OKC West Livestock One Year After Tornado Destruction- Better Than Ever!Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:25:54 CDT
The first tour stop for the 2014 Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Summer Ranch Tour was in Canadian County at the OKC West Livestock Market. Tour participants were greeted by General Manager Bill Barnhart, who described the operations of the weekly market, which has been averaging close to 6,000 head weekly here in 2014.
After he greeted the OCA group, Ron Hays talked with Bill and you can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below. The picture here is Bill Barnhart answering questions with Jeff Jaronek of the OCA standing by holding portable sound system.
They discussed the recovery and rebuilding of the Market after a F5 tornado tore through the facility, leaving little left. Some cows that were in the yards when the twister hit were found a few days later on the opposite side of Interstate 40- the power of the storm was enormous.
It took only seven weeks for the market to start weekly auctions again- but the office and welcome area of the facility has literally just been finished for about a month, and landscaping is still underway in the front of the building.
Hays and Barnhart also talked about the status of the southern great plains cattle market and Barnhart says the cattle they are seeing regularly today are a better quality animal than seen when they first started OKC West almost 20 years ago.
The genetics are better and the stockers have been bred to better perform on the hoof and then on the rail when they reach slaughter weight.
Barnhart says OKC West is proud to be one of the leaders in markets across the region that have stepped up with selling VAC45 type cattle, saying it's always better to have a calf that has been weaned before they leave the ranch.
He adds there are fewer buyers today than a decade ago, but they are bigger buyers and they always prefer having a value added stocker when they are available.
He thinks the future of the stocker business is bright, but that it will be best for cattle producers who strive to produce the right kind of beef animals.
Click here to see the story we published on OklahomaFarmReport website on June 2nd, right after the tornado destroyed the OKC West facility- Bill Barnhart talked with us about how he was pulling together his plan to clean up and rebuild.
And they did.
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