During the January Mid-Winter Conference of the Colorado CattleWomen (CCA) and Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA), two members of the Black Mesa CattleWomen were recognized.
Nancy Carlson was named CattleWoman of the Year. Carlson has been active in the Black Mesa CattleWomen for five years. She has served the last four years as education chairman for the Colorado CattleWomen and for a year has served the American National CattleWomen as working group manager for the youth development K-12 group. Through her engagement in the Western Slope CattleWomen Council, she discovered the need for good educational material for the general public. Using her education background, she began developing material that led to the publication of a book.
Carlson has also served as secretary for the Black Mesa CattleWomen. She remains active between her travels with the Colorado Ag Literacy Program and work as state secretary for the Colorado School and Public Employees Retirement Association.
Carlson is also a member of the Hotchkiss FFA Alumni and is a board member for the Teens on Farms program. She has raised cattle since the age of 8 and enjoys working with her father and husband caring for their small herd.
Lifetime Paonia resident Kacie Burns was named Rookie of the Year, awarded annually by the CCA to members who have been active for three years or less. Burns made a commitment to the BMCW even while a student at the University of Wyoming. She often traveled between school and home to attend local meetings.
Burns, a 2010 graduate of Hotchkiss High School, said she remains active with the local and state associations. She was on the marketing committee and last summer interned with the CCA.
While at school, Burns started the Laramie County Community College Cattlemen's Association. It's an agriculture-based college, so there was already a lot of interest, she said.
Burns also was named Top Membership Recruiter by the CCA after recruiting 20 members, beating out another contender by a mere two members. Burns said some of those recruits held memberships in the past and had let them lapse. Some, she said, weren't aware of all that the CCA does for the industry and agreed to join once they learned more. As top recruiter, Burns received a new working chute, donated by Troy Piper with Priefert Manufacturing, which she donated back to the CCA. The chute was auctioned off during the banquet and funds went to the CCA building fund.
Burns is a fourth-generation member of the REW Land and Cattle operation near Paonia. She is the daughter of Karl Burns and stepdaughter to Joetta Burns. She plans to graduate this spring and apply to the Beef Industry Leadership program at Colorado State University, also an agriculture school, and return home following college "to carry on the tradition of ranching in the West."