It’s hard to remember when Barb Weber wasn’t a Cowbelle/CattleWoman. She and her husband, Don, began ranching in 1962 in Columbia County and while there she joined the county, state and national Cowbelles. In 1966 they purchased land and began a beef operation in partnership with John Harding in the Fairview area northeast of Ellensburg. She joined the Kittitas County Cowbelles that year. In 1994, Don and Barbara were honored as Kittitas County Cattlemen of the Year.
Barb co-chaired, with the late Barb Elkington, the National Beef Cook-off recipe contest in 1990 which was held in Bellevue, WA. Hosted by the Washington State CattleWomen, representatives from each state sent contestants to the big event.
A vital force at all levels of the CattleWomen, Barb has worked on and chaired numerous committees and held offices at both the county and state levels, acting as President of the Kittitas County CattleWomen in 1985 and again in 1994-1995. She has been the county Treasurer for at least 20 years.
Beginning in 2010, Barb and Don have slowly phased out of the cattle operation, but continue to raise a small, manageable herd.
To recognize her years of service and dedication to the county, state and national Cattlewomen’s organizations, Barb was awarded the Washington State CattleWoman of the Year in 2012. To say she is dedicated to the beef ranching industry and community would be an understatement. To say she believes in the importance of the beef cattle industry and the ranching families throughout the nation would be an understatement and we are lucky to have her in Washington State.
Jean Berney was 10 years old when she started in 4-H. As a youngster she was involved in 4-H foods and baking projects. She attended the 4-H Teen Conference at WSU and was honored as WSU Outstanding 4-H Girl. In 2012 the Washington State Extension presented Jean the Washington State 4-H Leader 50-Year Ruby Recognition Award and she is still involved in 4-H in Okanogan County.
Jean and Buzz were married in 1957 and moved to north-central Washington to begin family ranching on a place which was originally started by Buzz’s parents.
In 1963, after obtaining 900 acres of rangeland on the Colville Indian Reservation, Jean began her cattle herd. She became a member of the Okanogan County CowBelles in the early 1970s and a sustaining member of the American National CattleWomen.
In 1984 Jean was recognized as Okanogan County 4-H Leader of the Year and was one of three 4-H leaders from Okanogan County who were honored for 100 Years 4-H Leader Recognition.
An active member and leader at the county level, Jean served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the committee for the National Beef Cook-Off and represented ANCW on several committees including Joint Public Relations, Nutrition and Health, and Industry Communications.
In 2003, Jean was awarded the American National CattleWomen’s Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year. She and Buzz have worked with county, State and federal agencies and non-governmental groups to increase their productivity in animals, forage and timber.
At present, Jean is President of the Okanogan County CattleWomen. The young people of Okanogan County involved in 4-H are fortunate to have Jean in their corner as are the CattleWomen of Washington State.