Cattle industry members reflect on the ups and downs


GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — The cattle industry has descended on Garden City this week for Beef Empire Days.

Members of the industry are in agreement. Things are going pretty well.

“Right now the beef industry is on an upswing as far as financially,” said Dave Sjeklocha, a veterinarian who works with cattle.

Income is up.

“The market’s been good,” said Jeff George with Finney County Feed Yard. “The feeder cattle sector is, we’re enjoying some good profits right now.”

Methods of raising cattle are evolving.

“There’s a lot of effort being put toward reducing antibiotic use, making our cattle healthier,” said Sjeklocha.

Even the weather has been kind recently.

“The rain has been awesome,” said Sherri Armstrong with Custom Cattle Service, “because the pastures are great.”

Of course, between wildfires and blizzards, the weather has caused issues.

“One of major thing that has been down is the storm we had not too long ago that killed a lot of cattle,” said Armstrong, “so that’s not been too healthy for us.”

Through that setback, the industry is showing its resilience.

“Everybody’s kind of come together and helped each other out and it seems like everyone is recovering pretty well,” said Kendall Roberts, who also works at Custom Cattle Service.

“You’re not going to see too much impact market-wise,” said George.

People also agree on the benefits of reopening a major market.

“I think things are starting to look up,” said Roberts. “The trade deal with China I think is going to help the beef industry quite a bit.”

“It’s going to keep our exports, the demand of our exports strong,” said George.

Over all, members of the industry are optimistic.

“I think our products are always getting better,” said Armstrong, “which is more efficient for the cattle. I hope that that makes people more comfortable to eat beef.”

Beef Empire Days continues through the weekend.