The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Tri-County Cattlemen Enjoy Record Crowd at Banquet

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

The Tri-County Cattlemen's Association (TCC), comprised of Henderson, McDonough, and Warren Counties enjoyed their annual banquet at the Western Illinois University's WIU Union Grand Ball Room in Macomb, Saturday evening January 30th.

An overflow ballroom with nearly 700 in attendance, enjoying the many fast buffet lines with hot food featuring grilled rib-eye steak, baked potatoes, salad, vegetables, drinks and delicious frosted cake before the program began.

Gary Wynne of United was awarded the John Brokaw Memorial Scholarship, and Madison Ballard of United was awarded the John Adair Memorial Scholarship.

The 2015 Scholarship Winners were recognized: Madison Ballard and Gary Wynne of United; Ryan Farmer and Erica Harrell of Monmouth-Roseville; Matthew Vancil of West Central; and Jessica Herndon of West Prairie.

The Beef Backer Award was given in to the family of the late Bruce A. Engnell who had given so much to promote the cattle and beef industry over the years, starting with 4-H, raising purebred hogs, an assistant farm advisor in Lincoln and at WIU, working with the judging team, teaching management of both swine and beef herds, etc. Engnell was valued for his integrity and service. His wife Victoria graciously accepted the award and gave her thanks to the Tri-County Cattlemen saying it was an excellent association that carried out an important mission for the beef industry.

Comedian Tim Bedore entertained after a trade show, social hour, and door prizes were awarded. The evening ended with the annual auction where process benefited a college scholarship fund.

The West Prairie FFA students assisted with the banquet.

The Tri-County Cattlemen's Association 2015-16 Board of Directors are:

Warren County:

Tyler Schleich, Darryl Ricketts, Dudley Ricketts, Mark Gillen, Thad Tharp

McDonough County:

John Emerick, Jon Haney, Alison McGrew

Henderson County:

Tom Keane, Mitch Lefler, Brice Jack, Steve Jack with Jon Haney, President and Alison McGrew, Secretary/Treasurer

Members become a part of TCC when they become a member of the Illinois Beef Association (IBA) and select TCC as their affiliate.

Besides promoting to the public all of the benefits of eating beef, they raise funds for annual college scholarships for eligible students.

This year at the banquet, $6,950 was raised for the TCC Scholarship fund as a record amount through the silent and live auction sales. Five of last year award winners were present.

For 2016, six annual College Scholarships of $750 will be awarded in May 2016. To qualify students must meet the following requirements:

I. You must be a high school senior who is a resident of Henderson, McDonough, or Warren County and plan on attending a two or four year college or university.

II. You must be an active member of your county's 4-H, FFA chapter, or be enrolled in an agriculture related course.

III. You must be planning to major in an agriculture related area at a four year university or community college.

IV. You must fully complete the application and write an original essay on "A significant challenge to the beef industry." The essay must be at least 750 words and needs to be typed and attached to the application. Failure to meet essay guidelines will result in immediate disqualification.

V. You must enclose a letter of reference from a teacher in a sealed envelope.

All applications, essays, and teacher recommendations must be postmarked by April 1, 2016. The Tri-County Cattlemen's Association Scholarship Committee will then administer the applications, read each essay, and select six scholarship recipients. Essays will be judged on the basic clarity of expression, originality, relevance of the topic, and the ability to follow the scholarship application guidelines. Recipients will be notified by mail in May 2016.

Students that are selected as recipients will be recognized at their high school awards ceremony in May 2016. Scholarship check will be given to recipient following successful completion of the first semester with at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA.

Beef backers are pretty aggressive at the TCC association. Their annual scholarship program is only possible because of the numerous cookouts they do throughout the year for various events in the West Central Illinois area. Statistics since 2008 are: