Beef Empire Days set June 2 to 11

The 55th Annual Beef Empire Days will celebrate the beef industry with a number of events in Garden City, Kansas, June 2 to 11. There’s something for everyone during the event that will help honor tradition during the 10-day span, which features a ranch rodeo, carnival, live and carcass show and parade.

The ranch rodeo kicks off June 2, sponsored by Specialty Risk Insurance at the Finney County Fairgrounds Arena. The ranch rodeo includes the events of doctoring, mugging and penning—incorporating those skills traditional working cowboys use every day in cattle ranching operations. This is considered to be a team event, not an individual competition, with each team consisting of three members.

The first weekend, June 3 and 4, will feature the Sunflower Showdown Livestock Show for 4-H and FFA students and their beef, goat, sheep or swine livestock projects. There will be a Grill Master Cook-off in Stevens Park, along with the Western State Bank Beef Beer and Boots event on June 3.

The Feedlot Roping and Barrel Race will start at 10 a.m. on June 4 at the Finney County Fairgrounds arena. Those eligible must be an employee at a feedyard, a Beef Empire Days sponsor, or a spouse or dependent of an employee. The 4D barrel race will have prizes for each D and buckles for the fastest times of the feedyard, sponsor and youth divisions. Contestants can enter on multiple horses. The open feedyard team roping will award a saddle for the high money roper and other buckles and prizes will be given. A No. 13 team roping will award another saddle for high money roper as well as buckles and other prizes. Entry information can be found on the Beef Empire Days website at Feedyard contestants must pre-enter and be paid for by the feed yard. Sponsor entries can be done ahead of time or the day of with cash only.

The Merck Animal Health Live Show will start at 9 a.m., June 6 at the Finney County Fairgrounds Arena. This event emphasizes the economic aspects of commercial cattle feeding that is so important to the area. All participating cattle must come from yards who sponsor Beef Empire Days. Judging this year’s live show contest is Kelly Bruns. Bruns grew up on a diversified livestock and cropping operation near Grand Island, Nebraska. He was a professor of animal science at South Dakota State for 18 years. For 10 years he coached the livestock judging and meat animal evaluation team.

During that time, he coached three national champion meat animal evaluation teams. In 2014, he accepted a position at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, Nebraska, where he serves as director of the research and Extension operations.

Also, during the live show there will be a Public Pick 5 Contest open to men, women, and youth. Each person will pick five head during the live steer show that he or she believes will be the top placers in the Beef Empire Days index during the carcass show. Cost is $10 per person to enter the day of the show. Following the live judging and contests there will be a steak cookout sponsored by Scoular Grain at the fairgrounds Grandstand Plaza.

The Cattle Working Contest Finals will be held June 8 at Deseret Cattle Feeders. Preliminary rounds will determine who will compete at the finals.

On June 9, the Tyson Carcass Show will take place at the Tyson Processing Plant. For steers and heifers, ideal carcass weights range from 750 to 1,050 pounds, while the ribeye area should be in the 13.8- to 17.5-square inch range. Ideal backfat thickness for both steers and heifer carcasses will be anywhere from 0.28 to 0.39 inches. Those cattle that are Average, Choice, or better will be awarded a bonus, while those that areHigh Select or better can place in the carcass show. Judging this year’s carcass show will be Clint Alexander who serves as a professor of animal and food science at Garden City Community College. He also serves as the head coach of the meat judging team and the director of the GCCC Meat Lab, Buster Red Meats. Alexander leads one of the largest online food science and safety programs in the United States, meeting the needs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service.

The live and carcass show awards will be given out June 9 at 6 p.m., at the Beef Empire Days Awards Dinner, sponsored by American AgCredit and Zoetis with meat provided by Tyson at the Clarion Inn, Garden City. Tickets are available by contacting the Beef Empire Days office. The featured speaker will be Mitch Holthus.

The overall grand champion carcass award will be given by Tyson and this award consists of two bronzes, given annually to the feed yard and the owner of the overall grand champion carcass winner. This animal may be a steer or a heifer. Grand champion steer and heifer will be awarded $1,000 each. Grand champions will be determined from the combination of live and carcass placings in the steer and heifer divisions. To be eligible for the grand champion award, an entry must place in both the live and carcass Shows. Steer and heifer champions will be awarded $500 each. A total of $10,800 will be awarded.

The final events of Beef Empire Days include the parade and chuckwagon on June 10 and the Cattle Crawl on June 11.

For more information about Beef Empire Days visit

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].