OCCA ends convention

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The Osage County Cattlemen’s Association wrapped up its 82nd-annual convention last weekend, with the bulk of activities conducted at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

On Friday, the Osage County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame luncheon featured induction ceremonies for Bowring-area rancher John Strom and the late J.B. Smith. Special honoree was John D. Israel of Wynona, whose handmade bits and spurs are treasured by horsemen throughout the country.

Michael Kelsey of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association spoke on “Our Beef Industry Legacy.” The OCA executive director discussed State Question 777, which is to appear on this November’s general election ballot. He said passage of the “Oklahoma Right To Farm” measure will protect all Oklahoma farmers while promoting sustainability, saving jobs and guaranteeing access to food.

Heather Buckmaster of the Oklahoma Beef Council spoke to association members about the value of the beef check-off program.

Three recipients of Osage County “Born & Raised” Awards were recognized. Annabelle Yates and Kenneth Polasek of Barnsdall 4H and Kailee Hambright of Bowring 4H won top honors at last spring’s Osage County Junior Livestock Show with steers born and raised in Osage County.

Before and after the luncheon, attendees visited with representatives from animal health companies and exhibitors of cowboy tack, furniture, jewelry, artwork, etc.

Working cowboys participated in Friday evening’s OCCA Ranch Rodeo at the Fairgrounds’ Arena. Representatives from a number of Osage County ranches competed in sorting, doctoring and wild cow milking events.

Saturday, the annual OCCA Ranch Tour visited four locations in central Osage County — the Gray G Bar Ranch, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the Chambers Ranch and the Sooner Land and Cattle Co. The tour concluded with a barbeque at the fairgrounds.

The 63rd Annual Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping included 35 invited ropers. It was won by three-time PRCA World Champion Rocky Patterson, with 18-time world champ Guy Allen finishing as runnerup. The OCCA also sponsored Junior Steer Roping and Kid’s Dummy Roping competitions.

A 3-year-old from Ames, Tripp Suit, won the 5 and under division, and his brother, Hazen Suit, was the 6-through-8 champion. Trevor Garrett of Barnsdall took first for ages 9-to-11.

The Cripple Creek Band was featured at a Cattlemen’s Dance held Saturday evening at the OCF Outdoor Stage.

David Chambers concluded his 2-year term as OCCA president. Shane Stierwalt will be taking the helm of the association, with John Hurd Jr. serving as first vice president and Taylor Reed as second vice president. Jeanne Strom will continue as the OCCA secretary-treasurer.

The Osage County Cattlemen have held its convention and ranch tour in Pawhuska every year since 1934.