Artist: Mac MacKenzie
Owner: Cowgirl Cattle Company
Charity: Western Heritage Centre
It took exactly five days for the Cowgirl Cattle Company to
establish a blue-chip credit rating at the Cochrane branch of the
On March 30, twin sisters Judy MacKenzie and Jill Richards
marched up to branch manager Jan Austin and launched an unusual
pitch: they needed a fast $5,350 loan on behalf of the CCC.
Why? To buy a fiberglass cow, of course.
At the time, the twins were unknown to Austin. But something
about their story tickled her fancy. She approved the loan and was only
mildly shocked when it was repaid in full (including the $10.16 in
interest) by April 4.
Longtime Cochrane-area ranchers, Judy and Jill had been
captivated by the Udderly Art concept from the start. But they
lacked the ready cash to get in the game.
That's when they dreamed up the Cowgirl Cattle Company, a
consortium of far-flung females with country roots and home
addresses ranging from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Milk
River, Alberta to Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan.
1. No cowboys need apply;
2. Mandatory dues of $100 to finance Brandy;
3. Access to a currently registered brand in the family by birth or by
Once they got a thumbs up on their loan, the twins began working
the phones. Within a day they doubled their original goal of 50
stockholders. Soon after, they cranked the numbers in support of
Brandy beyond 180. She was painted by Judy MacKenzie's husband, Mac,
and dressed up with 100 genuine Southern Alberta cattle brands.
Today, the roster of the Cowgirl Cattle Company reads like a
Southern Alberta Who's Who, including names such as Copithorne (11
members), Cross, Daines, Edge (9 members), Lammle and Harvie.
The newly formed CCC was born to run. Its original objective was
to raise funds for Cochrane's Western Heritage Centre, and with that
goal in the bag, the cowgirls plan to address future causes as they
They've already booked the Centre's boardroom for annual meetings
10 years down the road.
This blue-chip outfit is in for the long haul.
Reprinted with permission from Udderly Art, Colourful Cows for Calgary
by Tom Keyser