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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:14

Southwest organization members feel at home on the range

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By Ryan Dahlman — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Cowgirl Cattle Company (CCC) doesn’t deal directly with cattle. Heck, it’s not really an official company.

However, the Consul-based group is a unique social fundraising group which meets once in a year at the Consul Community Hall.

To be a member of the women-only group, members must be tied to a cattle operation which has a cattle brand or access to a family brand current or old.

The Saskatchewan group started a few years ago, mirroring another such group which began in Cochrane, Alta.

“One of the original founding members from the Alberta chapter, Jill Richards, bought a ranch out here and moved into the community and told us about it,” explained CCC spokesperson Megan Blakley. “Some of the other local ladies and myself liked the idea and decided to form our own chapter.”

There are members from Cochrane who come down as well as women from as far north as Leader, Shaunavon, Eastend, Maple Creek and Consul.

They currently have 70 registered, but are expecting 110, which is the capacity of Consul’s hall.  Last year hey had 92 members.

The idea for the group is simple. They meet once a year for a one-night fun evening. They have a catered steak supper, cowgirl merchandise, and a silent auction. As an added treat, the talented Doris Bircham and Anne Slade will perform some cowgirl poetry and the rest of the night is for visiting.

It’s not just about having an evening of fellowship. Organizers for the event raise money for a few local charities. One obvious target for the group and was already decided ahead of time was Maple Creek’s new hospital.

“The committee decided that we wanted to support the new hospital, but have a specific spot that our funds were designated to go. It was our thought to have a room in the hospital for people to go and rest and have a little peace in such a stressful time in their lives,” said Blakley. “The other charity will be voted on each year at the supper out of the several different charities that are suggested by the members from the previous year.”

It will be a once a year annual event and will always remain as such. Blakley indicated it is too difficult to organize for more than that and everyone is too busy.

She said they have a solid amount of donations, but would always welcome more because they do not go after businesses for any extra help.

Blakley is excited and indicated the other women are too. It was a decent year in agriculture so everyone is in a good mood.

“It went over extremely well last year and we have had lots of excitement and calls from new and old members that want to come,” said Blakley. “The agriculture scene is good in Consul area because of the good hay crop and the extended summer weather for harvest.”

Members of the CCC are proud of being a part of agriculture, what they do and their varying levels of contributions to the operation. It’s not only a profession, but it’s a way of life and for those who know nothing about it, it’s hard to explain what it’s like.

“I think they don’t understand how hard we work, and that the job never ends. We are expected to work inside and outside the home and that it is a lifestyle as much a living,” explained Blakley.

“We love what what we do and would not change it for the world.  It is a family way of life and a great way to raise children and we are proud of our history and the tradition that this way of life holds.”

For information phone the committee members Denise Tully 306-299-4916 or Jill Richards 306-299-4411 ASAP or visit the website www.cowgirl 

The committee consists of Denise Tully, Jill Richards, Megan Blakley, Dixie Black, Jodie Parsonage and Ann Behrman.

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