Stockmen in the Stockyards event brings commercial cattle back to NWSS

Returning profit to the commercial cowman is the solid ground on which Jennifer Boka is rebuilding the commercial cattle events at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. She has an eye on the future and a healthy respect for the history of the Yards.

Boka said the National Western was built on commercial cattle and their return signals National Western’s relevance in the industry. Photo courtesy of NWSS collection

With the new Stockmen in the Stockyards event, the commercial heifer pen of five and pen of 10 show and sale will be returning as well as an open to the world stockman’s sort judging contest for producers and ample time to network and do the business that made Denver what it is.

The three-day event in the Yards focusing on the commercial cattle producer will include educational opportunities that will equip producers with information to firm their bottom line, diversify their operation, or otherwise add value enough to justify a trip to Denver. Jennifer Boka, National Western director of livestock operations said they’re making finding a hotel room and a shuttle to the commercial events easy for producers, too.

“The stock yards and the National Western was built on the commercial cattle industry, the commercial cowman,” she said. “If we don’t revive that and advance that whole program, then we are not viable in the industry and we will become simply another halter and show stick show.”

She said reviving only what once was The Yards is important, but reestablishing National Western’s relevance to the commercial cattle industry and providing a return on investment for the commercial cowman is vital, regardless of whether he’s there as a visitor, seller or buyer. The goal of the show and sale, and the event overall, is to ensure that sellers are able to receive a premium and sellers are able to be confident in knowing they are purchasing a genetic advantage from a reputable operation.

The return of commercial cattle to the NWSS is incredibly important and exciting to the families with exceptionally rich histories in The Yards. Photo by Liz Munsterteiger

“No matter what, it’s about returning profit to the cowman, no matter what way, shape, or form he comes to National Western,” she said. “So often we discuss with commercial cattlemen and ask them what National Western offers them. Unless they buy registered bulls and come for the rodeo, a lot of times, National Western doesn’t have what they need to make a commercial cowman come off the ranch to come to town.”

More details will be released soon, but Boka said she knows those cattle are bred or being bred now, making it the time for breeders and buyers alike to make plans to be a part of the commercial cowman’s return to The Yards. The commercial cattle events will be Jan. 6-8, 2024.

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