Flint Hills are tall grass prairie with sole financial purpose for grazing cattle to increase weight producing delicious dinnertime beef.
That was brainchild premise for the Flint Hills Beef Fest already 33 years ago. It was to be recognition of just how economically important those Flint Hills are to the state and nation.
Such was accomplished likely beyond initial imagination as the Flint Hills Beef Fest has become a most popular regional attraction.
With all of the added festivities, heart of the affair is still grazing cattle in the Flint Hills. Thus those who select cattle, look after them and reap financial reward must be honored for their talents.
“Thirty seven pens of steers and 34 pens of heifers in the grass futurity and grandstand show,” announced Joan Olson.
As president of the Flint Hills Beef Fest, Olson assisted in awards presentations by 580 WIBW farm director Greg Akagi.
At the Emporia banquet, Akagi said, “Cattle were weighed April 29, for summer grazing at the Highland Ranch southwest of Olpe. Gathered off grass August 22, there were 211 head over the scales at Emporia Livestock Sales.”
According to Akagi, “This summer provided many challenges with early cool excessive moisture and high temperatures and humidity later on.”
All of the cattle were shipped to the Finney County Feed Yard, Garden City, after the live show Friday morning. “The Flint Hills Beef Fest rotates cattle to sponsoring feedlots for that portion of the competition,” Olson pointed out.
Winner of the Beef Fest Grand Steer Award was Pen 84, entered by G&J Meats Farm and Ranch of LeRoy. Gary and Judy Meats received a plaque, buckle and $500 check for their cattle’s combined grass futurity and show scores.
The G&J entry was first in the live stocker show worth a first place check for $700. The steers gained 2.26 pounds a day to be second in the grass futurity and get $450 in prize money.
Arndt Farms, operated by Michael and Steven Arndt of Emporia, collected the Beef Fest Grand Heifer Award. They also received $500 plus a plaque and buckle and for combined competition accomplishments of their Pen 32.
Arndt Farms’ heifers topped their grass futurity division gaining 2.645 pounds a day worth $700. Those heifers were also selected for third place in the live stocker show getting a $300 payback.
Matt and Julia Anderson, Anderson Ranch, Alma, received $700 for their top futurity steers, Pen 52, gaining 2.357 pounds daily.
First place live stocker show heifers, Pen 16, were entered by the Haun Ranch, Brad and Michelle Haun, Fall River, who received $700.
Fourth place in each division got $150, and fifth place received $125, with nearly $8,000 awarded in all of the competitions.
Additional futurity steers placings: Putman Farm, Emporia, 2.076 pounds; Meats Farms, LeRoy, 2.023 pounds; Ryan Louie and Parker Meats, LeRoy, 1.923 pounds.
Heifer futurity rankings following Arndt: Loomis Ranch, Council Grove, 2.547 pounds; Spring Creek Ranch, Cassoday, 2.477 pounds; Haun Ranch, 2.463 pounds; Harry and Joan Fowler, Emporia, 2.413 pounds.
Stocker show steer additional ratings: Darbyshire Farms, Hartford; Anderson Ranch; Darbyshire Farms; Wes Cahoone and Lee Glanville, Cottonwood Falls.
After Haun, heifer show winners: Spring Creek Ranch, Cassoday; Arndt Farms; Loomis Ranch; Miller Ranch, Olpe.
Jeff Davidson, Eureka, won the grandstand steer judging, and Matt Anderson topped the heifer grandstand competition.
Julia Andersons won the heifer weight guessing, and Lyle Williams, Waverly, had the best guess of steer weight.
Receiving saddles for Lonesome Pine winning the ranch rodeo were Bud and Troy Higgs, Travis Duncan and Beau Krueger.
Awards as the Top Hand and rider of the Top Horse also went to Krueger.
Second through fourth in rodeo team placings were Scribner Ranch, Latham Cattle Company, and West Ranch.