Kansas Cattle Drive

(Darren Busick) I’m Darren Busick, I’m the Ag Agent here in Reno County with K-State Extension. And today we’re having the Kansas Cattle Drive. Several months ago with our Reno County Cattlemen’s Association, we had an idea brought to us by Jeff Smith that he knew that they did it in Valentine where they line bulls up on Main Street and help producers advertise and sell bulls. (Jeff Smith) In Valentine, Nebraska, they all line Main Street one day out of the year with 50 pens and producers bring bulls from as far away as Wyoming and South Dakota to it and it’s a pretty big deal up there. And I started thinking, well why can’t we do that down here for the smaller producers? (Darren) And so we thought that might be a good deal here in central Kansas. And so we started our own. We called it the Kansas Cattle Drive and we went ahead and put our own twist to it by adding a trade show where we have about 35 to 40 booths inside. And then we also brought ranchers from all across the state. They brought heifers, and cow/calf pairs and bulls. (John McCurry) We’re most excited the weather is absolutely incredible, great sunshine supposed to be in the low 70s and not much wind. We got a great crowd, a diverse crowd here today, both the city people and producers looking to purchase or be interested in seed stock. There’s about 25 or 30 seed stock operations here with cattle on display today. (Darren) My main thing was to be able to promote production sales and also those smaller guys that may raise 15 bulls to 20 bulls a year they need to be able to advertise on a level playing field. (John) I think one of the most important things about this event is just simply ag education. I think at this particular event we’re meshing both producers and city, urban folk together. Being completely transparent with what we do on our operations, I think both promoting seed stock, but why we do what we do on a daily basis. There’s all sorts of promotional material the different producers have brought from different perspectives of what we do. I think that’s the number one goal in mind here. (Jeff) We took it from just being a place for producers like myself to bring a few bulls to put on display to Darren grew it to having informational meetings for both consumers and producers, And there’s a small trade show inside, and there‚Äôs also sponsors that have got Main Street lined with some of their products. It outgrew my expectations in a hurry. And Mother Nature even cooperated this year giving us beautiful weather for it. (Darren) Something I’m really excited about is right now I can hear kids in the background and seeing these kids that don’t see animals on a daily basis, that aren’t out on the farm and they’re gonna figure out what these cows are for and that they’re here for us to eat. And they understand some of the agriculture side of things that they’ve never seen before. And so they’re seeing it right here in their town. (Jeff) In reality actually I was talking to a friend earlier and I told him, I said you know if I don’t sell one bull today, but I make a consumer understand the beef market and beef itself better than they already knew about it, then I consider today a rousing success. Because if we don’t have consumers eating our product, why are we raising the product? So the education aspect of this day, is probably much more important than if I sell a bull or not. (Darren) One thing that we’ve done with the city of Buhler, they’ve been just more than helpful and more than on board with this. They just have really helped us and we put sand down on the streets and we have cows and pens banging at five in the morning. And the neighbors have loved it. Companies downtown and the restaurants and stuff have really liked it. And we love to work with them and look forward to the future with them, with the Kansas Cattle Drive. (John) I’ve been in the cattle business all my life. I was born a fourth generation and my daughters are now the fifth generation Angus seed stock producers. Cattle are just my life. I don’t know anything different I guess. It’s what I get up everyday and want to do. I don’t go to work. It’s what I want to do and it’s what I love, and about my passion. There’s no doubt they’ve already put the legwork in place to have this event next year right here again in Buhler. Obviously we’re all going to learn from some things that maybe we’d do a little bit different next year. But I’d say so far, for being a first time event, it’s gone off without a hitch and there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll be here again next year to support the Kansas Cattle Drive. (Darren) We’re already geared toward next year and if anybody has any questions or comments about his year or next year, they can go to our Facebook page. It’s Kansas Cattle Drive on Facebook. They can email me at darrenbusick@ksu.edu. I really think it’s something we’ll build off of with this being our first year. We’re really looking forward to the next years to come just to see how this thing can grow and change. And look forward to advertising for producers all across the state.

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