September 7, 2013 Gila County Cattle Growers Association held the Annual Steak Fry and meeting. Following a steak lunch, many issues affecting the cattle industry now and in the future were discussed including:
- Dr. Jim Sprinkle, Gila County Extension Director, U of A Extension Services, updated the status of the Reading the Range Program.
- Representative Brenda Barton, Arizona District 5, reviewed her active session this year. As the Chairperson for the Ag Water Committee, she has held 5 meetings in the State on water issues, from Yuma to Payson. Brenda looked at some juniper pushes where the water was coming back after the treatments.
- Terry Wheeler, City of Globe Mayor, reported on the meetings in Payson and Globe with the American Lands Council.
- Chuck Denton, EcoSystem Group Leader, USFS, gave an overview of the NEPA changes coming under 36cfr 214 and 218.
- Mike Hemovich, SRM President, explained that through SRM some U of A students will have an opportunity to work on some local ranches. 5 collaborative groups are set up in AZ, these groups could be helpful in Gila County.
- Dan Bell, AZ State Cattle Growers President, addressed the wolf issue, the proposals and possible litigation as our last option. He also announced that the ACGA monitoring handbook is now available and that the ACGA is currently working on the Border Plan in Southern AZ.
- Bas Aja, ACGA Director of Feeder Affairs, gave a overview of the animal ID system explaining that the Feds left it to the States to meet the guidelines. AZ is still a brand State.
- Letha Cline, GCCB President, and Diana Hemovich, Arizona State Cowbelles President, updated the group on state and local Cowbelles’ activities.
- Doris French of the Arizona State Cowbelles presented this year’s Pioneer Family award to Leroy and Velma Tucker.
Therese Hicks reported that the Public Lands Council is pushing the Farm Bill and working on NEPA reauthorization to extend from 10 years to 20 years. She also reported on USFS quarterly meetings and gave a look at the economic aspect from just the SR6 operations and how many people those 6 ranches could feed in a year’s time.
In her President’s Report, Therese thanked all the officers for their hard work on the many issues affecting the GCCGA and cattle industry during the 2012-2013 year.