Every year, the San Benito County CattleWomen recognize one of their most dedicated and active members of the association. This year’s CattleWoman of the Year award went to Cheri Holiday, a longtime member and advocate for the beef industry. She was recognized at the CattleWomen’s Summer BBQ on Sept. 17 at the Brigantino Barn.
Born and raised in rural San Benito County, Holiday grew up on her family’s cow/calf and stocker cattle operation. As a result, Holiday already had an interest in the beef industry when she was encouraged to join the San Benito County CattleWomen’s Association following early retirement from her job as a 911 dispatcher for San Benito County and Gilroy Police Department.
“It was all people that I’d grown up with and been around all my life,” said Holiday. “Once I retired I got an opportunity to participate back in the community.”
Holiday’s involvement in the CattleWomen has been extensive, serving four years as the association’s historian followed by two years as the secretary. She was then elected president of the county CattleWomen in 2020 and served for two years, navigating the association through the difficulties of the pandemic.
“During those times of uncertainty, it was very difficult to hold the unit together,” said Charlotte Cabral, the current San Benito County CattleWomen’s president. “With Cheri’s efforts, they were able to accomplish several projects.”
Holiday has successfully chaired the CattleWomen’s annual Pedro Party and has been an integral part of various association functions. Last year, she and her committee worked with the San Benito County Cattlemen’s Association to put on the annual dinner dance, marking the first year that the associations hosted the event together.
“It had previously been held by the Cattlemen only,” said Cabral. “This was our first year and a very successful event. We served over 500 dinners and had a super auction.”
Holiday’s continued involvement in the association stemmed from her dedication to the beef industry and the people in it.
“I really enjoyed being part of the community and I’m actually promoting something that I really believe in,” she said.
The San Benito County CattleWomen’s Association provides an opportunity for women who are members and supporters of the cattle industry to form connections within the county while seeking to bridge the information gap between beef producers and consumers. The association advocates for cattle ranchers, supports agriculture opportunities in the classroom, and helps youth in the beef industry by offering scholarships and add-ons at the fair’s Junior Livestock Auction.
“We try to do something every year to promote the beef industry,” said Holiday. “To keep our industry alive we have to work together.”
Representative of the association’s most dedicated members, Holiday is grateful to have her name added to that list.
“I am extremely honored. I am in the company of people that I respect and that I idolize,” she said. “The women that have gone before me are awesome. They really know the beef industry and want to promote it.”
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