The Routt County CattleWomen have been giving out agriculture scholarships for more than 23 years. The first two scholarships were given out in 1986 and were for $250. Since that time, the amounts have increased, and so have the number of recipients.
The CattleWomen raise money for the scholarships through private donations and through annual fundraising. The first fundraiser was selling raffle tickets for a four-wheeler that was provided, at cost, from Arctic Cat of Steamboat. Since that time, members of Routt County CattleWomen have spent the winter months getting together and sewing pot holders, aprons and large purses made from donated pairs of old jeans.
The CattleWomen have a cookout at Ace at the Curve every June and put on a lunch of beef, veggies, pies and more to feed the public. The food is generously donated by Steamboat Smokehouse, and the space and prizes are donated by Ace.
The CattleWomen spent hours working on a quilt embroidered with local cattle brands. The quilt was raffled off, and the women are making another one that will available sometime in 2010. They also sell T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, as well as beef rib back scratchers, with all the money going to the scholarship fund.
To receive a scholarship from the CattleWomen, a recipient must be from a cattle-producing family or pursuing a degree related to the beef industry. Scholarships are available to graduating high school students and students already in college. Applications are due each spring, and an interview is required.
This year, Sarajane Rossi, Kimberly Rossi, Kendra Parker and Mitch Doolin received CattleWomen scholarships. The Continuing Education Scholarships were given to Mariah Doolin, Bryan Luark, Emily Hallenbeck and Glenda Long.
For more information about how to apply for a scholarship, buy CattleWomen items or shirts, or to become an active member of Routt County CattleWomen, call Laurie Hallenbeck at 276-4152, Mary Kay Monger at 879-1663 or Michelle McKee at 879-2105. Interested residents also can visit www.routtcountycattlewomen.com.