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 Capital Press 4/7/06

Livestock Men of the Year awards announced

Julia Hollister
Freelance Writer

April 7, 2006

An agricultural science teacher and a fourth generation rancher each received the prestigious Livestock Man of the Year award at the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco this week.

Jim Coelho of Fremont received the 2005 award and Mike Byrne of Tulelake (Siskiyou County) received the 2006 honor.

“The award began in 1952,” said Walter Haub, CEO of the Cow Palace in San Francisco. “The selection committee is made up of past recipients and candidates are nominated by former Livestock Man of the Year winners.”

The two years’ awards were combined because there was no Grand National Rodeo last year.

Coelho and Byrne will each receive a silver tray and their pictures will be placed in the Cow Palace’s Hall of Fame. The 61st annual Grand National Rodeo runs through April 15.

Born in San Jose, Coelho was raised on a small, diversified crop and livestock ranch. He later attended the University of California-Davis, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and Cal State Hayward. He taught agricultural sciences and agricultural business management at Livermore High School and Chabot College for more than 25 years before retiring from teaching in the 1908s.

His entry into the beef cattle business began in the 1960s and the operation expanded into commercial cow-calf and stocker operations in the 70s. He purchased irrigated pasture and cow-crop ranches in the Dixon-Davis areas as his operation continued to grow.

Coelho is a member of the Alameda County Fair board of directors and has had leadership roles in the Alameda County Farm Bureau, the Sierra Bay Credit Union and the Alameda-Contra Costa County Cattlemen’s Association.

He is also the past chairman of Cattle-Fax, the national market organization for cattlemen.

“It is his years of dedication to the teaching profession that has the most affect on so many young people who have shown in junior livestock shows and went on to career in this vital industry,” the award stated.

Byrne is a fourth generation cattle rancher who manages a family commercial cow-calf operation in the Klamath Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon on the same lands the family has grazed for over 175 years.

He has been recognized for his significant communication, outreach and leadership effort to conserving the basin area.

He lobbies in Washington D.C. and on state and local levels on issues that he feels are critical to the livestock industry and western lifestyle.

For his work in resolving water and endangered species issues in the Klamath Basin, Byrne received the “2004 Excellence in Conservation Award” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service.




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