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  • Writer's pictureJenna Stevens

Cattleman's Club Industry Tour

My family likes to call me “Blister” because I show up when the work is done. I am usually

always gone. During Thanksgiving break, my family had huge plans and a lengthy agenda of

jobs that needed to be done on the farm since everybody would be home. So, after knowing

this, I conveniently found myself sitting in a big Iowa State van on my way to Texas. I was

hundreds of miles away from that lengthy to-do list back home on the farm which I know

included the awful jobs of blowing off, power washing, scrubbing, and putting away all the

harvest equipment which is never fun especially when it’s cold outside and you're soaked in

water. I headed off to Texas with Iowa State’s Collegiate Cattlemen’s club on their fall industry


This trip was not only amazing because it got me out of those Thanksgiving break farm jobs,

but it also was incredible because I got to tour countless jaw-dropping cattle operations. We

stopped and toured farms and ranches in Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma on our way to

Texas. My favorite stop was Poky Feeders, Inc. in southwest Kansas where they have a feedlot of over 100,000 head of cattle. Cattle surrounded us and it was quite a sight. We also stopped in Ashland, KS where we had the awesome opportunity of hearing some insight on the feedstock segment of the beef business with Mr. Greg Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch. Situated on 48,000 acres, you can find their 3,500 head of Gardiner momma cows and it was really cool to tour their marketing facility. When we got down to Texas we toured another feedlot, Five Rivers Cattle Feeders in Hartley, TX, where they custom feed 73,000 head of cattle. We also stopped in Muenster, TX, and toured Double N Cattle Company, a longhorn ranch where almost every longhorn’s horn stretched over 90 inches! On the way back we made a pitstop in Oklahoma City and sat in on the 8,000-head sale happening at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. Too bad there was not any room in our van to haul some home, but there was room for a tumbleweed! I brought a tumbleweed home from Texas and it’s now our Christmas tree in our college house in Ames!

In typical Blister fashion, I came rolling into our driveway just in time for Thanksgiving, to

eat some delicious food, and that nasty lengthy thanksgiving break to-do list was not so lengthy anymore. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as me and had some great food. I am extremely thankful for my fun week off from class and for another great opportunity to see firsthand the diverse cattle operations in our southern states. Now I am just hoping I can find myself in another van heading to somewhere fun during Christmas break because the jobs will start to get lengthy on dad’s list again. ~ Kesley Holdgrafer

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