Tuscarawas cattlemen choose royalty

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SUGARCREEK, Ohio – Denelle Billman, a 17-year-old New Philadelphia High School junior, has been crowned the 2006 Tuscarawas County Cattlemen’s Association queen.
Amy Prysi, 16, a Strasburg High School sophomore; Nikki Dryden, 16, a Garaway High School sophomore; Tricia Kendle, 18, an Indian Valley High School senior; and Kaci Himes, 16, a Tuscarawas Valley High School sophomore, were chosen as 2006 princesses.
The girls were crowned during the association’s 16th annual banquet and meeting Feb. 13.
Billman’s 4-H projects include market steers and beef breeding and she serves as treasurer for the Ohio Junior Hereford Association. In addition, she participates in the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST program, taking part in 59 shows throughout Ohio in 2005.
New directors. Also at the meeting, George Fenton, Mike Helmke, Ken Shaw, Bob Wise and Jerry Prysi were elected to the board of directors for a two-year term. They will join five other directors, Neil Fry, Donald Himes, Roger Jones, Kriss Raber and Doyle Shoup, whose terms expire in 2006.
Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, gave a presentation on current beef industry concerns.
“The Dec. 23, 2003, USDA announcement of our first case of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in this country forever changed how we raise cattle,” she said. “Given the many years of government and industry preparation that preceded this announcement, the United States had developed a system of safeguards and messages that helped maintain and protect consumer confidence in the U.S. beef supply. Consumer confidence in the U.S. beef supply has never wavered.”
Checkoff dollars. Harsh also addressed the topic of the checkoff program, noting checkoff dollars have played a successful role in the introduction of more than 4,500 new convenience products from 1996-2005.
“These convenient products have been designed to help add value to the carcass and create more profit opportunities for all industry segments and grow beef demand,” she said. “Beef demand has grown 20 percent since 1998.”
The speaker also said beef has a great nutrition story to tell.
“Compared to a skinless chicken breast, lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat. In addition, it has six times more zinc, three times more iron and eight times more vitamin B12,” Harsh said.
She also said the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association addresses industry issues through the legislative and regulatory arenas to help maintain a favorable business climate for the beef industry.
A few of the issues the association is currently working on are exempting agriculture from the Superfund legislation, ways to better control damage from black vultures and fast-tracking the permit process.
“The OCA is also representing our members in regard to the development of the National Animal Identification System,” she said.
Fair results. Treasurer Bob Wise reported receipts from the 2005 Tuscarawas County Fair totaled $25,694.50, with a net profit of $6, 363.23.

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