Meet the ranching women of Sierra Valley

Diana Jorgenson
Portola Editor

Soroptimists International of Portola and the Plumas Sierra CattleWomen, two of the oldest organizations for women in the eastern end of the county, will join forces Sept. 11 to present “A Historic and Personal View of the Women in the Sierra Valley.”


The program will be part of an afternoon tea at Vinton Grange Hall, 2 – 4 p.m. There will be finger sandwiches, cookies and refreshments at the event.

Not only an opportunity for the two groups to broaden social networks and meet women from all spectrums on this end of the county, it is also an opportunity for the community to meet them and to learn about the women and their forebears in the ranching community of Sierra Valley.

A number of Sierra Valley women are slated to speak; high on the list is Betty Ramelli. Ramelli will talk about early valley history from the 1850s, when women began to join men in settling the valley and the rise of the one-room schoolhouses.

The earliest settlers were dairy farmers and CattleWoman Elia Miles will talk about them and the change to beef ranching, with a foray into the winemaking talents of early settlers.

Betty Dellera will discuss haying, integral to both dairy and beef, as well as sausage making.

Lacey Maddalena, a young Sierra Valley rancher, will speak from her experience about present-day women in ranching, and Kathleen Goicoechea will bring the history up to date and talk about some of the issues of ranching today and into the future.

While there have been many museum trips and talks about the history of ranching in Sierra Valley, there have been none to emphasize women’s role. This is a unique gathering of hardworking women who will describe their lives and those of their mothers and their grandmothers.

Members of the public, men and women alike, are warmly invited to attend and to dress for the occasion in any way they see fit.

Soroptimists vie to be “women at their best helping women to be their best,” and the CattleWomen are very active in promoting the beef industry and in helping young women pursue their dreams of a ranching life.

This is a fundraiser to help both groups; both provide scholarships to local students in Loyalton and Portola.

Tickets are $20 per person and are available at Plumas Bank, Oregano, High Sierra Books, all in Portola, Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce and Hair House in Blairsden and the Millworks in Graeagle.

For more information, call Shirley Wiggins at 993-4683 or Joan Zurawski at 836-1165.


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