The night started off with Cattlemen President Travis Miller from Glenwood introducing state and county directors and Kay Cameron led the invocation.
While guests were enjoying their prime rib dinner, guest speakers Senator Curtis King and Sheriff Bob Songer spoke to the audience about the latest updates throughout the county and the legislative session.
Appreciation was shown for our youth, the veterans of Klickitat County and all ages in between. Hannah Brause and Abby Brandt, Klickitat County Extension Agent, announced one of the first awards which was the Steer of Merit for the 2018 Klickitat County Fair. Recipients for this year’s Steer of Merit are Brooklynn Blain, Layne Bruhn, Payton Lower, Noah Starr, Taylor Fahlen-kamp, Myles Lee, Brielle Starr, Curtis Kayser, and Grace Hanning.
The Jean Schilling Memorial lamb donated by the Rolfe Family, announced by John Rolfe, went to a well-deserved young man from Goldendale, RJ Reynolds. RJ, a member of Goldendale FFA, was dressed very nicely in his FFA jacket. RJ is an 8th grader at Goldendale Middle School and has an interest in the trades after completing high school.
Kristin Chambers awarded the Bernice Thiele Memorial Award to Dallas Villalobos. Dallas also had the 2018 Grand Champion Market Pig. Dallas, a 6th grader attending Goldendale Middle School is very active with his pigs year-round and takes a lot of pride in his animals.
Jorgia Bean, also from Goldendale, received the Joe Hassing Memorial, announced by Anthony Pereira from Columbia Bank. Jorgia, an 8th grader at Goldendale Middle School, is active in Klickitat County’s Jr./High School Rodeo Team and competes all over the state of Washington. One of her favorite things to do is hunt in the fall with “Papa Bruce,” Bruce Davenport.
There was reminiscing of times gone by when the O.P. Kreps Award was given to Lyle Schilling of Glenwood. Keith Lyle Kreps, name sake to Lyle, told stories of his youth, looking up to Lyle as he grew. Lyle’s brother-in-law, Larry Kelly of Goodnoe Hills, read Lyle’s memoir aloud to the audience. Lyle’s family’s history throughout Klickitat County can be traced back to the pioneers. He has always been and still is a positive, hard-working, member in his community.
Harry Miller also from Glenwood, awarded the Jim Bridgefarmer to Dwayne Dewey of Glenwood. Dewey was especially appreciated during the fire on Mt. Adams/Cougar Creek Fire in 2015 when he was an integral part of a team as range patrol that was trying to move cattle off the mountain and out of the fire’s way.
Last but certainly not least, Raymond Willis of Goldendale was named the 2019 Klickitat County Cattleman of the Year. Nate Kayser, last year’s recipient, read Ray’s introduction, noting that “he is a great man, raises great cattle.” Ray gave a humble speech full of appreciation and pride for the award. He thanked his three children, Joe, Marsha, and Kelly, for helping him out when they can. The Willis Ranch will be showcased on May 18, tentatively.
The night was wrapped up with Live Auction items being auctioned by Shawn Wilkinson from The Dalles, Ore., representing Pro Animal Health. A new item to the auction was 2 teams of Goldendale High School football boys along with head coach Aaron Cochran that will load hay in barns by hand. These proceeds went to benefit the boys’ work ethic and raise money for the football program. The other Live Auction items will benefit the county scholarship, Ag Day, Fair activities and The Beef Counts Program/Second Harvest Foods Event.
One of the things the cattlemen and women do for their community is educate consumers about beef production through the events listed. Beef Production is the most historical and currently the second commodity in Klickitat County behind the grape/wine industry.
Accuracy, education and knowledge are an important part to the beef industry. Do you know that cattle have four stomachs? Cattle, along with sheep, goats, buffalo, deer, elk, giraffes and camels are ruminants. The methane that cattle produce is actually from them burping while they digest and ruminate their food.