"CICA is strictly a grassroots driven group,
as we represent private enterprise and the true
cattle growers of Colorado."
Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association (CICA) was started in the front yard of Muddy Valley Ranch June 5, 2005. Local cattleman of the area had gathered together to look into creating a new organization that really represented hard working cattlemen such as themselves. They wanted representation that knew the issues and that worked the land right beside them, truly grass roots. Some members had called for a new organization ten years before in 1995 when another well-known cattleman’s organization had started a land trust, but level headed leaders of the group quelled the talk urging for patience, for they didn’t know how many producers shared their outrage. They didn’t want to completely alienate themselves from the rest of the producers in the state. In 2005 they had heard from over 60 other producers across the state that shared in their outrage and dissatisfaction. That is when CICA came to light. As Kimmi Lewis puts it “June 5, 2005 it was obvious we needed to do positive things for independent cattle growers. INDEPENDENT sticks out in my mind. It was independent cattle growers from all across the state who wanted to make an organization that changed the tide from over paid executives. In the end, the good they were doing was going straight to their personal bank accounts. What sets apart CICA president and directors from CCA is CICA knows the issues. CICA knows the issues because the president and directors are producers themselves that have shed the same blood, sweat and tears as the producers they represent.” Kimmi should know she owns and operates Muddy Valley where CICA was started.
From those humble beginnings CICA has not strayed from its path. Now it is turning 10 years old! It is still a grass roots organization that is volunteer driven. Knowing the issues is still one of the most important assets that our members have. You can address everyone from the president, a director on the board, or a CICA member and all of them can inform and educate the public and other producers on the issues that the beef industry currently faces and possible solutions to these problems. This cannot be said for other well-known cattlemen’s organizations.
Lorene Bonds who currently serves as CICA vice president from Durango Colorado agrees, “It’s through well-grounded understanding of who they represent because they themselves are producers raising cattle and living the ranching life.” That is why CICA was successful in its first ten years and why it will be successful in the next 100. CICA members and leaders are supportive of each other and supportive of the industry. CICA has never slandered or attacked other cattle organizations even in the face of our own compromise.
CICA is here to stay and Will Bledsoe, this year’s president is excited about the future because as he puts it, ”We live and work in an industry that is becoming more complex and regulated by the day, CICA will continue to grow and be recognized for the only state cattleman’s organization that puts the “small” guy first. Fighting for their private property, and their livelihood is where CICA will continue to thrive. The future of this organization, is all about the future generations, and making sure they have a way of life to come home to, for years to come.”
Help us celebrate 10 years by joining us at CICA state convention July 17-18 in La Junta Colorado at inspiration field! Great speakers such as Dr. Mike Coffman private property specialist will be there! Don’t forget about all the outstanding vendors at convention! It all kicks off July 16th with a steak feed and ranch tour where it all began at Muddy Valley! We look forward to seeing you at convention!
Clay Patton CICA Convention Intern