Watsons named Cattleman of the Year
By Carrie A. Mizell
Phillip and Susan Watson were recognized Monday evening as Gilchrist County’s Outstanding Cattleman of the Year.
The Watsons utilize Best Management Practices on their farm, which is located on County Road 337 southeast of Trenton in what many people know as the Willey Watson homeplace. According to Marvin Weaver, who presented the top award of the evening, Phillip and Susan have a herd of 300 momma cows.
“Phillip grew up in the flatwoods on a vegetable and row crop farm,” Weaver said. “Over the years he converted the land to pasture and cattle. He started with mixed breeds and for the past 11 years has crossed with Brangus bulls.”
According to Weaver, the Watsons have their own farm in addition to renting land for their cattle.
“Phillip told me cattle has its ups and downs and mostly down at this time, but he says you can always convert to cash if needed,” Weaver said.
Cattlemen’s President Jim Jones presents a plaque to Cattleman of the Year recipients
Phillip and Susan Watson.
Youth were also recognized at the Gilchrist County Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting, which was held at Trenton Elementary School’s Cafetorium. This year the Cattlemen continued an annual tradition of presenting a plaque to the best home grown fat steer and the best home grown feeder steer in the county. Fourteen-year-old Lyndsay Boland accepted the 2009 fat steer award. A member of Trenton Jr. FFA, Lyndsay showed the reserve grand champion fat steer at the Suwannee River Fair in March. The steer was bred and raised on the family farm. It gained 3.10 pounds per day and placed first in the fair’s carcass contest. Lyndsay is the daughter of Roger and Cheryl Boland of Bell.
The feeder steer award was presented to Santa Fe 4-H Club member Reese Rankin, 9. The son of Rob and Natalie Rankin of Bell, Reese also showed a calf that was raised on the family farm.
“Reese’s father said many times in the past that he couldn’t make any money in cattle and he was going to sell his cows,” Weaver said. “I see he has hung in and now his calves have done good.”
Gilchrist County Cattlemen’s Association President Jim Jones presented plaques to
homegrown steer award winners Reese Rankin and Lyndsay Boland.
Each year the Cattlemen award $25 to each boy and girl from Gilchrist County who shows a steer at the annual fair.
Local youth who received $25 from the Cattlmen’s Association for showing steers at the fair are shown
left to right: Jared Thomas, Reese Rankin, Bruce Thomas Jr., Branden Thomas, Cattlemen’s President Jim Jones, Raychel Thomas, Lyndsay Boland, Jaycee Thomas and Selena Thomas.
During the new business portion of the meeting, a slate of officers for the upcoming year were elected. Johnny Taylor – State Director, Jim Jones – President, Wilbur Bush – Treasurer and Director, Ben Colson – Director, John Rance Thomas – Director, Charles Bryant – Director and Jerry Wright – Director.
After enjoying a steak dinner and a plethora of homemade desserts prior to the start of the business meeting, guests left the annual meeting content and ever faithful to Gilchrist County’s Cattlemen.