Approximately 150 Beef Empire Days supporters of all ages gathered in the Clarion Inn ballroom Friday night for the Beef Empire Days Awards Banquet and Sponsors Reception, a night to honor longtime volunteers and recognize the winners of the past week's events.

Among it's usual awards and honors, the dinner also paid homage to Beef Empire Days’ 50-year history and the people that have made it possible. Nearly 30 photo albums cataloguing various years of the event’s history sat on a table at the back of the room. Spanning the '70s through the new millennium, they captured decades of parades, live shows, receptions, park events and crowds at the fairgrounds. It was Beef Empire Days, abridged.

Keith Bryant, president of the Beef Empire Days’ board of directors, led the night’s events, honoring those who had been involved with the event for decades. This year’s parade announcers, Charlie Sinclair and Barbara Oringderff were the voices of the parade in the 1970s and onward. When Bryant called the pair to the stage, Sinclair quipped nonstop.

“Hot damn,” Sinclair said when announced.

“Let me tell you something,” he said to the room. “If I wasn’t here, what the hell would you be doing?”

Parade marshall Harold Tuma and Mary Hopkins Award recipient Harley Foulks have roots to the event’s early days. Tuma judged the first Beef Empire Days Live and Carcass Show, and Foulks designed the event’s logo, has served as a show chairman, board member and president for the event and kept records for the first several years at the request of Beef Empire Days founder John Dohogne.

After accepting the award from Jon Heiman, the son of last year’s recipient Clarine Heiman, who missed the ceremony for health reasons, Foulks showed the room his belt buckle, a special edition from Beef Empire Days’ early days.

“Mary Hopkins was a good friend and a stalwart director of Beef Empire Days. I’m proud to accept this honor in her name,” Foulks told the crowd.

Bryant named the winners of Beef Empire Days events, including the Live and Carcass Show, Ranch Rodeo, Cattle Working Contest and several public competitions.

Heifers from Schurrtop Angus & Charolais, Sublette Feeders and Danner Feeders scored in the top five of the Carcass Show, with tags 317 and 315 from Danner Feeders named reserve champion and champion, respectively. Tag 315 also was awarded the Zoetis MGA Award.

Steers from Sunbelt Feedyard, Kinsley Feeders, Irsik and Doll Feedyard, Triangle H and Lane County Feeders placed in the top five steer carcasses, with tag 167 from Triangle H and tag 124 from Lane County Feeders winning reserve champion and champion status, respectively. Lane County Feeders’ tag 124 was named the Overall Grand Champion Carcass.

The Live and Carcass Show’s overall best heifers came from Triangle H, Sunbelt Feedyard, Danner Feeders and NextGen Cattle Feeding, with NextGen’s tag 331 winning the top spot. The top five steers came from Lane County Feeders, Sunbelt Feedyard, Triangle H, Kinsley Feeders and Lane County Feeders, with Lane County’s tag 126 earning the best overall steer.

Lane County Feeders’ tag 126 also earned the Earl C. Brookover Memorial Award, sending the award’s steer statue to the feedyard for the next year.

The feedyard also placed in the Feedlot Special Feature Award. Lane County Feeders won third place, Deerfield Feeders second and Triangle H first.

At the Cattle Working Contest, Grant County Feeders took first place, Ulysses Feedyard second and Brookover Main Yard third. At the Ranch Rodeo, Arkansas Valley Feeders placed first, Broken H second, Cutright Cattle Company third and Rafter JB fourth.

In the Public Pick 5, Jerry Grund, Kendall Lock and Larry Huck placed in the top three spots in the men’s category, Katie Mayo, Micaila Lock and Marisa Kleysteuber were the top three in the women’s division, and 12-year-old Jacob Hager won the youth category. The adults won $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for first, and Hager won a duffle bag.

Mayo also placed second and third in the People’s Choice Awards with heifer tags 312 and 313. Ray Purdy with One Horn Cattle Company placed first with tag 315.

Bryant also recognized seven students who received $500 Beef Empire Days academic scholarships, granted to those who plan to pursue agricultural career paths. The scholarships went to Walker Clawson, Emily Glenn, Kaden Anthony, Jacob Salsmans, Kaylee Simon, Alexis Molina and RaeAnne Blevins.


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