Rekemeyers in Cattlemen's Hall

MONROE COUNTY CATTLEMEN’S President Tim Kaldenberg presents the Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame plaque to Ross and Phyllis Rekemeyer.

The Monroe County Cattlemen held their annual banquet Saturday with a number of home grown celebrity. Kylie Peterson, newly hired Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council, her sister, Abby, newly crowned Iowa Simmental Queen and Brayton Striegel, whose steer was shown at the Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair, were all in attendance and addressed a large crowd at the Albia American Legion Hall.

Denny and Janet Cason were also introduced as Iowa Seed Stock Breeders of the Year and Curt and Kaylene Peterson the 2018 BQI Cow-Calf Award winners.

Cattlemen took care of business following the prime rib dinner catered by Jim & Charlies. The 2018 slate of officers and board members were voted in for another year including President Tim Kaldenberg, Vice President Justin Huber, Treasurer Stephanie Haywood and board members Jordan Haywood, Mark Herbold, Bryan Reed, Dan Yule, Cole Spurgin, Aaron Henderson, Brian Crall, Andy Henderson and Colin Herbold.

Kylie Peterson spoke briefly and told the group that she was busy with the Best Burger and helping the New York state cattlemen develop their own best burger competition. She is also involved in a program called “Farm to Fork,” and is working with diatetic interns in educating them about beef.

“I get a little emotional coming back here to see you all,” she said. “Through FFA and 4-H, with all my family and friends here, you helped me achieve my dream job.”

Brayton Striegel thanked the Cattlemen for all of their support in getting her to the Governor’s Charity Steer Show with KIIC’s Joe Milledge showing her steer. She presented a check to the Cattlemen for $500, as part of the proceeds of her own t-shirt sales.

Kaldenberg presented the Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame Award to Dr. Ross and Phyllis Rekemeyer. The couple met at Iowa State University while Ross was in vet school and Phyllis was getting her degree. Dr. Rekemeyer started his career in a large animal practice in Story City and worked with a beef confinement Greenway Farms, which helped create the Iowa Beef Improvement Association, which ultimately became the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

He left private practice to join the Iowa State University veterinary diagnostics lab and in 1981 he and Phyllis moved to Albia where he became a state meat inspector and Phyllis became the Albia Community School District food service director. She later taught school in Chariton.

The two have served on the Monroe County Cattlemen’s Board, were charter members of the American Simmental Association and have tireless promoted beef both locally and statewide. Dr. Rekemeyer is also the NOAH weather observer for Monroe County since 1984.

Justin Huber introduced four $1,000 Cattlemen’s Scholarship Award winners, Valerie Beary, headed to UNI next year to study elementary education, Cole Ballenger who is headed to Iowa State to study agronomy, Nathan Crall who is headed to Hawkeye Tech to study ag bio technology and Daniel Beary headed to Indian Hills Community College to study ag business.

Matt Deppe, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association CEO spoke to the group about creating relationships with people inside and outside of the beef industry. “I had a person ask me why I spend so much time with my kids and their 4-H heifer projects and I told them I wanted the legacy handed down to me to go on,” he said. “I don’t expect all four of my children to farm, but I want that opportunity for operational succession.”

He said it was a way that he could help a non farmer understand what the business was about.

He also talked about some of the legislative and political issues facing cattlemen including the need for Congress to pass the “new NAFTA” treaty with Mexico and Canada, labeling of “fake” meat, state ownership of land, dietary guidelines and hours of travel for hauling livestock. “Keep your voice sharp,” he told cattlemen.

The evening concluded with the annual auction. Last year the Cattlemen raised $17,135 through the buckle/scholarship auction and presented $1,000 scholarships to seniors.

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