Greenlee County Cattle Growers Meeting

by Suzanne Menges

The 102nd annual meeting of the Greenlee County Cattle Growers Association was held on Saturday, August 20th, at the historic Double Circle Lodge at Upper Eagle Creek. This year the Association was pleased to host featured speaker Mr. Mark Killian, Director of the Arizona State Department of Agriculture. Mr. Killian addressed the crowd of ranchers and supporters from throughout Greenlee County, sharing new developments in the Department and answering questions from the group. In addition, the Cattle Growers welcomed members of the Arizona Pilots Association who have been instrumental in restoring the historic lodge.

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The summer meeting of the Association is held at the end of August, after the hottest part of the summer is over, but before fall roundups begin. The cool climate of Upper Eagle Creek is perfect for a comfortable day to relax. For several decades, the summer meeting of the Association was a highlight for many ranchers and their families. Traveling from distant ranches, the group would assemble to celebrate the summer rains or, as often as not, the need for more. Regardless, the summer meeting was a special time to discuss issues affecting the cattle industry and enjoy catching up with neighbors. Members would join in a potluck lunch, a steak fry in the evening, and a Western dance in the Lodge later that night. Members camped out overnight and began the long journey back to their ranch the next morning. This tradition ended in the mid-90’s as the Lodge changed hands several times and eventually fell into disrepair.

The structure was discovered by the Arizona Pilot’s Association a few years ago, and a partnership was formed between the pilots and the ranchers to refurbish the building. Now, with a new porch, new roof, repaired windows and other improvements, it is once again the scene of the gathering of the cattlemen and cattlewomen of Greenlee County.

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The meeting was led by President Ben Menges. Speakers included representatives from the County Board of Supervisors, the Arizona State Cattle Growers Association, U of A Cooperative Extension, the Forest Service, the County Assessor’s office, and the livestock inspection program. The Association thanks the sponsor of this year’s summer meeting, CKP Insurance.

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April’s APA Happy Hour at Harold’s!

by Mary James & Susan Wearly

Our Spring Social at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek on Thursday, April 28th was loaded with fun, food, and lots of stories! We hosted sixty-eight pilots, spouses, aviation enthusiasts, and honored military people. Guests came from all over the Valley and even from Tucson. It was wonderful to see old friends chatting and new friendships forming. Tables were set with red, white, and blue flowers, toy and wind-up airplanes, flags, and more. APA President, Tommy Thomason, welcomed everyone and helped announce the winners of the Question Board Raffle. Two questions were posed and Question #1 had 6 correct answers. Tommy drew from these 6 and congratulations went out to Tim Greer for correctly answering the question of who founded the Arizona Air National Guard – Barry Goldwater. Tim and his wife Lynell took home a liter and a half of Maker’s Mark Bourbon as their prize. Question #2 had 3 correct answers and kudos to Robin Gerblick for her winning answer to the question of who owns the Gray Ghost – Tommy Thomason. Robin and her husband Jim walked away with a fifth of Glenfiddich Scotch. Way to go, Tim and Robin! The party went on well past our 7 pm ending time! It was a great way to welcome in the Double Circle Ranch Fly-In scheduled for April 29-30.

Organizers Susan Wearly and Mary James wish to thank Tommy and all of the APA staff for allowing them to run with their party planning and for helping. $140 was raised toward our Scholarship Program. We had a great showing of just how impressive the APA is as a volunteer organization.

Watch for news of a Fall social later this summer – this could be habit forming!!

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