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Lucy Bowers installed as parliamentarian of Florida CattleWomen

After being installed as FCW parliamentarian June 16 in Marco Island, Lucy Bowers, center, sits on the dias with Deborah Whaley, left, and Rhonda Waters. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

MARCO ISLAND — Lucy Bowers, who has spent a lifetime around cattle in her family’s pasture on the Brighton Reservation, has a new leadership position within the state’s cattle industry. She was installed as parliamentarian on the executive board of the Florida CattleWomen Inc. (FCW) at its annual meeting June 16 in Marco Island.

Bowers is the first tribal member from the Seminole Tribe to serve on the FCW executive board. Her role as parliamentarian is to keep meetings orderly and on track by following Robert’s Rules of Order. She also serves in an advisory capacity to the FCW president and is on the board of directors and two committees.

The executive board post is a four-year commitment to the organization, which will conclude with Bowers serving as president in 2026. She joined FCW in 2017 because she wanted to learn more about what goes on beyond the boundaries of the pasture.

“They were very welcoming and willing to share their knowledge with me,” she wrote in an email to the Tribune. “I immediately gained a new perspective within the beef industry. … I am honored that FCW has acknowledged my efforts and have asked me to step up to be a part of leading their mission in promoting the beef industry.”

The primary goals of the FCW are to promote beef consumption, educate the public about the beef industry’s environmental and animal welfare practices, promote legislative awareness and educate the organization’s membership and youth.

Bowers comes from a long line of cattlewomen and cattlemen, starting with her grandparents. Her grandmother Ada Pearce, who was actually her aunt and the sister of her grandmother Annie Pearce Bowers, who died young, was one of the first Seminole cattlewomen in the 1950s.

Bowers’ mother Elsie Bowers and her siblings Mildred Bowers, Martha Jones, Gladys Bratcher, Lorene Gopher and Andrew J. Bowers Jr. inherited her grandfather Andrew J. Bowers Sr.’s herd in the late 1970s.

“I have lots of fond memories of being in the pastures as a child watching our family work the herd, whether it was marking calves, vaccinating or branding,” Bowers wrote. “As I grew older, my brother (Marvin Bowers) and I became part of the work crew. Although I lived in Tennessee for 17 years, I was always excited to help work our cows whenever I came home.”

Today both Bowers siblings help their uncle, former Brighton Councilman Andrew J. Bowers Jr., maintain the family herd.

In 2018, Bowers pioneered the re-establishment of Florida Seminole CattleWomen Inc. (FSCW) with the help of the FCW. FSCW is an affiliate of the American National CattleWomen (ANCW). It has 29 members, of which 27 are also members of the FCW and 20 are members of the ANCW.

FSCW has been on a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, but Bowers is working to revive membership.

“I plan to use this organization to promote the beef industry locally and share what it is we do right here within the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc.,” she wrote. “I am also encouraging our membership to seek opportunities to get involved on the state and national levels, as networking is a valuable tool to bring our story of the Seminole Tribe’s cattle operation to light.”

A group of tribal members attended the FCW meeting to support Bowers, including her mother, Elsie Bowers, her aunt, Martha Jones, Naomi Wilson, Pauletta Bowers, Connie Whidden, Michele Thomas, Kay Braswell, Jade Osceola and Dinorah Johns.

“I feel real good about this,” Jones said. “She’s a hard worker and I hope she continues on and represents the Seminole Tribe.” “She brought us all in and it’s good to support her,” Pauletta Bowers said. “She’s done a lot already and brought a lot of leadership. She’s steering the ship the right way.”

Bowers’ mother was proud that her daughter became part of the leadership of FCW.

“I’m glad for her, she will do whatever needs to be done,” Elsie Bowers said. “It means a lot that she represents the tribe. She is a leader and has always been that way. No matter how hard things get, she will just do it.”

In her own words

After being installed as parliamentarian, Bowers shared her thoughts on social media.

“A journey that began five years ago, all because I was curious about the beef industry outside of the pasture boundaries. I consider myself to be an introvert, so joining the Florida CattleWomen (FCW) was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone on so many levels.

“What I found was a group of strong-willed ladies who are very passionate and dedicated to giving their time toward promoting beef and were willing to share their knowledge with me.

“I did not expect a ‘seat at the table’ but I am absolutely honored that Florida CattleWomen have asked a shy Florida Seminole girl to step up and assist with leading their mission. Yes, your girl has been installed onto the FCW Executive Board as Parliamentarian!

“I look forward to working side by side with you ladies to educate the public about a nutritious product and valuable byproduct that we diligently work on producing every day.”

The official FCW executive board name tag for Lucy Bowers for 2022-2023. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
From left are youth agriculture extension agent Sheri Trent, Pauletta Bowers, Michele Thomas, Connie Whidden, Lucy Bowers, Elsie Bowers, Martha Jones, Naomi Wilson, Kay Braswell, Jade Osceola and Dinorah Johns. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
The Florida CattleWomen executive board, from left are Deborah Whaley, chaplain; Lucy Bowers, parliamentarian; Anna Kirkland, secretary; Eden Yarborough, treasurer; Becky Finley, president-elect; and Holly Newsome, president. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Lucy Bowers, left, with her uncle Andrew J. Bowers Jr., center, and her brother Marvin Bowers. (Photo Amanda Miller)

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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