INDEPENDENCE – The Buchanan County Cattlemen’s Association held their annual banquet January 21 at the Heartland Acres Event Center.
Cattlemen President Jared Kelly welcomed guests and asked Doug Lehman to give the invocation. Fat Chefs Catering served a prime rib dinner with delicious servings almost overflowing the plate.
Kelly introduced the Board of Directors and invited Emily Martins, County Youth Coordinator for Buchanan County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, to speak. While Martins talked about the fair, she also spoke about other events, especially the second annual Goat Getters event, which the Cattlemen grilled for.
Kelly then began the awards presentations. Some of the exhibitors recognized included:
Champion: Jake Beatty (Breeder – Dustin Osvald)
Reserve Champion: Callie Rawlins (Breeder – Ryan Arend)
Champion: Jake Beatty
Reserve Champion: Jacob Yexley
3rd Callie Rawlins
4th Cody Wright
5th McKenna Wilgenbusch
Champion: Olivia Alber
Reserve Champion: Luke Tempus
Champion: Rylee Short
Reserve Champion: Annie Johnson
3rd Overall: Roman Johnson
Rate of Gain
Champion: Lucy Flexsenahar (4.42 lbs per day)
Reserve Champion: McKenna Wilgenbusch (3.59 lbs per day)
Market Steer Champion: Lucy Flexsenhar
Reserve Champion: Clair Priebe
3rd: Charlie Sweeney
4th: Brock Kleitsch
5th: Cecelia Priebe
6th: Ryan Tempus
7th: Eric Tempus
8th: Kading Kress
9th: Cece Sweeney
10th: Kreighton Peck
Champion: Braden Michels
Reserve Champion: Luke Tempus
3rd: Michael Thomas
Champion: Brody Kleitsch
Reserve Champion: Brock Kleitsch
Doug Lehman returned to the podium to thank all the volunteers that travelled to the State Fair to work in the Beef Quarters booth. He said Buchanan County was recognized as a top county for volunteers.
Dean VanNote presented the Golden Spatula Award to Jams Sweeney and the Behind The Scenes Award to Brenda Michels.
Jared Kelly and Benji Michels presented the Associate Award to Fareway with Independence Market Manager Abby Wiley accepting the award. Wiley then took to the microphone and after thanking the Cattlemen announced it was Cecelia Priebe’s birthday. She then lead the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Cecelia.
The Progressive Cattlemen of the Year Award went to the Shawn and Jackie Aberle family.
The announcement read, “The recipient this year for the progressive cattlemen award got their start when they bought a small heard of 15 head from the grandparents back in 2010.
“This family has done an amazing job of raising their 3 children and instilling the work ethic and passion for all animals that these two have, fast forward 13 years and they are now both working full time jobs, donating time to the school functions and community, helping both sets of parents farm, and have the heard up to 45 head of cows, which if you ask the youngest daughter she will tell you it’s not enough and we always need more. “The girls are involved just as much with the daily activities of the livestock as the parents are and it’s always great to see how excited they are whether it’s at fair or when they find out one their own cows is expecting a baby, or when the youngest tells a story about what happens if you touch an electric fence.
“It’s been an amazing experience to watch this family grow and build together as one and have no doubt that they will be in the cattle world till they retire or can’t move.”
The Cattlemen Award went to Chuck and Lois Tempus. The announcement read, “This couple’s journey with cattle started at birth. They were both raised milking dairy cattle. They married in July of 1969, and bought their farm in May of 1970. After purchasing the farm, they bought 40 cows in the early 70s. They raised beef until the Farm Crisis of the 80s in which they were forced to sell the cows.
“In the early 90s, they started raising baby Holstein calves and feeding out 200 head of fat cattle, with the help of their children, then continuing with their future son-in-law and grandsons. Some of the grandchildren fondly remember helping sort cattle, driving the cattle to the livestock auction, and then getting pizza and ice cream afterwards.
In 1993, he started working off the farm at Waterloo Mills, but they continued to feed out Holsteins with lots of help from his wife and youngest son. She would drive a bus, come home, clean out cattle lots until it was time for her afternoon bus route.
“In June of 2001, their farm was hit by a tornado. This did not slow them down from raising cattle. They rebuilt to make the buildings more efficient for their cattle operation. This couple stopped feeding out calves in the last decade when they started to winter in Florida. However, some of their children and grandchildren are continuing their legacy by raising their own commercial stock cow herd.
“Throughout the years, this couple has always had a few cattle on the farm. Even in retirement,
they have about 15 stock cows that keep them active in the cattle industry. They are the proud parents of 3 children. They have 16 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild on the way.”
After the Cattlemen Awards, the Buchanan County Beef Royalty was introduced. 2022 Beef Queen Charli Sherman was given a $1,000 scholarship and plans to study communications at South Dakota University. 2022 Beef Princess Annie Johnson was crowned Beef Queen for 2023. Her future plans including studying Ag Business and becoming an Ag Lawyer. North Linn High School junior Melaina Fisher was crowned 2023 Buchanan County Beef Princess.
After the program Rob Dudley led an auction followed by door prizes.