leaders or who had excelled over the past year, were recognized and awarded during the Nevada Cattlemen’s annual banquet. This year’s Teacher of the Year was Dee Dee Dann, a sixth-grade science teacher from Owyhee Combined Schools, who undeniably incorporates agriculture into her curriculum for her students. She was presented with a plaque and a $1,000 stipend to be used in the classroom, sponsored by the Nevada Ag Foundation. This year, the “Rancher of the Year” Award was presented to Merlin Flake, manager of Delamar Valley Cattle. Boyd Spratling presented this year’s President’s Award to outgoing executive director Rachel Buzzetti for all of her guidance and support of the association this past year. Lastly, Boyd Spratling presented Buster Wines of Ruby Valley with the “Cattleman of the Year” award, which is sponsored by American Ag Credit. “This award, in my mind, recognizes someone who stands out and is a symbol of what a rancher should be,” said Boyd Spratling, president of NCA. Afterwards, Spratling drew Gene Buzzetti’s name as the raffle winner of the 25 tons of hay donated by the TS Ranch. The proceeds will benefit the Young Cattlemen’s College Tour. He also drew Ted Zimmerman’s name as the winner of a Dell Computer.
This year’s Western Saddle Silent Auction item was purchased by Mitch Buzzetti. The Western saddle was donated by American Ag Credit and made by Tips Custom Saddles.