2022 Cattle U & Trade Show details announced; 6666 Ranch manager and Hank the Cowdog author to headline event

High Plains Journal’s Cattle U & Trade Show will return for its fourth year and will be held Aug. 4 to 5 at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas.

The event will also coincide with the dates of Dodge City Days and the Dodge City Round Up Rodeo, making it the perfect week of cattle education by day and western entertainment by night. Cattle U will consist of two days of informative breakout sessions, panel discussions, a cannot-miss keynote speaker, an appearance by a noted cowboy author, and a tradeshow, which includes a diverse group of exhibitors.

HPJ is proud to announce that Joe Leathers, general manager of the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, will be the keynote speaker for the 2022 Cattle U event. Leathers, who was promoted to his position in 2008, has worked for the 142,000-acre ranch for 20 years and in that time has accrued a valuable knowledge of ranching and the beef industry.

Leathers serves as a Texas Animal Health commissioner representing equines; director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; serves as an executive committee member of the National Ranching Heritage Association; has represented the 6666 Ranch as the Environmental Stewardship Award winner for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Region IV and is the co-chair of the Producer’s Council for the Cattle Traceability Working Group.

His keynote speech, titled "Controlling our own destiny," is scheduled for the afternoon of Aug. 4 and will address the current state of the cattle industry and how producers can tackle the issues that are at animal agriculture’s door and the importance of preserving the ranching way of life for future generations.

Additionally, John R. Erickson, author of the "Hank the Cowdog" book series, will appear at Cattle U on Aug. 4. Families are encouraged to attend the meet and greet, autograph signing and story time when he will read a selection from one of his books. Erickson, a native of Perryton, Texas, will have copies of his new book available for purchase at the event.

Panels and Cattle U awards

The year’s event will include several panel discussions. Always a highlight of the event, the cattle marketing panel will be returning with some familiar faces. This year’s panel will feature Corbitt Wall, commercial cattle manager and livestock market analyst at DV Auction from Canyon, Texas; John Campbell who has worked as a field representative, auctioneer, general manager and order buyer for Winter Livestock in La Junta, Colorado, for 41 years; Kelli Payne, fifth-generation cow-calf producer and first woman president of the Oklahoma National Stockyards; and Steve Stratford, assistant manager at Pratt Livestock in Pratt, Kansas, and manager at Stratford Angus. Additionally, this year’s event will include a women’s panel and a livestock producer panel. Announcements for these panelists will be made at a later date.

For the second year, HPJ will present the Cattle U awards at the event, including heritage ranch of the year, cattlewoman of the year, and cattleman of the year. High Plains Journal encourages readers and attendees to nominate their picks for these awards at www.cattleu.net/awards-nominations/. The deadline for nominations is June 1. Winners will be notified in advance and will receive free registration and lodging to attend Cattle U and receive recognition during the awards ceremony.

Educational breakout sessions

The team at High Plains Journal strives to provide a comprehensive range of educational breakout sessions providing producers with information that applies to all types of operations. Throughout the two-day event, attendees will hear breakout session presentations that will apply to cow-calf, stocker, seedstock and dairy operations.

With drought conditions being a major concern right now, Karla Wilke, cow-calf and stocker management specialist at the University of Nebraska, will present options for managing cows through drought. Addressing another hot topic, Clinton Laflin, a livestock Extension agent with Kansas State Research and Extension and wildfire survivor, will give a breakout session on his experience living through the Four County Fire in December 2021. He will explain what producers can do to prevent wildfires and recover after a fire has impacted their farm or ranch.

Other breakout sessions will examine traceability, stocker cattle genetics, the beef on dairy trend, raising organic beef, alfalfa forage, animal health and alternative feedstuffs for rations. To learn more about the speakers, tradeshow or to register, visit www.cattleu.net. Early bird registration is $75 a person, and will open April 4 to May 24. Regular registration price starting May 25 will be $100 per person. Additional tickets for students or spouses are $50. Updated information will be communicated via the Cattle U website, and High Plains Journal in print and online at www.hpj.com.

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].