Sometimes a tip of the hat and job-well-done recognition goes a long ways. The Kittitas County Cattlemen’s Association named Mark Charlton of Charlton Farms as the 2020 Cattleman of the Year at the annual banquet.

The association also presented Tim Case with the Young Cattleman of the Year award. The 2020 Kittitas County Cattlewoman of the Year was CL Clarke

An estimated 300 friends and family around cattle country got together and handed out some awards and joined together to celebrate a way of life important to Kittitas County.

“Mark’s not only active in the association at the county level, but also at the state level. He’s been really active in going Olympia and fighting for the interests of the ranchers and farmers of Eastern Washington,” said banquet organizer Andrew Clarke, who was named Young Cattleman of the Year in 2018.

“I believe he’s the president of the Farm Bureau, so he’s always on the cutting edge, doing different things with his herds and keeping up on different laws the state is trying to pass on public land grazing. He’s been a real active member not just at the county level, but at the state level and we recognize that.”

The night was also a time to recognize the efforts of Chloe Weidenbaugh, whose behind-the-scenes work is instrumental to an organization not only active in ranching, but agriculture in general.

“Chloe was recognized with the Cattlemen’s Appreciation Award for all she does,” Clarke said. “They recognized her for her years of dedication. Whenever there’s a need for community outreach type thing or serving food at different events, Chloe is always there.

“She’s done so much hard work for the county over the years and it was time to recognize her for all she does.”

Supporting the western way of life and agribusiness interests in Kittitas County is just part of what the Kittitas County Cattlemen’s and CattleWomen’s Associations do. They will be active in the 2020 Washington state legislative sessions as well as at the national level, Clarke said.

“It’’s a constant battle because the people on the other side of the state where the population is doesn’t understand what we go through over here or agriculture in general. So it’s the Cattlemen’s Association job to go over and explain the issues important to the east side of the state,” he said. “We play a pretty important role in educating people at the state and county level. The money we get from our auctions, we donate it back to the 4-H and FFA. We also use it to help get our representatives to Olympia and Washington D.C. to make sure agriculture is sustainable for years to come, to keep it profitable and possible.”

It was a chance to enjoy a nice meal and get together one more time before calving season gets going.

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