Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

The spring meeting of New Mexico Cowbelles brought ranch women from all over the state to Silver City on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The meeting addressed items of interest to women who own and manage ranches, as well as those who support them. Nancy Phelps, state president-elect, said she is working with the New Mexico Beef Council to get the beef promotions back under the umbrella of Cowbelles.

It was also announced that for those Cowbelles organizations, which were having trouble hanging onto and storing many years-worth of scrapbooks and memorabilia, that the New Mexico Ranch and Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has agreed to keep them and display them.

The summer state conference will take place in Ruidoso, and everyone was invited to attend to take part in the workshops and activities, including a 5K walk.

Cowbelle Jeannette Hamilton brought to the attention of members, the problems with trucking requirements being set in place. Now any loaded trailer, including livestock trailers moving cattle from one area to another or headed with horses to a rodeo, weighing more than 26,000 pounds, requires a commercial licensed driver, and in some cases, two CDL-certified drivers.

She said: "Class E non commercial driver's license will allow us to haul over 26,001 pounds, as long as we're not sponsored by any corporation."

"In the old days, trailers weren't as heavy," Hamilton said. "Nowadays, they are heavier and safer. The larger trucks over the limit also are required to have costly electronic logging devices installed. This regulation doesn't work for produce and livestock. It also requires that no truck may be driven more than 11 hours maximum in a row. It then has to rest for 10 hours. It wasn't thought out for private owners. If you are headed to a rodeo, you can't stop and rest the truck loaded with horses for 10 hours. They would be stressed."

She told the Cowbelles to be aware that, as of March 17, the comments portion of the regulation received a 90-day extension before being fully implemented. Hamilton noted that more than 30 Congressional members support increasing the limit to 45,000 or 50,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for such trucks. "It should affect only 18-wheelers. If it goes into effect, it will kill the livestock industry and small mom-and-pop operations. Make noise and get heard. In another insanity, it doesn't apply to those massive motorhomes you see on the road. The Department of Transportation is already pulling people over. Class E non-commercial vehicles can get huge fines and even prison time. It's affecting rodeos, especially if a rider or riders are sponsored. It is plastered on the trailers and the police pull them over. If you're not being paid to go to the rodeo and not sponsored, you should be OK. We hope the ELD (electronic logging device) gets killed for agriculture, too. Every state has different rules, so you have to comply with whatever state you're driving in."

The Cowbelles are in the process of developing a Marketplace, an online business directory for Cowbelle members who have skills they want to promote to market ranching and to support one another. Vice President Charity Underwood encouraged members to join up and share their talents.

Casey Spradley, treasurer, presented several of the items on the agenda, in the absence of the president, Ashley Ivins. Spradley also said the organization is looking for a treasurer, as she plans to go back to work. She will be available to help the next treasurer.

Attendees, in small groups, created Beef Promotion posters for use during June, which is Beef Promotion Month.

Entertainment during lunch was provided by Jericho.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a simpler option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.