Area cattlemen named to OCCA Hall of Fame

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The 80th-annual convention of the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association was conducted Thursday through Saturday with events in and around the Osage County Fairgrounds.

OCCA President Jeff Henry presided over the convention functions, which included a business meeting and a report from the association’s Oil and Gas Committee. Special speaker at the luncheon was Dr. Darrell Peel, the Ag Economist from Oklahoma State University, who reported on the industry’s market conditions and gave forecasts for the future, as related to ranching.

The top award winners from the Osage County Junior Livestock Show — Trenton Barnett, Rhian Chambers and Tanner Kyler, all of Bowring 4-H — were recognized with “Born and Raised” awards.

Induction of Melvin Reed and the late Jim McKinley into the Osage County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame highlighted Friday’s OCCA luncheon at the fairgrounds’ Ag Building.

Reed was born in Pawhuska and attended grade school in Foraker before graduating from Pawhuska High School in 1963. (He was a member of the PHS state championship basketball team.) After earning a business degree at Oklahoma State University, Reed served a tour in Vietnam as a U.S. Army officer.

Following his service, Reed returned home to Foraker and assisted with operations at the family ranch that had been started in 1901 by Phil Reed, his grandfather. In 1971, Reed married Diane Borgen. They have two children — a son, Jason, and a daughter, Stacy Big Eagle, both of Pawhuska. The Reeds have five grandchildren. Reed is a lifetime member of the OCCA.

A native of Caney, Kan., who graduated from Independence (Kan.) High School, McKinley was still in his teens when he moved with parents to family-owned property in the Hulah area. Shortly after McKinley returned from service in the Navy during World War II, the construction of Hulah Reservoir by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers caused McKinley and his family to to relocate to the Rocking Chair Ranch near Herd.

McKinley joined his father — George McKinley — in a Hereford cattle operation, which has been continued by his son, Mack. Jim McKinley died in March 2002 at age 84. Numerous family members in attendance at the HOF ceremony included the honored cattlemen’s widow, Elizabeth (Betty) Wells, as well as his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

According to his son, Mack, McKinley was a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association.

Four ranches from the northeastern portion of Osage County were included as part of Saturday morning’s OCCA Ranch Tour. The tours visited the following ranches where they were hosted by (the owners): Ball Ranch (Chris and Cathi Ball), Kane Ranch (John J. and Alicia Kane), Drummond Ranch (Tim and Missy Drummond) and Seven D Ranch (Dave and Barbara Jacques).

The tour concluded with the serving of a barbecue lunch shortly after noon at the OCF Ag Building. At 1:30 p.m., contestants for the 2014 Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping were introduced at the Ag Building. The 61st-annual Ben Johnson invitational roping event started at 3 p.m. at the Osage County Fairgrounds Arena.

Following the Ben Johnson event, An OCCA-sponsored outdoor dance featuring music by the Nolan Pick Band concluded the cattlemen’s convention festivities.

Trade shows, art displays and other exhibits were also included on the convention schedule. Several events were held downtown, including the Thursday’s Cattlemen Uncorked art show (hosted by Arts and Preservation in the Osage).

The Cattlemen’s Association sponsored a Ranch Rodeo at the OCF Arena on Friday night. More than 25 area ranches sponsored teams, which competed in three events: stray gathering, sorting and wild cow milking. The contests continued until almost midnight.

Yoacham’s Custom Leather and Saddlery of Bartlesville made the Ben Johnson Championship Saddle, as well as clocks which were presented to the Hall-of-Fame families. Presentation of the HOF clocks was by OCCA member Charley Chambers.