Nathan Ellison was honored as Rancher of Year during the annual Gila County Cattle Growers Association dinner and live auction Nov. 18. This year’s celebration of the ranching lifestyle was the third of its kind in as many years and also featured the newly named Wrangler of the Year, John McBride.
The evening was sponsored by Jill Wilson of Farm Bureau Services and CKP Insurance and Suzanne Menges. The steak dinner, complete with baked potatoes, broccoli salad, roll and cobbler a la mode was prepared by Menges, as well. The Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Rancher and Wrangler of the Year awards.
Rancher of Year 2017
The Rancher of the Year 2017 went to Nathan Ellison, a man whose family goes back long before Gila County existed in Arizona. His ranch has been a co-signer of the Cattle Grower’s yearling sale every year since its inception.
“He is always out in the ring moving cattle around and sorting them,” said Gila County Supervisor Woody Cline, the evening’s emcee.
Ellison has attended most of the association’s meetings and is “always outspoken on issues the things need to be addressed” and the ones he believes in. He has also worked for the last 70 years to keep the predator population down in the area.
“More important, though, (Ellison) has beat all odds in three or more major operations and a very serious medical condition,” Cline said. “How good it is to see him today standing tall and healthy.
“We honor Nathan Ellison as our Rancher of the Year 2017 for your many years of guidance, dedication and service.”
Wrangler of the Year 2017
John McBride was chosen as the Wrangler of the Year 2017 because of his tireless contributions to the association over the years.
“He is always working behind the scene,” Cline said. “His tasks are many and endless.”
McBride does everything from stuffing envelopes to running errands
“His ability to capture the true spirit of the Gila County Cattle Growers can be seen in his photos and even in the music he has put together for tonight (the dinner),” Cline said.
His talents were demonstrated in the new countertop installed in the Cattle Growers sale office, as well as in the work he did on the building.
“He is always supporting our ranchers every chance he gets, whether in casual conversation or comments to a public body. He is always ready to help the GCCGA with a cheerful, willing attitude,” Cline said.
Two Bred and Fed Awards were also given to two members of FFA, Kodi Jo Haught of Globe and Makiah Taylor of Payson Payson. The FFA from Young helped serve during the dinner.
Arizona State Senator Frank Pratt, Arizona State Representative Brenda Barton and Arizona State Representative TJ Shope attended the dinner and auction, which featured a variety of live and silent auction holiday gift items ranging from a five-day vacation in Cancun to rifles, handcrafted yard furniture, tools and stocking stuffers of toys and gift certificates from several local merchants.
The GCCGA thanks our sponsors, Jill Wilson of Farm Bureau Financial Services and CKP Insurance, and everyone who donated items for our live and silent auctions: Gila County Supervisor, Tim Humphrey, Steve & Dorothy Bixby, Quarter Circle U Ranch, Bob’s Western Wear of Payson, Conway Feed, Bar X Ranch, Mule Deer Foundation, Darrel’s Fresh Farm Pintos, Vosberg/Marsh Creek Ranch, FFA-Young, AZ, Ruiz Ranch, Rafter P Ranch, Rasmussen Ranch, Outlaw Industrial/Universal Cattle Guards, Janna Cline, MF Ranch, Sundt Corporation, Greenback Valley Ranch, Pinal Lumber, Tractor Supply of Globe, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Judy Nelms, Nancy Sheppard, Buzzard Roost Ranch, DalMolin Ranches, Rose Tree Cattle Company, Brent & Janet Cline, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Pickle Barrel Trading Post, Augustine JA Ranch, Elizabeth Eaton, Griffin Ranch, McSpadden Ford, Shirley’s Gifts, Judy’s Cook House, John Cline Leather, Van Wilson, United Jewelry & Sporting Goods, Donna Hyke Jones, Cross Y Ranch, Janet Cline Arbonne, Tractor Supply of Payson and Pet Club of Payson.
The GCCGA Officers and Board of Directors also thank the GMR Chamber of Commerce and our many member-volunteers whose hard work and time made this year’s event a success that will allow our organization to be in position to help with litigation on such issues as the Mexican wolf, USFS closure of the FS203 Road, water rights, and more as well as making some much-needed repairs at the Burch sale yard. You can be sure that the money raised will be put to use in the most efficient way possible to support the Gila County ranchers and our communities. Your support will help us keep fighting the issues as they arise this next year.
Aimee Staten has worn several hats over the last few years, but she recently put on one of her more familiar caps after four years of working in nonprofits: That of a journalist. She has 14 years of experience in the news business as a reporter with eight of those years as the managing editor of the Eastern Arizona Courier.