Cattlemen’s Association to cancel annual luncheon but go ahead with ranch tour

Robert Smith

The Osage County Cattlemen’s Association announced last week that it has canceled several events that would normally have been on the schedule for Cattlemen’s Week, in the third week of June. Cattlemen’s Week is one of the county’s leading social and business gatherings.

Specifically, the OCCA said it has canceled its annual trade show, steak luncheon, business meeting and dance.

Taylor Reed, president of the OCCA, explained to the Journal-Capital that it would have been very difficult to hold the steak luncheon, with some 350 people crowded into the Ag Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds, and to insist that guests refrain from the cordial handshaking and hugging that would normally be customary.

“Of course, we don’t want to have an accident and get somebody sick,” Reed said. He explained that the OCCA will still name new members to its Hall of Fame, and will present an OCCA scholarship. Information about Hall of Fame honorees and the scholarship recipient will be shared with the public, he said.

While the steak luncheon will be canceled, the annual Ranch Tour will become a centerpiece of what will remain of Cattlemen’s Week activities. The tour is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 20, and will begin with a grab-and-go breakfast at the fairgrounds.

“We can all maintain a safe distance in our vehicles while still seeing the ranches, cattle, and cattlemen that make our association great,” the OCCA said in an announcement of its plans for June 2020. “We plan to offer a BBQ lunch with outdoor seating as well as lunch to-go. Membership forms and ticket information will be mailed out soon.”

Kelly Bland, director of Osage County Tourism, told county commissioners Monday that the ranch tour will visit ranches in northwestern Osage County this year.

In addition to the ranch tour, the annual ranch rodeo will also be held.

The Ben Johnson Steer Roping event that is usually held on Father’s Day, right at the end of Cattlemen’s Week, has been canceled for this year. The Steer Roping is a charitable event that donates its proceeds to fighting cancer.