A new calf was born last week at the ranch of Marvin and Pauline Carr in Hotchkiss. In between caring for the animal and neighbors dropping by to check on the new addition to the herd, Pauline also found time to chat about another passion of hers: the promotion of local agriculture, local beef and beef nutrition. It was as natural as breathing for her, to explain and educate that a three ounce serving of beef has 19 grams of protein, just 121 calories and provides ZIP nutrition -- zinc, iron and protein. "Beef is big nutrition," she explained, ticking off facts. Promoting beef is all in a day's work for Pauline, and her friends and neighbors expect nothing less from the 2016 Colorado CattleWoman of the Year and the 2016 Black Mesa CattleWoman of the Year.
The honor of being named the state's CattleWoman of the Year happens just once in a lifetime, she said. "This is a very special award for me. I will cherish it," she said. The award is given to a Colorado woman who best represents the cattle industry through promotional, educational or legislative activities. Her nomination for the award came from her counterparts in the Black Mesa CattleWomen's Association. "It is an honor to be nominated by these ladies," Carr said. "This is an award you get because you have others behind you backing you up."
"Pauline is a leader in our organization, and we consider her our rock," wrote Teresa Burns in Carr's nomination. Burns serves as the vice president of the Black Canyon CattleWomen.
Pauline's heart beats to the tune of the North Fork Valley and its agricultural heritage. She and her husband raise Hereford and Hereford crosses on a ranch Marvin's grandparents ranched on, and just a few miles away from the ranch Pauline was raised on, on Bone Mesa, where her father Chick Majnik also ranched cattle.
After earning teaching degrees and teaching in Parachute for 10 years, Marvin and Pauline returned to the North Fork, where he took up ranching full time and she began teaching seventh and eighth grades at Crawford School. In about 1985, she was approached by Susan Ayer, then-president of the local CattleWomen, about bringing beef education to the students. Carr worked with the organization to create the Beef Cook-off, a program which taught kids nutrition and which culminated in a cook-off in the school gymnasium, with recipes highlighting ground beef. To this day, ask a former student about "Mrs. Carr" and you'll undoubtedly hear some stories about the Beef Cook-off, which was a staple event at Crawford for many years. The cook-off continues today at Hotchkiss K-8; the CattleWomen have organized the educational event for 31 years. Carr said the cook-off is one of her best memories of her tenure with the CattleWomen. She continues to be involved in the cook-off, crafting the teaching and testing material for teachers to use in the nutritional aspect of the program. She also continues to serve as a judge for the event.
She has been a member of the Black Canyon CattleWomen for 18 years, and she has spent every year of her membership working to promote the cattle industry, beef as a healthy protein, and local agriculture. Through the organization, she has represented the industry at the Delta County Fair, Delta County Livestock Association, Delta County Health Fairs, Ag in the Classroom, National Western Stock Show and several regional festivals, fundraisers and events. She currently serves as the treasurer for the group, and has served in that role for 14 years.
She is also a member of the Western Colorado CattleWomen; she just finished a two-year presidential term with the organization. Through this group, Pauline was instrumental in bringing local beef to the Montrose Wine & Food Festival.
She is also an 18-year member of the Colorado CattleWomen, and a member of the American National CattleWomen.
"It's important to me to promote the ag lifestyle, and I enjoy the camaraderie of people who have like interests," Carr said of her tenure in the organizations. Through these organizations, Carr has enjoyed supporting Hotchkiss High School's FFA group and Colorado Mesa University's ag programs. She also looks forward to Mother's Day and Father's Day, when the Black Mesa CattleWomen prepare gift baskets for the parents of new babies born at Delta County Memorial Hospital. Last year, they gave a slow cooker, a book of recipes and several pounds of beef to a new mom and dad. She oversees the creation and sales of apparel and gift items, such as aprons, napkins and throws, that showcase all the brands of Delta County ranchers. Suffice to say she's spent a lot of her life to promoting and educating the community about beef.
"You never expect to win an award like this ... you just do the work," she said. "What an honor."
This is the third consecutive year that a member of the Black Canyon CattleWomen has won the Colorado CattleWomen's award; Nancy Carlson was the 2015 honoree and Teresa Burns won in 2014.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.