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2018 San Benito County Cattlewoman of the Year

Heather Callens awarded annual title at summer barbecue by committee of five previous winners.

This article was contributed by Sally Strohn with San Benito County Cattlewomen's Association.

Heather Callens was named the 2018 San Benito County Cattlewoman of the Year July 28 at the Annual San Benito County Summer BBQ held at the beautiful home of Mike and Tracy Nino.

2012 San Benito County Cattlewoman of the Year Charlotte Cabral and Sharon Hawkins, 2017 San Benito County Cattlewoman of the Year, presented the award. A committee of the past five award recipients chose Heather due to her outstanding commitment and effort as a member of the San Benito County Cattlewomen's Association and her love of the beef industry. 

Heather's Biography: 

Heather Callens has been fortunate to be involved in the cattle industry her entire life. She was born in Coyote, CA to Joe and Yvonne Fields, whose family has ranched in the Santa Clara Valley since the early 1900’s. While ranching in an area of the state that has increasingly become more urban poses particular challenges, Heather’s mom, brother, and his family continue to ranch in Santa Clara County today. Her brother, Justin Fields, currently serves as president of the Santa Clara County Cattlemen’s Association. 

After graduating from Live Oak High School, Heather attended UC Davis where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. This degree has served her well as she has worked for American AgCredit for the past 24 years providing loans to farmers and ranchers. She is thankful every day to be able to work with customers and co-workers who share the same values rooted in agriculture. 

While at college, Heather purchased a horse from George Callens. His son Ed called a few months later to see if the horse was working out for her, and the rest is history. Heather moved to the Callens Ranch in Paicines in 1993 when she married Ed. Ed and Heather lease the ranch from the Callens family and run a commercial cow-calf operation. While her full-time job keeps her family busy, she enjoys helping Ed on the weekends. 

When Heather moved to San Benito County, her first job was with the local ASCA Office, now known as the Farm Service Agency. She was welcomed by many of the ranching families and encouraged to join the cattlewomen's association. However, it wasn't until she joined the board of directors several years ago that she really became involved in many of the events the group puts on. Heather currently serves as vice president and is active in the Membership, Bylaws, Scholarship, Fair Livestock Judging, and Farm Day committees. In bygone days, Heather worked on the Fair Food Booth with Beverly Tobias. She said it's pleasure to work to promote the livestock industry along with such amazing women and is honored to receive this award. She is in good company as she follows in the footsteps of both her mother and mother-in-law, who received Cowbelle of the Year awards from their respective county units. 

The San Benito County Cattlewoman's Association is a local association dedicated to promoting the cattle industry and beef through educational and social activities. Be sure to find us on Facebook to keep with the latest beef news, beef inspired recipes and other industry news. 



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