NE Ranchers enjoy winter ball |

NE Ranchers enjoy winter ball

Some of those are hand to welcome in 2020 at the Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate's Winter Ball on December 31,2019.

Mullen – The 165 plus cattlemen and women that came to the Hooker Co. Community Center on the Hooker Co. fairgrounds to welcome 2020 in had much better weather than the previous two years. The first one in 2018, the temperature and wind chill had it at negative 30, last year it was negative 20, and this year – the weather was a ‘balmy’ 30 degrees above.

The Winter Ball on New Year’s Eve for the Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate is the chief fundraiser for the group throughout the year. “This event helps us cover not only this night, but our January business meeting, complete with free meal to members; a golf outing and summer meeting in June at the Dismal River Club, a fall ranch tour, hamburgers to blood donors at area blood drives, plus give three $1,000 scholarships to students,” explained John Kraye, Mullen, who is the current president of the NCSA. Other board members include Frank Utter, past president, and Eric Schipporeit, Brewster, Troy Saner, Adam Zutavern, Dunning, Dan Wacher, Stefani Niesen, Purdum, and Miles Mundorf, Mullen. Schipporeit, Zutavern, and Wacher were not in attendance.

The New Year’s Eve Winter’s Ball includes a silent and live auction, a tantalizing prime rib meal with all the trimmings provided by Chuckwagon N Jug of Mullen (Gregg and Dawn Mallory) who also provide the refreshments at the cash bar. Helping the caterers are FFA students from the three schools in the NCSA region which include Mullen, Thedford and Sandhills at Dunning.

The NCSA could not begin to do what they do without the great support they receive from sponsors and who they want to recognize – Western Nebraska Bank, Harsh Mercantile, Daniels Manufacturing, Dismal River Golf Club, A L Silencer Chutes, Sand Hills Golf Club, First State Bank, Mullen, Kraye Angus, Broken Bow Animal Hospital, Stockmen Vet Clinic, Hoffman Ranch, V-Bar Trailer Sales, Bassett Livestock, AL Ranch Co., GenEx/Miles Livestock, Bruning State Bank, Geo-Rite, Sandhills Equipment, Sandhill Oil, Minert-Simonsen Angus, West Plains Bank, Merck, Farm Credit Services of Broken Bow and North Platte, Burwell Livestock, Ag Land ATV, Berry Creek Gun Shop, Hometown Lumber, Wenquist, Larry Coleman, DVM, Farmers/Ranchers, Ward Vet Services and Pit Stall. The sponsors are approached only one time per year.

The scholarships given are awarded to two high school seniors in the NCSA region, and one college student.

After the meal and the auction, the James Lee Band, whose roots are in central Nebraska, heralded the New Year in with live music.

Monday, January 20 at Sandhills Corral, Thedford will be NCSA annual business meeting. Social hour at 6, meal at 6:30. Speakers will include the Nebraska Brand Committee. Cattlemen whether members of NCSA or not are encouraged to attend. Nebraska is divided into brand inspection area and non-inspection area. There is a push to do away with brands in Nebraska entirely. Also speaking will be Brenda Masek, Purdum, Vice-President of the Nebraska Cattlemen who will be president of the NC in 2022. Stefani Niesen, Purdum is the secretary of the NCSA. Contact her to RSVP for January 20th. Her number is 805-705-0411 or reach her at her email,

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