High turnout for CPoW, Sunny Okanogan livestock judging

2014 FFA judging photo

Event pulls students from around the state
A recent livestock judging competition sponsored by Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) and hosted by Sunny Okanogan Angus ranch drew 152 FFA students from eight schools around the state. The March 11 competition consisted of six classes; three classes of Angus Bulls, two classes of heifers and one class of Steers. CPoW and Sunny Okanogan Angus extended a special thank you to the FFA advisers and upstanding students in their programs that participated. Placings for the event are below:

Team Placing:
1. Tonasket FFA
2. Chelan FFA
3. Colville FFA
4. Okanogan FFA
5. Omak FFA

Individual Placing:
1. Luke Gleaseman, Chelan
2. Morgan OBrian, Tonasket
3. Silas Kruz, Colville
4. Haley Shiflet, Okanogan
5. George Vishon, Colville
6. Megan Bolich, Tonasket
7. Madison Clark, Tonasket
8. Kelsey Vejraska, Omak
9. Sarah Goyne, Chelan

Ranchers, wildlife groups denounce lawsuit against USDA Wildlife Services

March 9, 2015

A recent announcement by five radical environmental groups that they are suing USDA Wildlife Services regarding wolf removal in Washington is gaining strong condemnation from agriculture groups and wildlife conservationists who argue the suit is frivolous and hampers responsible management of wolves.

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association, the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, Cattle Producers of Washington, Spokane County Cattlemen and Washington Residents Against Wolves said the lawsuit that challenges USDA Wildlife Services’ authority to kill wolves in Washington is dismissive of the real challenges of a growing wolf population.

“The organizations behind this suit are taking a clear and public stance that they do not care about the cost to ranch families, rural communities or prey populations like deer, elk and moose that suffer when wolf populations are not kept in check,” said Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association President Justin Hedrick. “It’s easy to sit in your cubicle somewhere and criticize the on-the-ground challenges when it isn’t your family or your livelihood at risk.”

The lawsuit against USDA Wildlife Services was filed on March 3 by Cascadia Wildlands, The Lands Council, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Predator Defense and WildEarth Guardians.

The groups assert that although the USDA has already completed an Environmental Assessment(EA) on the impact of removing wolves in Washington, their lawsuit claims that there is not enough data in the EA to support wolf removal and calls the agency “reckless” for removing a problem wolf in the Huckleberry pack in the summer of 2014. The groups also take issue with USDA Wildlife Services advising the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on the removal of the Wedge pack in 2012.

“It is ironic that these groups are taking issue with removing problem wolves after the ranches involved had already exhausted non-lethal methods and allowed state and agency personnel to intervene on their private property,” said Hedrick. “These ranches did all they could to try to stop the killing of their animals but once wolves started after livestock, there was no way to stop it. There was no other option but lethal removal.”

A press release from the environmental groups regarding their lawsuit against USDA also claims that wolves in Washington are “far from recovered.”

Washington Residents Against Wolves Spokesman Luke Hedquist takes exception to the claim and notes that wolves are well established not only in Washington, but in neighboring states and throughout North America.

“There are over 65,000 wolves in North America, 670 wolves in Idaho, 650 wolves in Montana and over 300 wolves in Wyoming. Wolves have been removed from the Endangered Species List in all three of these states and the states allow for hunting just to try and keep the wolf populations in check,” Hedquist said. “In Washington, we are experiencing a high concentration of wolves in Eastern Washington that are creating dangerous situations for livestock owners, pet owners and hunters with likely more than 100 wolves in the area. By saying that USDA should not be able to remove wolves, these groups are advocating that public safety, other wildlife species, communities and economies should not be taken into consideration when managing wolves. This suit is essentially calling for non-management.”

The Inland Northwest Wildlife Council (INWC), a sportsman’s group with over 500 members and families, said it is seriously concerned about how the lawsuit seeks to run a strictly pro-wolf agenda without taking into consideration the complexity of the issue.

“When you sue to remove a tool from the toolbox, in this case the ability for USDA Wildlife Services to aid in removal of problem wolves by tying it up with red tape, it means these litigants are not considering the impact of an unchecked wolf population,” said INWC President Leonard Wolf. “Hunters and recreationalists in other states know that part of wolf management is sometimes wolf removal. Ignoring that fact means you will have severe declines in prey population as they experienced in Yellowstone when the number of Elk dropped from 19,000 to under 4,000 due to wolf depredations.”

“We need good, responsible management of wolves in Washington that considers all the available options so we don’t create situations that harm communities or wildlife,” Wolf added.


washington state capitolThe Cattle Producers of Washington will hold their annual Legislative Days Wed., Jan 21 and Thurs. Jan 22 in Olympia. The legislative reception will be held on Wednesday, Jan 21 from 5 to 7:30 in the Columbia Room in the legislative building on the capitol campus.


Strong agenda, fun activites planned for annual meeting, Oct. 31


The 2014 CPoW 10th annual banquet is rapidly coming up on Friday, Oct. 31 at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, www.northernquest.com

The meeting will feature a full agenda of interesting and informative speakers, followed up by a prime rib dinner and auction. All day tickets that include dinner are $85 per person. Dinner only tickets are $40. Tickets can be purchased at the door the day of the event.

Below is the updated speaker schedule for the event:

10:00 Check-in
10:30-11:15 Mike Thoren, JBS Beef
11:15-12:00 Washington Beef Commission
12:00-1:00 LUNCH
1:00-2:00 Washington State Department of Agriculture
2:00-2:30 Carbon Cycle Crush on canola cattle feed supplements
2:30-3:00 Leffel, Otis and Warwick on tax preparation
3:00-4:00 CPoW annual business meeting
4:00-5:00 James Robb, Livestock Information Marketing Center
5:00-6:00 Social hour
6:00-8:30 Dinner and auction

The event will also feature a number of activities, including a “Cow Plop” game on the concert patio behind the casino. Squares are only $20 and the pen will be divided up into  36 spots, making for good odds. Need not be present to win. A video of the event will be uploaded to Facebook for those who want to see the action but are unable to attend. Email us at cattleproducersofwa@gmail.com or call Jamie Henneman at 675-1209 to reserve your spot today!CPOW 10TH ANNUAL BANQUET COW PLOP-page-001 (2)

CPoW annual banquet a great sponsorship opportunity!

As the CPoW 10th Anniversary banquet is just over a month away, now is the time when businesses can still take advantage of the opportunity to promote their product or services at the event. The banquet will be held at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights on Oct. 31 from 10am-8:30pm and will include great food, great speakers and great company.

So far over 11 businesses have stepped up to be part of the event including:

Spokane County Cattlemen

Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association

Clifton Allen Larson

Sunny Okanogan Angus Ranch

Big R, Spokane

Connell Grain Growers

Lawrence Oil

EPL Feed

WA State Beef Commission

Crossroads Cattle Company

RANGE Magazine

Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity while there is still time! Below is the link to our sponsorship form:

2014 CPoW Annual Meeting Sponsorship Form

CPoW 10th Anniversary Banquet coming up Oct. 31!

Come join us in celebrating 10 years of CPoW’s work as an organization!

Our annual banquet will be held at North Qwest Casino in Airway Heights from 10am-8:30pm.

All day tickets include a morning coffee, lunch and dinner for $85. Prime-rib dinner only tickets are $40. Speakers will include James Robb from the Livestock Marketing Information Center who will present on, “Cattle Market: Where To From Here?”; Mike Thorne from JBS Five Rivers cattle feedlot; Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Washington Beef Commission. For more information, email cattleproducersofwa@gmail.com

CPoW applauds denial of radical wolf petition


Fish and Wildlife Commission denies petition on codifying wolf policies

The Cattle Producers of Washington recently applauded a decision by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to deny a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups to codify parts of the Washington Wolf Plan, essentially creating inflexible rules for dealing with wolf related issues.

The Commission denied the petition put forward by the Center and seven other environment groups, including the Kettle Range Conservation Group, to establish artificial parameters for the lethal removal of problem wolves. Among other provisions, the Center’s petition wanted for four separate, documented kills on four separate days in a four month period before a problem wolf could be removed. The Center filed a similar petition last year that was also denied. Instead a Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) was formed to help the Washington Fish and Wildlife department craft policies to address wolf concerns with the input of diverse stakeholder groups. However, the Center said that ,”livestock producer and sports-hunting groups on the committee” refused to agree to the inflexible, prohibitive rules suggested by environmental groups on the WAG, so they proceeded to petition the Commission again.

CPoW President Dave Dashiell said the most recent petition by the Center shows that they are not in favor of sensible wolf management, but are driven to pursue a particular agenda.

“This petition disregards the work that the various groups serving on the WAG have completed this year and shows an inflexible, flawed perspective by some environmental groups who are only interested in a radical agenda,” said Dashiell. “We know that every problem situation involving a wolf is going to be different and there needs to be a great deal of flexibility to make sure the situation is resolved in a fair manner for all involved.”

CPoW worked with four other likeminded groups: the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association, the Spokane County Cattlemen, the Stevens County Farm Bureau and the Science First Coalition to send a letter to the Commission against the petition from the Center.

“We appreciate that the Fish and Wildlife Commissioners recognized how changing the wolf situation is with every year and at every location. It is important to keep all options on the table, particularly when dealing with a predator species that is coming back onto the landscape,” Dashiell said.