By: Roseanne McKee
Past President of the Washington County CattleWomen, Moni Adcock Heinrich, is Oklahoma’s 2015-16 CattleWoman of the Year. She sat down recently, to share how a desire to expand her circle of friends, led her on a path toward leadership in the CattleWomen’s Association on the county and state level.
Heinrich, who lives near Ramona, was out of state when the Oklahoma CattleWomen’s (OCW) Convention got underway in Oklahoma City last July.
“I was in Arizona. My son was getting ready to leave for Afghanistan, so I missed the OCW Convention. They had called me the day before and told me they were going to do Facetime and introduce me as Secretary to the group. Instead, they awarded me CattleWoman of the year!”
Ddee Haynes, an OCW member and past OCW President and past CattleWoman of the Year, gave Heinrich the good news.
Heinrich was surprised to say the least. “I was in shock. I was so honored to be put in a category of women that I admire, who had mentored me,” she said.
Heinrich explained how her membership in the CattleWomen organization began. She was single when she returned to Oklahoma after living in Arizona, Wyoming, Texas and Utah for three decades, and was looking to expand her circle of friends.
“I joined CattleWomen because my mother and some of my sisters had belonged and I wanted to socialize with these ladies.”
The Washington County CattleWomen, which meets monthly for lunch at various locations around Bartlesville, is much more than a social gathering.
“All of the work of the CattleWomen is volunteer. CattleWomen support the Cattlemen and the beef industry through education and promotion.”
In 2008, Heinrich became the Washington County CattleWomen’s President for a four-year term.
“It was a great learning experience and we had a great board and team to work with. We held an FFA (Future Farmers of America) speech contests, an annual Beef for Father’s day essay contest in the Caney Valley, Copan and Dewey school districts.
“The CattleWomen hold beef recipe demonstrations at the grocery store, Marvin’s, in Dewey at which they hand out beef samples, recipes and cattle industry literature.
“We also have a booth at the Washington County Free Fair with beef industry educational and promotional materials. At the fair, we hold a pie auction fundraiser annually, which local residents look forward each year because the CattleWomen can make pies! I usually make a lemon meringue or a coconut cream.”
After completing her four-year term as President at the county level, Heinrich expanded her volunteerism at the state level. She is currently serving as Secretary of the OCW.
“Some of the OCW projects are the Oklahoma Beef Ambassador Contest for ages nine through undergraduate, which has novice, a junior and senior divisions. This competition includes a media interview and consumer demonstrations,” she explained.
OCW has academic scholarships as well, Heinrich said.
“All of our monies go back to our youth in one way or another. Our monies are geared to support our youth and collegiate CattleWomen.
“One of our biggest fundraisers is the beef tent at the Tulsa State Fair, where the Oklahoma CattleWomen in conjunction with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, sell ribeye sandwiches.
“The Oklahoma CattleWomen usually have a ‘Beef for Heroes’ cook-off and beef cooking demonstration at the annual Home and Garden Show in Oklahoma City.
“The Oklahoma CattleWomen also serve a free beef luncheon in Oklahoma City for Agriculture Day at the Capitol. The luncheon is on the rotunda floor and everything there is ‘Made in Oklahoma,’” Heinrich said.
Heinrich talked about her childhood growing up on a ranch.
“I grew up on the Roy E. Cobbs Ranch east of Ramona. We moved there when I was in the third grade. My dad was a foreman and I’m number nine of 12 children of Elwood and Helen Adcock.
“It was a working ranch and everyone did their part. We all rode and it was a privilege when we helped work cattle and did ranch work. Youngsters helped by pushing cattle through the chutes. Later, when I was old enough, I rode my own horse and gathered cattle,” she said.
Life was simpler then. There were no game systems or cell phones for the Adcock children. “Our playground was the creeks and the woods,” she said.
“My mother always had extras to feed: cowboys and friends. Our house was always a gathering place. My mother has fed more people than the rest of us can imagine and no one ever complained about her cooking. She was known for her homemade bread. She could have a beef lunch for 20 or more on any given day by noon. Growing up, our mainstays were beef, potatoes, biscuits and gravy.”
“We always a big garden of potatoes, green beans, corn, peas, and I have not-fond memories of shelling peas or snapping beans, but I’d give anything to do it with her now,” she said wistfully.
In their later years, they had one of the best strawberry gardens around.
“We were a very close-knit family and the generations to follow are still involved in the cattle and ranching industry.”
In Arizona, Heinrich was a member of Superstition Wilderness Search and Rescue, which responded to requests from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department’s to aid in finding lost and injured hikers. She is also a certified presenter of Hug-a-Tree and Survive, which teaches children how to not get lost and how to stay safe if they become safe in the wilderness. She has educated hundreds of school children over the years in Arizona and Oklahoma.
Heinrich has three children: “Jay Adcock is a ranch manager is Sedan, Kansas, Amber and her husband own a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona and Blake is currently serving in the U.S. Army Special Forces and just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.”
She is married to Richard Heinrich, who is a retired government and history teacher and trick roper. “I performed with him in Wild West Shows and Western entertainment.”
Heinrich said, “I myself am not a cattle producer, but it is an industry that I have a passion for and anyone with that passion is welcome and encouraged to join CattleWomen at the county or state level.”
The Washington County CattleWomen meet on the fourth Monday of the month in Bartlesville. Locations and times may be found on the Washington County CattleWomen’s Facebook page.
The Oklahoma CattleWomen meet quarterly. Locations and times are on the Oklahoma CattleWomen’s Facebook page and at http://www.okcattlewomen.org.