2022 Cattle U & Trade Show offers fun for the whole family


High Plains Journal is saddling up for a fourth Cattle U & Trade Show event to take place Aug. 4 to 5 at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas. Joe Leathers, general manager at the legendary 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, will headline the event and give a keynote address on day one. Leathers has been with the 6666 for 20 years and was promoted to general manager of the 142,000-acre ranch in 2008. Over his lifetime, he has worked for both yearling and cow-calf operations.

“I always look forward to meeting with a group of ranchers and people in the industry,” Leathers said. “It’s good to hear their insight and things they’re facing and discuss what we’re doing and see how that fits into the role of the industry as a whole. We’re all facing the same issues, but there’s a lot of times that we get so busy in our day-to-day lives that we don’t keep up with the things that are happening, so I think it’s good to be informed.”

Leathers’ keynote, entitled “Controlling our own destiny,” will delve into what it takes to survive in the present day cattle industry and why it is imperative that cattle producers take a leading role in preserving beef production and the Western way of life for the next generation.

“I don’t hold the solution in any problems, but I hope that attendees leave realizing that we can be steeped in tradition the way that we’ve always done it, but there are always ways to position ourselves to face uncertain times and I hope they leave recognizing that it’s time to be proactive in the industry, instead of reactive.”

Leathers said some of the concerns that create challenges for beef producers are climate, urban sprawl, market inflation, the small percentage of young people returning to production agriculture and high cost of fuel and feed. He believes some of these can be improved upon if the beef industry comes together and works toward common goals of progress.

“As far as a cow-calf and stocker producers, we pretty much get dictated what the price of our cattle is going to be,” he said. “I think there are some ways to offset that to get some transparency and I see that movement starting to take place in our industry as a whole. I think it’s time we realize we’re the ones that produce the cattle that go into the feedlots and packer plants. I think we’ve got some negotiating power and I think we need to start thinking that way instead of taking what we’re handed.”

As for preserving the ranching way of life, Leathers only need to look to his family to see the value of that. He has 11 grandchildren and wants the beef industry to be thriving and successful if his descendants want to go into the family business someday.

“For whatever small part I played in the cattle industry, I want to leave it better than when I got in,” he explained.

To view the full list of speakers, detailed schedule, learn more about the trade show or to register, visit www.cattleu.net. Pre-registration is $100 per person and onsite registration is $125 per person. HPJ subscribers receive a $25 discount on pre-registration and onsite registration pricing. Updated information will be communicated via the Cattle U website, and HPJ in print and online at www.hpj.com.

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here