By Frank J. Buchman
Loomis Ranch, operated by Jason and Justin Loomis at Council Grove, was the big winner during the Flint Hills Beef Fest in Emporia.
Developed as recognition for cattle grazers, the Flint Hills Beef Fest community activities often overshadow its true intent.
Flint Hills cattlemen enter steers and heifers to be summer grazed in competition for gains and live evaluation.
There were a total of 69 entries, according to Brian Rees, Lyon County agriculture agent, who handled the two-phase contest.
Included were 34 pen-of-three heifers and 35 pen-of-three steers. Weighed at Emporia Livestock April 26, cattle were grazed at the Highland Ranch near Olpe, weighing off on August 19.
Heifers averaged 587-pounds when turned out and came off grass averaging 792 pounds, an average daily gain of 1.79-pounds.
Steers went to grass weighing an average of 620-pounds and came off averaging 875-pounds, average daily gain 2.22-pounds.
The Loomis Ranch Pen 17 three heifers gained 2.335 pounds per day to win the heifer rate-of-gain division. Top nod of cattle evaluators from their grandstand seats also went to the Loomis heifer threesome.
Loomis Ranch pocketed two $700 checks for each of those division titles. The Council Grove ranchers added another $500 to their billfolds for the Best of Show Grass and Show Heifers Award.
Best of Grass and Show Steer honors went to Pen 62 three steers entered by Jim and Donna Bates of Galesburg also pocketing $500. Their three steers gained 2.646 pounds per day, fourth high gaining steers worth a $150 check. That steer threesome brought an addition $300 for being third in the grandstand evaluation.
DJ Edwards, Hamilton, had the top gaining Pen 57 three steers averaging 2.777-pounds gain per day for a $700 check.
RNL Farms, owned by Ryan and Nicole Louis of LeRoy, earned $700 stipend for their Pen 52 three steers topping that gender’s grandstand evaluation.
Additional placings in the heifer grass gain competition in order. Lazy S Ranch, Elmyra Swift, Anita Cahoone and Teresa Talkington, Matfield Green, Pen 19, 2.14-pounds, $450. Harry Fowler Jr. Emporia, Pen 10, 2.111 pounds, $300. Fredonia Livestock Auction, Don and Carole Haun, Fall River, Pen 13, 2.072-pounds, $150. Emporia Livestock Sales, Chrysanne Haselhorst and Brody Peak, Pen 31, 2.067-pounds, $125.
Grandstand heifer evaluation ranking second through fifth respectively, prize money same as in other divisions. Spring Creek Ranch, Joe and Debbie Reiner, Cassoday, Pen 7. Haun Ranch, Brad and Michelle Haun, Fall River, Pen 14. Harry Fowler Jr., Pen 10. Lazy S Ranch, Pen 19.
Steer grass gain placings. Anderson Ranch, Matt and Julia Anderson, Alma, Pen 85, 2.735-pounds, second. Wes Cahoone and Lee Glanville, Cottonwood Falls, Pen 63, 2.658 pounds, third. Arndt Farms, Michael and Steven Arndt, Emporia, Pen 84, 2.61-pounds, fifth.
Additional grandstand evaluation steer placings. B&L Cattle, Brody Lutz and Levi Lutz, Madison, Pen 60, second. Burton and Potter, Bill Burton and Roger Potter, Emporia, Pen 83, fourth. Mike and Tammy Darbyshire, Hartford, Pen 68, fifth.
The cattle were subsequently processed for feedlot and carcass competitions.
Justin and Jason Loomis of the Loomis Ranch at Council Grove claimed the Best of Grass and Show Heifer Award at the Flint Hills Beef Fest in Emporia. They had the top pen–of-three heifers in the rate-of-gain division as well as winning the live heifer evaluation from the grandstand. (Photo from the Emporia Gazette.)