By Brendan Relaford
For The Sentinel 

Willis named Cattleman of the Year

 

March 20, 2019

Contributed

HONORED: Raymond Willis (left) holds the cattleman of the year award along side Travis Miller, President of the Cattlemen Association.

Raymond Willis of Goldendale was named 2019 Klickitat County Cattleman of the Year at the Klickitat County Livestock Growers annual banquet held at the Elks Lodge in White Salmon on March 9. Nate Kayser, last year's recipient of the award, introduced Willis as "a great man who raises great cattle." On May 18, Willis will be hosting a field day where he will show attendees how he runs his operation and handles his cattle

The ceremonies began with President Travis Miller from Glenwood introducing state and county directors and Kay Cameron, who led the invocation. While guests were enjoying their prime rib dinner, Senator Curtis King and Sheriff Bob Songer spoke about the legislative session and the latest happenings around the county. After dinner came the presentation of awards.

The O.P. Kreps Award was presented to Lyle Schilling of Glenwood, whose family history dates back to the early pioneers who settled in Klickitat County. Keith Lyle Kreps, Schilling's namesake, then reminisced about bygone days, telling stories about his youth and how he looked up to Schilling while he was growing up. This is an award recognizing elders and their lifetime accomplishments that had a positive impact on the industry and community. Harry Miller, also from Glenwood, presented the Jim Bridgefarmer award to Dwayne Dewey of Glenwood. The Bridgefarmer honor is a "friend of the cattlemen" award that recognizes the winner for supporting the industry. John Rolfe announced that the Jean Schilling Memorial Lamb, donated by the Rolfe Family, has gone to Goldendale Middle School eighth-grader R. J. Reynolds, a member of Goldendale FFA. Kristin Chambers awarded the Bernice Thiele Memorial Award to sixth-grader Dallas Villalobos, who also won the 2018 Grand Champion Market Pig competition. Jorgia Bean, also from Goldendale, received the Joe Hassing Memorial, announced by Anthony Pereira from Columbia Bank. Jorgia, an eighth-grader, is active in Klickitat County's junior high school rodeo team and competes all over the state of Washington. Abby Brandt, Klickitat County Extension Agent, and Hannah Brause announced the Steer of Merit for the 2018 Klickitat County Fair. Recipients for this year's award are Brooklynn Blain, Layne Bruhn, Payton Lower, Noah Starr, Taylor Fahlenkamp, Myles Lee, Brielle Starr, Curtis Kayser and Grace Hanning. There are stringent criteria to evaluate the beef information, (instead of the judging at the county fair) to determine the steer of merit recipients. Very few kids meet all the criteria, so this is a great honor. The Jean Schilling lamb, the Bernice Thiele hog, and the Joe Hassing steer award recipients are identified by an anonymous committee that identifies kids who may not otherwise get to show an animal. The award itself is an animal of their choice but is actually an investment in the kids' future.

A live auction rounded out the evening. The items were auctioned off by Shawn Wilkinson of The Dalles, representing Pro Earth Animal Health. A new item this year was the labor of two teams of Goldendale High School football players along with head coach Aaron Cochran, who will load hay in barns by hand, with proceeds going to the Goldendale High School football program. The revenue from the other live auction items will fund county scholarships, Ag Day, fair activities and the Beef Counts program and the Second Harvest Foods Event. One of the purposes of these events is to educate consumers about beef production, the oldest and currently second commodity in Klickitat County, just behind the grape/wine industry.

 

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