Tami Jo Nix/The Madera Tribune
From left, MCCA President David Gill and member Rick Drayer present Austin Miller with the association’s Cowboy of the Year award as Mika Flores looks on.
It was a nice party, a hometown party. A party where a lady can sling her purse strap on the back of her chair and not worry about it for the rest of the evening.
Maintaining the tradition of the Old West, the Madera County Cattlemen’s Association recently hosted its annual fall dinner.
Cattlemen’s President David Gill and Director Clay Daulton hosted the cocktail hour again this year. The tables were decorated by Jennifer Valarosi, and assisted by Cretia Gill.
Guests of honor were Cattlemen of the year, Gary and Betsy Cardoza, Cowboy of the Year Austin Miller and MCCA Special Friend for 2019, Dr. Jen Taylor, DVM.
Following a steak dinner prepared by Dr. Randy Perry and the California State University Fresno Young Cattlemen’s Association, the guests of honor were introduced.
Additionally, representatives from the California Cattle Men’s Association in the persons of Mark Lacey, Tony Toso and Cindy Toews spoke of their efforts on behalf of the cattlemen in Sacramento.
One of the many legislation arguments is a battle to keep non-meat products properly labeled and out of the butchers’ case in supermarkets, said Lacey.
“It is hard to believe this is even necessary, but it is,” Lacey said.
One of the highlights of the evening was an announcement of the association’s two scholarship recipients.
In recognition of the expense of a college education, this year the MCCA awarded a $4,000 scholarship, paying $1,000 a year to a college student in pursuit of an agriculture-related field. This year’s scholarship went to Michael Rezendes who is enrolled at Binn College near Houston, Texas. He intends to transfer to Kansas State University to pursue studies in animal nutrition.
The Millie Meders Merit Scholarship for $1,000 went to Hannah Mancebo, who is attending Cal Poly University majoring in animal science.
Neither student was present to accept their award.
The MCCA recognized Chris Brennen of the USDA Animal Damage Trapper and introduced his replacement, Alex Schaefer.
Brennen received praise from the association for his tireless work, addressing the animal damage caused by predatory coyotes on the ranches in Madera County, said Director Neil McDougal.
Brennen has been on temporary assignment from Mendocino County. He is an excellent tracker, an expert with snares and other traps and an excellent shot, McDougal said.
Representatives from Producers Livestock Marketing, Kullen Wooten and Matt Beechinor, presented the association with a check for its ongoing projects.
“We hold livestock auctions every Friday at noon,” Wooton said. “Buyers can bid in person or through the Internet.”
Also on the first and third Fridays of the month, they hold a goat auction at 6 p.m.
In addition to the gifts and plaques presented by the MCCA, Mika Flores presented each award recipient with a certificate of recognition from Assemblyman and association vice president Frank Bigelow.