Most Viewed Stories
Tobin named Cowbelle
Cathy Tobin has been in the cattle business her entire life.
The Flournoy woman grew up on the family ranch, following her father, Hobart Carter, around helping him with the daily chores on the different ranches he leased, and learning the ropes of operating a commercial cow and calf business.
Tobin, 64, was named Cowbelle of the Year by the Tehama County CattleWomen's Association on Saturday during the association's 55th annual Luncheon and Fashion Show held in the Rolling Hills Casino Carlino's Room. "Thank you for this honor," Tobin said at the event, which drew more than 200 cattlewomen and guests. "This unit is one of the best in the state. They're the most aggressive in promoting their products and their men."
"Cowbelles are women we recognize for their outstanding leadership. They are the ones who make everything go round," association President Danielle Zane said.
Riuth Flory, the 2011 Cowbelle, announced Tobin as the winner.
"Cathy (Tobin) showed her first Hereford steer at the Sonoma County Fair at the age of 9, and from her second steer project started purchasing heifers to form her small herd of Herefords," Flory said.
Tobin married Jim Bjornestad in 1968, and the couple managed Shiloh Farms Hereford Ranch and then started Oak Knoll Herefords in Santa Rosa. The couple had a daughter, Tracy.
The couple remained very active in the cattle business until Bjornestad's death from a brain tumor in 1980.
Tobin and her daughter continued operating Oak Knoll in Sonoma, with Tobin also serving as 4-H Beef Leader for 16 years.
In 1985, Tobin was the first woman to be elected to the Sonoma-Marin Cattleman's board of directors, and one year later was selected by her peers as the Outstanding Young Rancher of the year.
Tobin and Ron Tobin were married in 1987 after meeting at a cattle industry dinner.
One year later, Tobin was the first woman to be named Sonoma-Marin Cattleman's Association Cattleman of the Year, and then served one year as the association's president. She has also been named Hereford Woman of Year presented the award in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1992, one of the bulls Tobin and her daughter exhibited at the Cow Palace in San Francisco earned the Super Bull title over all breeds, selling the animal for $11,000. Two years later, the duo made history with a clean sweep at the Cow Palace when their bulls earned the titles of champion and reserve champion in their breeds and then went on to earn Super and Reserve Super bulls.
That achievement has never been repeated.
It was in 2003 that Tobin moved Oak Knoll to Flournoy, where she became a moving force in the CattleWomen's Association.
Tobin works in Corning in the SERRF after-school program. She is still very active in the family's cattle business, irrigating, feeding bulls, cooking meals for "the guys," and promoting agriculture.
Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams serving as master of ceremonies at the event, which also included a fashion show highlighting merchandise from Anderson and Red Bluff stores and boutiques. Local girls and women served as models.
Throughout the event many Tehama County stores and boutiques had booths set up displaying items for sale, such as custom jewelry, clothing, art and photography.
One of the booths was the Cowboy Pantry. CattleWoman Pem Lester, of Corning, said pantry goods went fast when a customer handed over a box and $100 and said to fill the box with $100 worth of the homemade delicacies.
Door and raffle prizes were handed out to lucky winners with the proceeds going to the associations scholarship program.
CattleWoman Joyce Bundy served as chairwoman for this year's luncheon committee of Shelley Macdonald, Michelle Blunkhall, Beth Chaney, Linda McCay, Sue Knox, Pem Lester, Laurel Walker, Linda Walker, Anne Read, and Michelle Wiggley.