GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Since 1968 Beef Empire Days has been putting beef front and center to share how the industry works, and all of the benefits beef has to offer.
“We’re right in the heart of the beef industry here in Western Kansas,” said Executive Director Deanne Gillen, “so we’re trying to promote that it is good for you.”
Because red meat can get a bad rap, the events aim to show everyone what people within the industry do to make a quality product.
“[It lets people] know how well these producers and feed lots really care for the cattle,” said Beef Empire Days past President John Wiese.
Another big focus is how to prepare beef, about 1,200 people show up to taste different cuts at Stevens park for the annual Chuckwagon Community Feed. Each year 4,000-6,000 people come out to participate in the activities over the course of the week, making it more than just an educational tool, but a regional attraction.
“We have the people who aren’t in the industry who want to come [for] that ‘cowboy’ lure,” said Finney County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Assistant Director Roxanne Morgan. “Then of course you have the people in the industry coming because this is one of the biggest events in the industry.”
When those industry professionals arrive they turn up the competition. At the live cattle show winners can walk away with cash, and a little something else.
“It’s all about bragging rights, that they were able to bring the winning animal to the live show,” said Wiese.