A jam packed weekend celebration of the grass cattle industry in the Flint Hills is set Friday through Sunday.
“The 30th annual Flint Hills Beef Fest is planned August 19-20-21, at Emporia, with activities for everyone in the family to enjoy,” announced Shelly Wiggins, enthusiastic worker and promoter.
Most of festivities are at the Lyon County Fairgrounds, but in reality the entire Emporia community, Lyon County and all of the Flint Hills are involved.
Kickoff, according to Wiggins, will be the Beef Producer Information Seminar Friday morning, Aug. 19, at the Anderson Building on the fairgrounds.
Hosted by WIBW Radio and coordinated by longtime farm director Kelly Lenz, there’ll be a live broadcast of the Ag Roundup Show, as ranchers from throughout the Midwest gather for a complimentary cowboy breakfast at 7:30.
Program gets underway at 8:15, Lenz said, with Tracy Brunner, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association from Ramona, Kansas, as the featured speaker.
Veterinarian Dr. Michael Apley from Kansas State University will discuss how the Food and Drug Administration’s veterinary feed directive affects Flint Hills cattleman
The Beef Fest Barbecue Cook-off starts with check in and inspection Friday morning at 9 o’clock, and judging will be noon Saturday, the 20th. “New this year will be a ground beef contest and a pet palooka parade,” Wiggins said.
Beginning at 6o’clock Friday evening, there be a ranch feed in the Anderson Building before the ranch rodeo, at 7 o’clock, in the nearby fairgrounds arena.
“The top teams that have placed in ranch rodeos from surrounding counties will compete for regional ranch rodeo honors. This year we’ll have a calf scramble open for children,” Wiggins said.
Run for the Brand is the fourth annual 5K, Saturday morning, Aug. 20, with check-in at 7 o’clock at The Orchard, north of Emporia on Highway 99.
“The race, beginning at 8 o’clock, features unconventional ranch obstacles that will be fun for all,” Wiggins said. “It is open to serious runners and those who simply want to have fun. A kids’ stick horse race will follow the competition run.”
All proceeds from the run will benefit the Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK).
A ranch horse competition is Saturday morning at 8 o’clock, in the arena.
“This year’s event is sanctioned by the Mid-West Ranch Horse Association (MRHA),” Wiggins said. “All Flint Hills cowboys are encouraged to enter horses in the competition, with winners eligible for the MRHA Finals.”
A pedal tractor pull has also been planned for Saturday morning, with winners qualifying for state fair competition.
Three Lyon County FFA Chapters will be hosting an Ag Olympics at 11 o’clock. “Teams of five will compete in nine different events,” Wiggins said.
The Flint Hills Beef Fest Junior Ranch Rodeo is Saturday at 1 o’clock.
Saturday evening’s banquet begins at 5:30, with the award’s ceremony recognizing owners of top performing cattle grazing Flint Hills pastures this summer in a traditional Beef Fest competition.
A steak supper is planned, with entertainment by comedy hypnotist Erick Kand. There’ll be a dance following with Zane Williams and Jane McCoy at the Bowyer Building.
“This is an evening you won’t want to miss,” Wiggins assured.
The Flint Hills Beef Fest Gold Tournament is Sunday, Aug. 21, 8:30, at the Emporia Municipal Golf Course.
Information is available on all activities at www.beeffest.com.