April 11, 2013

CONTACT: Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, 405-235-4391



Oklahoma Ranchers Explore Different Segments of the Beef Industry  CLA Program Enhances Leadership Skills and Production Practices


The fourth and final session of the 20th annual Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy class took place on April 8 and 9.  During the two-day event, CLA class members, all Oklahoma Ranchers and members of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, were exposed first-hand to different segments of the beef industry. 

AdvancePierre Food Company located in Enid, Okla., gladly welcomed this group of beef producers to their facilities.  AdvancePierre Food Company is a fully integrated manufacturer of value-added proteins, Philly steaks and handheld sandwiches.  The group of ranchers toured AdvancePierre's Enterprise Facility, a premier manufacturing facility for "ready-to-eat" foods. 

"During the plant tour we saw hamburger being made into patties, and then cooked, frozen and packaged for shipping - all a process to add value to beef," said Matt Crosthwait, CLA member and rancher near Stillwater, Okla.  "As Ranchers, we are always seeking ways to add value to our product - beef.  It's comforting to know that different segments of our industry our working hard to do the same," Crosthwait said.

While in the Enid area, CLA members stopped by the oldest and largest privately owned grain elevator company in Oklahoma, W.B. Johnston Grain.   CLA participants enjoyed visiting with Montie Walton, Elevator Manager and Dale Owens, Senior Grain Merchandiser about how closely intertwined the grain and cattle markets truly are.

CLA members were also given the opportunity to visit a beef fabrication plant. Creekstone Farms located in Arkansas City, Kansas, processes only the finest premium black Angus beef, all born and bred in the USA.  The folks at Creekstone seek out the cream of the crop when it comes to black cattle, all in an effort to increase consistency of delicious, tender beef. 

"The tour at Creekstone was very enlightening," said John Henry, a CLA member from Pawnee.  " We saw the whole process from start to finish . . . cattle receiving,  removing hides, carcass grading . . . we even saw the boxes being folded and put together for shipping the beef."

In addition to these tours, CLA members participated in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training, conducted by Jeff Jaronek of the OCA Staff.  The national BQA program is funded by the Beef Checkoff and provides guidelines for beef cattle production. The program raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. 

The OCA Cattlemen's Leadership Academy is a service program of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.   The Academy involves active Oklahoma beef producers selected through an application process. Other CLA class members include:  Daniel Ballard, Rush Springs; Chad Briggs, Tulsa; Colt Castle, Jet; Justin Clark, Chickasha; Hayden Cooper, Stillwater; Derick Dishman, Headrick; Julie Fitzgerald, Minco; Travis Hanks, McAlester; John Henry, Stillwater; Heath Kohler, Vinita; James Lambert, Headrick; Joey Lee, Stillwater; Kelsey Lee, Stillwater; Brandon Miller, Enid; Richard Myers, Seminole; Bryan Nichols, Lone Grove; Zeb Prawl, Stillwater; Taylor Reed, Foraker; David Rodden, Muskogee; Anthony Ruiz, Mannsville; Nacona Smith, Hydro and Kirby Smith, Oklahoma City.

The OCA and CLA extend special thanks to the hosts for their time and hospitality.  Also, thank you to the CLA sponsors for their support.  20th Annual CLA sponsors include:  Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, Merck Animal Health, Hitch Enterprises, The Samual Roberts Noble Foundation, Reproduction Enterprises, Inc., Pickens Auction Service, Farm Data Services, BancCentral of Alva, Langston's Western Wear and McKay Ford.

Since 1953, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association has been advocating, communicating and educating on behalf of Oklahoma's Ranching Families.  Today, the OCA represents more than 5500 Oklahoma ranching families.  The OCA's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy was created more than 17 years ago with the intention of cultivating leadership and providing educational.

 For more information on the Cattlemen's Leadership Academy or how to join the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association visit

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Photo Cutline (IMG 1319):   CLA members pictured outside of Creekstone Farms just after finishing a plant tour.  Back row:  (L to R) John Henry, Heath Kohler, Matt Crosthwait, Julie Fitzgerald, Bryon Nichols, Nacona Smith, Kirby Smith, Kelsey Lee, David Rodden, Justin Clark and Travis Hanks.  Front row: (L to R) Colt Castle, James Lambert and Hayden Cooper.  Click here to download photo


Photo Cutline (IMG 1310):  CLA members stop for a photo in front of Oklahoma's oldest and largest privately owned grain elevator company, WB Johnston Grain in Enid, Okla.  Click here to download photo





The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

 2500 Exchange Ave.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73108