Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cattlemen's event raises thousands for scholarships

Hundreds of ranchers and other businesspeople packed the banquet room at the Red Bluff fairgrounds tonight for the annual Tehama County Cattlemen's and CattleWomen's winter dinner and auction, which raises nearly $20,000 each year for scholarships for young people preparing for careers in agriculture.

In the photos, from the top: People mingle and look at silent auction items during a social hour before the dinner began; the north state's Rep. Doug LaMalfa talks with Vina rancher Darrell Wood; and California Cattlemen's Association president Tim Koopmann (left) talks with Steve Zane, the outgoing president of the Tehama County Cattlemen's Association.

Among the stories I gathered in the course of the evening:

*This drought is (figuratively) killing the ranchers. Koopmann compares it to the drought of the mid-1970s, when some ranches were forced out of business. He said cattle producers are already trimming their herds.

*LaMalfa tells me he's made a "pivot" with regard to immigration reform and believes it's something that needs to be done this year. He thinks there finally may be enough political will in Congress to make it happen.

*The CCA will have a full plate in 2014, staging a full-court press against state and federal regulations, endangered-species listings and other things that could make it more difficult for producers to do business.

Watch for these stories in the coming days at CapitalPress.com.

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