Mullen – New Year’s Eve the Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate (NCSA) held their annual ‘Winter Ball’ at the new Hooker County Community Center on the fairgrounds west of Mullen.
“We previously had it always in February at the Lodge at the state 4-H camp in the forest near Halsey, and we always conflicted with the Valentine, Nebraska ‘Heart City Bull Bash’. We decided to give it a new date and new location. The cold temperature kept many home I’m sure, “ stated Frank Utter of Brewster, president of the NCSA.
150 members and friends did brave the severe cold to enjoy a great prime rib supper provided by Chuckwagon ‘n Jug catering, Gregg and Dawn Mallory of Mullen. The meat was provided by the Butcher Block, Doug Deibler of Mullen.
The NCSA besides the Winter Ball, hosts a ranch tour in the fall and a golf outing at the Dismal River Golf Club south of Mullen in June. Sponsorships obtained covers the year worth of activities for the NCSA. “They appreciate a onetime visit from us, and we could not do what we do without them – we are so thankful for their backing,” exclaimed Tess Quittner, Secretary of the NCSA from Halsey. Sponsors include Harsh Mercantile and Western Nebraska Bank, Purdum, Daniels Manufacturing, Ainsworth, Dismal River Golf Club, and First StateBank of Mullen, Zoetis, Minert Simonson Angus, Dunning, Sandhill Oil of Thedford, Valentine, Hyannis, Farm Credit Services, Broken Bow,West Plains Bank of Ainsworth, Assman Implement, Merck Animal Health, Burwell Livestock Market, Miles Livestock Services and Genex, Brownlee, Ainsworth Motors, Schumacher Vet Clinic, Ideal Reality, Bow Tax & Accounting, Inc., Monaghan Ranch, V Bar Trailer Sales and Vitalix/Travis Schauda, both from Broken Bow, Clark Trucking, AL Ranch, Halsey and Broken Bow Animal Hospital
Besides board members Utter and Quittner, others present and helping throughout the night were Dan Wacker and Kelly Kennedy, Purdum, Adam Zutavern, Dunning, John Kraye, and Miles Mundorf, Mullen, absent member was Troy Saner.
The night also included a silent auction as well as a live auction which was called by Evan Hewett, a junior at Sandhills High School. The auctions help to fund scholarships for seniors from the three high schools in the NCSA area.
NCSA past president, vice chair of members services for Region 2, Brenda Masek of Purdum gave an overview of 2017 – Trump’s overturning of the WOTUS (Waters of the U.S), and the return of 1.3 million acres of land in Utah back to local control that the previous president designated as Bears Ears National monument. Cattle prices are up from last year but as last year the number one priority in this year’s legislature is finding property tax relief. Masek also congratulated the producers and donors that have brought Nebraska beef back into the hot lunch programs at the three NCSA’s schools Mullen, Sandhills at Dunning and Thedford. Adding to that, Marcia Wales, cook at Sandhills got up and personally thanked the cattlemen for enhancing their hot lunch, “It is so great to know where the beef we serve comes from, right here at home.”
After the supper and auction, Sheila Greenland Band played, bringing in the New Year with great country music.