Dawson may not be the biggest county in the state, but it does contain every faction of the beef industry; from the cow/calf producer to the packer. That diversity in the industry helped fill the Cozad Elk’s Club banquet room to near capacity Saturday night at the Dawson County Cattlemen’s annual banquet.
Following a prime rib dinner, Dawson County Cattlemen President, Quentin Dailey, started the program by recognizing many of the distinguished guests joining the dinner. Several Dawson County FFA chapters and local media outlets were recognized. Dailey then recapped many of the accomplishments of the Cattlemen from the previous year. Highlights included helping at the State Fair Beef Pit, and “Beef In Schools,” where Dawson County Cattlemen helped to feed beef in Dawson County school lunchrooms.
Dailey invited Nebraska Cattlemen’s President, Elect Ken Herz of Lawrence, to the podium next. Herz, along with his two sons, operate a farm and ranch operation near Lawrence, NE. Herz updated Dawson County members that the Nebraska Cattlemen were closely watching property tax and nuisance legislation at the state capitol. Herz closed his remarks with news that the new Nebraska Cattlemen’s office building in Lincoln could be open as soon as the end of the month. “The new location is exciting and offers more parking.” Herz explained. “The current downtown Lincoln office has little parking and none available to a cattle producer in a pickup and trailer. The new office also has closer access to I-80.”
Dailey stepped behind the podium one more time to honor a local business and producer. MRK Trucking of Lexington received the Beef Ambassador Award. Dailey proclaimed, “MRK is a tremendous beef supporter. Not only does MRK work hard for beef producers with their livestock and feed hauling operation, but in they are also big donors of time, support and money to local beef causes.”
Listen to the award winners here: http://bit.ly/2DxYEGD
Mike Maloley, President of MRK Trucking, received the award for the company. Maloley mentioned, “You don’t get an award like this by yourself. This award represents all of the hard work that MRK employees do every day.” Maloley added, “This award also recognizes our amazing customers who we have built a 20 plus year relationship with.”
The final award of the evening may have been the most prestigious. It was the induction of a local Cattleman into the Dawson County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame. The 2019 inductee was Bruce Rickertsen of Car Bar Cattle Company. Rickertsen was born and raised in Dawson County. After graduating high school he went on to UNL where he excelled in livestock judging. Soon after returning home from college, Rickertsen had the opportunity to help the Horse Shoe Bend 4-H club with livestock judging. With time, he was head coach of the team and has been a club leader for 46 years. Rickertsen was genuinely surprised with the award saying, “I have known a lot of the inductees, but never expected myself to be one.” Rickertsen’s advice to young producers was, “continue to work hard, know your operation and have realistic goals. Look for expansion where you can, but be careful.”
Following the awards past Dawson County Cattlemen’s President Taryn Vonderschmidt and Heath Weichel received mementos to thank them for their service.
To conclude the banquet President Quentin Dailey introduced the entertainment for the evening; comedians Lane Zimbleman and Gary Menke.