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Cattleman dinner, fundraiser a big success
It came as a huge surprise to Wally Roney, former Tehama County Cattlemen's Association president, when his name rang out as the association's 2012 Man of the Year during Saturday's 61st annual Winter Dinner held at the Tehama District Fairgrounds.
Roney was the chairman of the committee that selected the man who was to be honored.
"Wow, they really pulled a fast one on me," he said.
Roney, of Roney Land and Cattle, was presented a plaque and sterling silver money-clip by the Cattlemen's Association.
"Our man of the year is a fifth generation cattle rancher. Over the years he has made significant contributions to the cattle industry in Tehama County," fellow cattleman Dick O'Sullivan said when introducing Roney.
O'Sullivan stated Roney's focus has been primarily on property rights, that he has gone to Washington, DC to fight for those rights. He also has fought the Safe Harbor Program for endangered species in Tehama, Shasta, Glenn and Butte counties, and work on the Open Range Committee and the Tehama County General Plan.
"He is a man who truly understands that our freedoms begin and end with property rights," O'Sullivan said, describing Roney as "relentless" when he takes on an issue.
"I don't know what else to say but thank you," Roney said.
Roney's father, Elwin, was a previous recipient of the honor.
"My grandfather and great-grandfather both had homesteads here in Tehama County and the land here is very important to me," Roney said. "Without our property, cattlemen would have no place to run our cattle. That is a national concern, but there is even more pressure here in California where there is only a handful of ranchers who still derive 90 percent of their annual income from the sale of cattle, and that applies to Tehama County as well."
O'Sullivan was pleased at Roney's surprise.
"Even though he was chairman of the selection committee it looks like we were really able to do this without him knowing," he said.
Cathy Tobin, who was named Tehama County Cowbelle in December, was presented with a sterling silver cowbell necklace by Tehama County Cattlemen President Steve Zane and CattleWomen President Danielle Zane.
Tobin is the owner of Oak Knoll Herefords in Flournoy.
The annual dinner was also home to the 10th annual Tehama County Cattlemen and CattleWomen's Agricultural Scholarship Fundraiser.
Between the silent auction and live auction, the event raised $23,530 toward scholarships for college students who are working on an agriculture-related degree or come from an agriculture family.
"We did really well this year," said Tobin, who served as the event's co-chairperson.
Coming up with that much cash seemed pretty easy when a 12 pack of half-pint jars of homemade gooseberry jelly auctioned off for $3,100. The jam was made and donated by Cindy Stroing in memory of Barbara Frost-Kloose, who had made the jelly for years.
More than 30 items were donated and sold during the live auction, and even more for the silent auction.
More than 400 guests were served a prime rib dinner by Vic Woolery, and had a variety of other items to try at the event, including Corning Olive Oil and Lucero Olive Oil, both of Corning.