Cattlemen’s Conference is a type conference based around building and crafting the right kind of cattle.

35 years ago, cattle industry leaders came together and held the Blue Print for the Right Kind of Cattle Conference, focused on building cattle that fit the industry at that given time. Today, the industry has evolved and therefore, our cattle need to do the same.

Together, Cattlemen’s Congress, Oklahoma State University and the Noble Research Institute have partnered together to bring you the Cattlemen’s Conference.

Join us May 24th and 25th in Stillwater, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State University.

Registration is now open!
Complete the form below to register for the 2023 Cattlemen’s Conference.

Registration for Cattlemen’s Conference is open now until May 5th for $200 per attendee.
This provides access to all conference events, all meals, breaks and social hours.



Dr. Richard Coffey, OSU

Dr. Richard Coffey is the Department Head for Animal and Food Sciences where he provides leadership in planning, developing, integrating, and implementing programs in the department’s trifold Land-Grant missions of teaching, research, and Extension.

Previously, Dr. Coffey served as an Extension Swine Specialist at the University of Kentucky (1994-2015), as Director of the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center (2012-2015), and as Department Chair for Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky (2015-2022). In his Extension role at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Coffey worked extensively with pork producers and support  industry personnel dealing with all facets of pork production, including manure and environmental management, nutritional management, reproductive management, swine production systems, housing systems, health and disease prevention, and marketing alternatives. From 2003-2012 Dr. Coffey also served as the department’s Youth Livestock Programs Coordinator where he provided overall coordination and leadership for youth livestock programs and projects in the state of Kentucky.

Dr. Coffey has received several professional recognitions over the course of his career,
including the Outstanding Service Award and induction into the Hall of Fame by the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, Honorary State FFA Degree by Kentucky FFA, Honorary Kentucky County Ag Agent Award from the Kentucky Association of County Agricultural Agents, Extension Award from the Southern Section American Society of Animal Science, Fellow in the Administrative Category by the American Society of Animal Science, President of the Midwest Section American Society of Animal Science, Board of Directors for American Society of Animal Science, and Advanced Degree Graduate of Distinction from the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

Dr. Mark Johnson, OSU

Dr. Mark Johnson is a Professor in the department of Animal and Food Science at Oklahoma State University where he held the Totusek Endowed Chair of Animal Science from 2009 to 2014. He has served as the Supervisor of the OSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center since 1992.

Mark also coached the OSU Livestock Judging Team from 1992 to 2013. The OSU team was highly successful during his tenure as coach, finishing as either Champion or Reserve Champion team in 70% of their contests over 21 years. He earned the “National Coach of the Year” award seven times, coached six teams that won the American Royal and four National Champion teams.

Mark, his wife Brenda and two daughters Sydney and Charley, live on a ranch near Orlando, Oklahoma where they operate J&J Cattle Company.

Mark McCully, AAA

Mark McCully, current CEO of the American Angus Association, brings 27 years of experience to the table, most recently serving as vice president of production for CAB. In his role, Mark drove supply chain innovation for the brand and helped develop and implement best management practices with cattlemen to increase brand acceptance rates. In addition, Mark led global production initiatives, streamlining processes for improved product quality, and served in many industry leadership positions. McCully previously served as director of packing before developing and coordinating a regional sales team, and in 2005, he transitioned to supply development and production. Additionally, he worked for Southern States Cooperative where he managed the beef improvement program and value-added feeder cattle marketing programs for cattlemen within a 22-state region. He also served as an intercollegiate livestock judging team coach, taught livestock evaluation classes and coordinated the animal science department undergraduate internship program at Michigan State University before joining Southern States.
He graduated with his Associate’s Degree from Lake Land College, Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University and conducted master’s research in ruminant nutrition and feedlot management at Michigan State University.

Hugh Aljoe, NRI Director of Ranches, Outreach & Partnerships

Hugh Aljoe serves as the director of ranches, outreach and partnerships for Noble Research Institute. In this role, he oversees the 13,500 acres of Noble ranches as well as outreach and partnership efforts with allied industries and organizations. He also serves as a subject matter expert in the areas of pasture and range stewardship and adaptive grazing management. Aljoe joined Noble Research Institute in 1995.

He has spoken on topics related to the intentional management of ranches, proper land stewardship and soil health of grazing lands, and ranch sustainability and regenerative ranching at national, regional and state conferences, including Cattlemen’s College at the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Aljoe currently serves on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award Program selection committee, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef board of directors and the goals and targets tracking working group and outreach working group, and the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture executive committee.

Before coming to Noble Research Institute in 1995, Aljoe was the ranch manager for Belvedere Land & Cattle Corp., a 3,900-acre, 1,500-head purebred and commercial cow-calf operation in East Texas that utilized adaptive multi-paddock grazing.

Aljoe attended Texas A&M University where he received his bachelor’s degree in animal science and master’s degree in range science with a focus on grazing management.

Dr. Jeff Goodwin, TAMU

Dr. Jeff Goodwin serves as Director of the Texas A&M Center for Grazinglands and Ranch Management. The Center focuses on safeguarding the ecologic and economic resiliency of grazingland resources and ranching operations through applied grazingland and ranch management research, outreach, and policy engagement. Prior to Texas A&M, he served as Senior Rangeland Consultant at Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma and as the Texas State Rangeland Management Specialist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Dr. Goodwin has over 22 years of experience working directly with producers and grazingland managers, implementing stewardship focused management and providing innovative solutions to grazingland issues.

Dr. Gretchen Mafi, OSU

Gretchen Mafi is a Professor and the Ralph & Leila Boulware Endowed Chair in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Oklahoma State University, where she conducts research and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in meat science. Gretchen earned her bachelor’s degree in 1994, from Texas Tech University, a Master of Science degree in 1996, from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Animal Science with emphasis in meat science in 2000, from Texas Tech.

Gretchen teaches three to five meat science courses each semester at OSU, along with her advising and research responsibilities. She conducts research in the area of meat cutability and quality, with over 80 published articles in scientific journals. Also, Gretchen coaches the
Oklahoma State Meat Judging Team. Gretchen received the USDA Excellence in Teaching
Award in 2020, as well the American Meat Science Association Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019 and Signal Service Award in 2021. She currently serves as President of the American Meat Science Association.

Dr. Nick Hardcastle, Cargill

Dr. Nick Hardcastle has been involved in the agriculture industry his entire life. He grew up on a family farm in Wheeler, Texas, where his family raised crops to support a local feed yard and ran a small commercial cow operation. Nick attended Texas Tech University and obtained his Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Animal Science with a focus on Meat Science. After college, Nick began working for Cargill supporting the beef business unit and plant operations. Nick is currently the Business Manager of Beef Optimization. In his position, he works to increase beef processing efficiency and yield, advise cattle procurement on how to strategically maintain the supply chain, and helps determine how to manage the Cargill Beef P&L. He believes that all segments of the beef industry need to continue to work together to maximize profitability and deliver on providing consumers the highest quality protein in the world.

Jarold Callahan, Express Ranches

Jarold Callahan is President of Express Ranches, a large purebred and commercial ranching operation headquartered in Yukon, Oklahoma, and owner/operator of Callahan Cattle Company with operations in Oklahoma, Blaine, and Craig Counties. Callahan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 1976 and received a Masters degree in Agriculture (Animal Science) from the University of Arkansas in 1980. He currently serves on the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. Additionally, Callahan has been named the 2023 inductee of the prestigious Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery. Callahan will become the 378th member of this historic gallery and his portrait will be unveiled during an induction banquet to be held on November 14, 2023 during the North American Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mark Gardiner, Gardiner Angus Ranch

Mark Gardiner is the president of Gardiner Angus Ranch, Inc. This family-owned, generational beef operation is near Ashland, Kansas, and near the Oklahoma Panhandle. Gardiner graduated with a B.S. in animal sciences and industry from Kansas State University in 1983.

In early 2000, Mark assumed management of the day-to-day ranch operations from his father, Henry Gardiner. Mark often remarks, “Dad created the playbook. We just have to be disciplined enough to continue to execute the playbook he left us.” Under Mark’s direction, the ranch has grown an embryo transfer program that makes over 3,500 transfers a year, making it one of the largest AI/ET beef operations in the world. By 2012, through land acquisition, Gardiner Angus Ranch doubled in size. In the last decade, Mark has overseen the modernization of the ranch’s infrastructure, enabling many cost effective and more efficient business practices. Bulls are now developed on the ranch. Home raised and customer purchased cattle destined for commercial feed yards and retained ownership through U.S. Premium Beef are backgrounded at home on grass, wheat, or the ranch yard.

Gardiner is a founding board member and stockholder of U.S. Premium Beef; a fully integrated producer owned beef packing company. USPB has processed over 18 million head to date and returned over 700 million dollars in premiums to the beef producers that marketed these cattle. Gardiner still serves on the USPB board, currently serving as the Chairman. Mark is a former board member of the American Angus Association, former chairman of the NCBA Seedstock Council and former President of the Kansas Angus Association. Additionally, Gardiner is active in the Beef Improvement Federation.

Dr. Bob Weaber, KSU

Dr. Bob Weaber currently serves as Professor and Head of the Eastern Kansas Research and Extension Centers at Kansas State University. Weaber initially joined the faculty of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University in August of 2011 as Cow-Calf Extension Specialist. He served on the faculty management team for K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute and as the faculty coordinator of K-State’s Purebred Beef Unit. Dr. Weaber serves as the Executive Director of the Beef Improvement Federation.

The focus of his extension and research programs has been to broaden the availability, use and understanding of genetic selection tools as well as performance data collection schemes implemented by cattle producers.

Weaber grew up on a cow-calf operation in southern Colorado and has extensive experience in the cow-calf and seedstock sectors. He earned a BS (Animal Science) and Master of Agriculture degree in the Beef Industry Leadership Program at Colorado State University and Ph.D. from Cornell University in the Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Bill Bowman, Method Genetics

Bill Bowman owns and directs customer activities for Method Genetics, located in Saint Joseph, MO. Bill’s expertise in cattle breeding, management, and genetic improvement programs spans registered and commercial cattle production for over forty years. Bill’s commitment to and vision for the beef industry translates to the integration of science and technology into real world selection and management strategies.

Shane Bedwell, AHA

Shane Bedwell is the chief operating officer and director of breed improvement at the American Hereford Association (AHA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.
Through his position with the AHA, Bedwell oversees the Association’s genetic evaluation and National Reference Sire Program. He also works to promote the breed through a variety of educational events.

Prior to joining the AHA, Shane was a professor and livestock judging coach at Colorado State University for 8 years.

Bedwell received his associate’s degree in animal science from Butler County Community College and his Bachelors degree in Animal Science and Industry from Kansas State. He then went on to complete his Masters in Beef Cattle Nutrition at the University of Illinois.

Bedwell grew up on a cow-calf and stocker ranch near Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He spent much of his time at the sale barn in Medicine Lodge, ran by his grandfather, where he developed the knowledge of the cattle marketing business. He is still an active part of the family’s 350-head operation today. Bedwell resides in Holt, Mo., with his wife, Lacey, and their two children, Cealy and Chisum.

Jack Holden, Holden Hereford Ranch

Jack Holden is the owner and manager of Holden Herefords in Valier, MT. He assumed management from his grandparents, Les and Ethel Holden, in 1987. Holden Herefords recently hosted its 57th Annual Sale. They sell 150 bulls and 100 females annually all across the US, along with Mexico and Canada. They also export frozen genetics to South America, Europe, and Australia. Holden Herefords is known for its line breeding program where they have been utilizing Line One genetics for over 70 years. They have been involved in performance testing since 1956. They are recognized for having one of the top cowherds in the world and have an extensive ET program utilizing their own elite donors, and put in over 250 embryos every year. Jack has been a strong believer in multi trait selection using all available tools to continue to improve the quality in their herd, combining genomics, phenotype, growth, maternal and carcass into functional cattle that will work in all environments.

Jack served on the AHA board of directors from 2002-2006, serving as President in 2005 and 2006. He also served on the board of Montana Stockgrowers Association from 2013-2017. He currently sits on the Board of MT Bull LLC and ORIgen, and is a partner in Beef Genetics International with Darrell Stevenson.

Jack and Tresha Holden have two children, Brooke Lawver and Brad Holden, and 3 grandchildren. Brad and son in law Eric Lawver are both heavily involved in Holden Herefords.

Kelli Retallick-Riley, Angus Genetics Inc.

Kelli Retallick-Riley has long-admired black Angus cows. Her obsession first formed growing up on her family’s cow/calf operation in Southwest Wisconsin where she made her show ring debut at the ripe age of four. Over time her interest in improving these stock stretched beyond the show ring. She switched tactics from improving cattle from the outside in, to the inside out. Equipping breeders with genetic tools to better select and mate their herds is her primary focus today. As the President of AGI, a fully owned subsidiary of the American Angus Association, she can continue to support this great industry. In her role, she drives the mission and guides the research and application of genetic tools for Angus breeders and users of Angus genetics. Retallick-Riley obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics at Kansas State University and is working towards a PhD in the same field at KSU.

Dr. Matt Spangler, UNL

Matt Spangler grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Kansas. He received
degrees from Kansas State University (BS; 2001), Iowa State University (MS; 2003), and the University of Georgia (PhD; 2006) and is currently a Professor of Animal Genetics and Extension Beef Genetics Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research work focuses on quantitative genetics and genomics in livestock. As part of this effort, he works closely with livestock industries, in particular beef and swine, to implement improved genetic selection tools and methods.

Kent Andersen, Zoetis

Kent Andersen was raised on a diversified livestock and farming operation in central
Nebraska. Following graduation from the University of Nebraska (B.S., 1985) and
Colorado State University (M.S., 1987 and Ph.D., 1990), Andersen served as Director of
Education and Research (1990 to 1999) and Executive Vice President (2000 to 2009) for
the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF). In his position with Zoetis, Andersen
serves as Director of Global Beef Genetic Technical Services, Precision Animal Health.
Andersen remains active in his family’s commercial cow-calf operation in Nebraska. He
and his wife Wendy, along with nineteen-year-old daughter Claire who attends the
University of Nebraska, reside in Windsor, Colorado.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis

Dr. Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. As such, he shares his knowledge and research, both domestically and abroad, with students, scientists, farmers and ranchers, policy makers, and the public at large. Frank is also director of the CLEAR Center, which has two cores – research and communications. The CLEAR Center brings clarity to the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment, helping our global community understand the environmental and human health impacts of livestock, so we can make informed decisions about the foods we eat and while reducing environmental impacts.

Frank is committed to making a difference for generations to come. As part of his position with UC Davis and Cooperative Extension, he collaborates with the animal agriculture sector to create better efficiencies and mitigate pollutants. He is passionate about understanding and mitigating air emissions from livestock operations, as well as studying the implications of these emissions on the health of farm workers and neighboring communities. In addition, he is focusing on the food production challenge that will become a global issue as the world’s population grows to nearly 10 billion by 2050.

Frank received a Master of Science degree in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a doctoral degree in animal science from Texas Tech University. Frank was recruited by UC Davis in 2002, to fill its first-ever position focusing on the relationship between livestock and air quality.


Jack Ward, AHA

Jack started with the American Hereford Association in 2003 and currently serves as the executive vice-president. His initial role was Chief Operations Officer and Director of Breed Improvement.

Jack received his bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Economics from Purdue University, and an Associates of Science degree from Black Hawk College, East Campus. Jack and his wife Mary Ann have two grown sons and together with their sons, they operate Ward Brothers Livestock.

Jack has served on various boards and advisory committees including the Beef Improvement Federation board, Germ-Plasm preservation committee, Ultrasound Guidelines Council and National Beef Cattle Evaluation advisory committee. Additionally, he is a member of the American Royal board of directors. Ward has traveled around the United States and into 7 foreign countries to judge livestock shows and present lectures on beef cattle genetic improvement.

Dr. David Lalman, OSU

Dr. David Lalman is a professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Lalman holds the Harrington Endowed Chair with split extension and research appointment. He works primarily in the beef cattle industry focused on cow/calf and stocker cattle production. His extension and applied research program includes beef cattle nutrition and management with emphasis on beef cattle grazing and genetic by environment interactions in beef production systems. His program goals are to provide producers with information and decision tools to facilitate production system profitability, improve cow herd efficiency and to improve product quality. At Oklahoma State, Dr. Lalman serves as the Animal Science Extension Program Coordinator and the supervisor for the Range Cow Research Center.

Luke Lind, 5 Rivers Cattle Company

Luke Lind has served as SVP & Chief Risk Officer for 5 Rivers Cattle Feeding since October 2008. At the inception of Five Rivers in 2005, Luke served as Vice President of Marketing. Luke began his career with the Cattle Feeding Division of Continental Grain Company in 1993. From 1993 until 2005, Luke was the Manager of Business Development, Director of Marketing and then Vice President of Marketing for ContiBeef LLC, a former wholly owned subsidiary of Continental Grain Company. Luke worked as a Market Analyst for Cattle Fax from 1985 to 1993. Luke received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University. Luke studied Finance at the University of Denver, and has completed several Executive Leadership Courses with the Darden and Stanford Business schools. Luke is active in a number of local and national industry groups.

Dr. Miles Theurer, Veterinary Research and Consulting Services, LLC

Miles Theurer grew up on a family farm and cow/calf operation in south central Kansas. earned doctorates in epidemiology and veterinary medicine from Kansas State University. His Ph.D. in Epidemiology focused on experimental design and statistical analysis. Today, Miles is research director for Veterinary Research and Consulting Services, LLC where he evaluates data for the consulting group and their clients. Theurer works directly with pharmaceutical companies, feed yard managers, and consultants to improve the health and efficiency of cattle in the feed yard.

Dr. John F. Stika, CAB

As president of the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, John Stika leads a team dedicated to earning the trust of consumers around the world by consistently delivering the best beef experience possible. Through a vision focused on connecting people from pasture to plate, John and a passionate team work to grow demand for the branded beef and increase the value of registered Angus cattle, enhancing the lives and businesses of farming and ranching families and all who touch the brand along the way to the consumer.

John’s love for Angus cattle, quality beef and the entire community of people involved from gate to plate is rooted in his experiences growing up on his family’s small farm in central Kansas. His passion grew as he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science and meat science, respectively, at Kansas State University, and then his doctorate in meat science from the University of Kentucky. Celebrating more than 22 years with Certified Angus Beef, John joined the team as assistant director of feeder-packer relations in 1999, and then director of supply development and packing. Moving on to vice president of business development, he led efforts to collaborate with domestic and international distributors, grocery stores and restaurants to grow their beef sales before becoming president in 2006.

With expertise and experience across the beef community, John has served as a board member of the American Meat Science Association, currently serves as a board member of the North American Meat Institute and actively engages in beef quality initiatives and related committees of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. John credits his success to strong mentors, a deep faith and the opportunity to collaborate with innovative and caring teammates, cattlemen and industry partners throughout his career and life.

Dr. Scott Greiner, VPI

Scott Greiner is a Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences professor and beef and sheep Extension specialist. Scott was raised on a diversified family livestock farm in east-central Iowa and attended Iowa State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1989. His graduate studies included a master’s from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from Iowa State. His graduate work at Iowa State was fundamental to the incorporation of ultrasound as a genetic improvement tool in beef cattle.

In 1998, Scott joined the faculty at Virginia Tech and now serves as Extension project leader for the department. His specific responsibilities include designing and delivering educational programs and materials related to beef and sheep genetics and associated production and marketing issues; providing leadership for statewide programs in beef cattle and sheep; and maintaining strong working relationships with the beef and sheep industries and allied organizations. Scott has judged numerous state fairs and major livestock shows in more than 30 states and foreign countries and has been the superintendent of the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest since 2006.

Stefan Marchman, FWSSR

Stefan Marchman of Fort Worth, Texas, is the recently appointed Director of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, after first serving as their Assistant Livestock Show Manager in November of 2000, and being named Livestock Show Manager in April of 2003.

Born in Canyon, Texas, Marchman grew up in a family ranching operation with Bosque and Collin County locations. Graduating from Plano Senior High School in 1982, where he was a member of the Texas 4-H and FFA programs, these experiences developed his passion for the agriculture industry. Marchman now serves on the Board of Directors for both the Texas 4-H Foundation and Texas FFA. Marchman graduated from Tarleton State University with a degree in Agri-Business, remaining at the university another year as a graduate assistant. He coached the Collegiate Livestock Judging Team and served as an instructor in animal science labs.

Marchman began his career at Cattle Today in Fayette, Alabama, where he was a field representative. Gulf Coast Publishing then employed him in San Antonio, Texas. Marchman later became a top-performing Territory Manager over 36 counties in southeast Texas for Pfizer Animal Health.

Chad Holtkamp, Holtkamp Cattle Co.

Chad Holtkamp is owner/operator of Holtkamp Cattle Co, West Point, IA. Chad and wife Kim began Holtkamp Cattle Co. as a first-generation operation in 1988. With a start of four cows, Holtkamp Cattle Co now consists of a full-time cattle operation. Champions have originated from HCC at the National and State levels. Cattle are marketed through multiple sales throughout the year. Emphasis on purebred cattle as well as club calf production.

Chad has judged numerous livestock shows throughout including events such as the North American , American Royal, Fort Worth Stock Show, National Western, Cattleman’s Congress and highlighted by the Owned Heifers at the National Jr Angus show. Chad earned his Animal Science degree from Oklahoma State University and his Associates degree from Blackhawk East College. Recently, Chad was inducted into Blackhawk East’s Livestock Judging Hall of Fame. He was a member of the national champion livestock judging teams for both Black Hawk East and Oklahoma State University.

Blake Bloomberg, BHE

Blake Bloomberg is an associate professor and livestock judging coach at Black Hawk College East Campus. Blake was raised in Berwick, Illinois, on his family’s diversified livestock operation consisting of cattle, hogs and row crops. As the livestock judging coach at Black Hawk College East, he recently coached the 2022 junior college team of the year.

During his career at Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University (TAMU), Blake coached three national champion livestock judging teams. Blake is a seven- time National Collegiate Coaches Association Coach of the Year. He also served as co-coach of the national champion meat animal evaluation team three times.

Blake attended Black Hawk College East and was a member of the 2004-2005 judging team. He was the high point individual at the 2006 National Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest and was also a member of the undefeated 2006 TAMU national champion livestock judging team. Blake has judged livestock shows in 42 states and three foreign countries, including prestigious national shows, and regional and state events.

Jim Williams, V8 Ranch

Jim is a 6th generation rancher and the manager of V8 Ranch, a registered Brahman cattle operation located on the Texas gulf coast. Since receiving his B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 1976, Jim and his family have exhibited 65 National or International Grand Championships. This is the highest number from any one ranch in Brahman history, and just one of the many reasons V8 is recognized as one of the premier Brahman herds in the world.

In addition to raising Brahman and commercial cattle, Jim and his family also operated V8 Shorthorns for 20 years, exhibiting 4 National Champions, 3 Junior National Champions, and breeding Shorthorn Show Heifers of the Year in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Jim has judged at every major livestock show in North America, 33 different national U.S. breed shows, and 44 different State Fairs in the United States. He is an approved judge for every major U.S. beef breed and frequently judges open and junior beef cattle shows and market steer competitions at state fairs as well as major shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. Jim is perhaps best known as one of the world’s leading judges of Brahman cattle. He judged the 2008 International Brahman Show, the 2002 National Brahman Show, and the 2004, 2010, and 2018 World Brahman Congresses. He has also judged virtually in Costa Rica and Australia.

Jim is a past president of the American Brahman Breeders Association and is the American Shorthorn Association’s only 3-time board president. He has also served the industry as a past executive board member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and as past chairman of the Texas Beef Council.

Gary Buchholz, GKB Cattle

GKB Cattle is located in Waxahachie, Texas, just south of Dallas. Owned by Gary and Kathy Buchholz, the ranch dates back four generations. Family roots run deep at GKB Ranch and everyone who pulls into the drive is treated like family. The Buchholzes run about 115 Hereford cows on their ranch and proudly support the Certified Hereford Beef brand. Gary and Kathy are the fourth generation of cattle ranchers in their family.

From the start, Gary and Kathy have placed a top priority on producing useful, real-world genetics that will be successful for junior show heifers, as well as commercial operations. And above all? Weaving integrity throughout the entire process.

Today, Gary and Kathy operate GKB Cattle which consists of Hereford, Angus, Brangus, Brahman, and Simmental. The Buchholz’ also currently serve as National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) advisors.

Blake Nelson, AMAA

Blake grew up in Oklahoma and came through the ranks of livestock judging and showing cattle as a youth. He showed Chianina’s and some other breeds of cattle. Then, he judged livestock at the collegiate level at Connors State College, then again at Oklahoma State University. Upon his graduation from Oklahoma State, he got the opportunity to go back to Connors. There, he taught Animal Science and numerous livestock judging teams for about 15 years. Currently, Blake is Executive Vice President of the American Maine Anjou Association.

Graham Blagg, Innovation Ag Marketing

Growing up in a small rural community in the foothills of California on his family’s Hereford ranch, Graham Blagg always had a passion for the livestock industry and the people that came along with it. Following graduation from Nevada Union in 2008, Graham served as Vice-President for the California State FFA. He traveled around the state for a year meeting with chapters and representing agriculture at various functions. In 2009, Graham moved to El Reno, Oklahoma to judge livestock at Redlands Community College under the instruction of Dr. Clay Elliott. Blagg continued his judging career at Texas A&M University and was a member of the competitive 2012 livestock judging team. Graham finished his senior college livestock judging career by being named the 2012 NAILE High Individual. While at TAMU, Graham became involved in the Simmental breed through his job at the Texas A&M Beef Center. Graham graduated from Texas A&M in December 2013 with an Animal Science degree, and moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma to start marketing cattle. Graham started consulting for a few purebred operations across the country, acted as a sale day consultant for a few purebred Seedstock sales, and instantly became hooked. Fast forward to 2017, Graham and his wife Kasey, along with some friends, had the vision to create what is now known across the industry as Innovation AgMarketing, LLC. Innovation AgMarketing has grown over the past three years and now manages 35 live auction sales per year. During the fall sale season, Innovation AgMarketing manages predominantly female production sales for some of the Nation’s most respected Simmental, Angus, Red Angus, and multi-breed show heifer operations.

Jirl Buck, Buck Cattle Co.

Jirl grew up on a small cow calf operation which mainly produced Limousin cattle and ran yearlings on grass in the summer. His family showed heifers and steers and was involved in 4-H and FFA. His dad, Bill Buck, was very talented at clipping and many people brought cattle to him to clip in the early days, as a result, Jirl learned some valuable skills at a very early age. He attended Murray State College and Oklahoma State University. It was during college that he had the opportunity to work for several top cattle producers including McKown Limousin, Magness Land & Cattle Co., American Cattle Services, Hal Courtney, and Ferris Ranch.

In 1987, he began buying and selling show steers and heifers. As the demand for high quality show heifers was on the rise, and at the time, high quality Maine-Anjou cattle were in short supply, so he began to build his own breeding program. His goal was to produce cattle that have the style, balance, and power to compete in the show ring but also be able to perform in the real world of beef production and that is still the goal today.

Today, Jirl operates Buck Cattle Company alongside his wife, Brenda, and his daughter, Bailey. Buck Cattle Company runs 450 cows and produces Maine-Anjou, Hereford, and bucking bulls. We host two annual production sales in March and October. We also have several online sales throughout the year. Our bulls and groups of bred females are marketed at private treaty.

Christy Collins, CCI

Christy Collins was raised and still lives on the 100 year family operated ranch near Frederick, Oklahoma. Christy has managed marketing campaigns for some of the nation’s leading seed stock operations and has managed over 120 purebred or seed stock auctions in the US and Canada. Christy started the successful Embryos on Snow that will be in its 17th year in 2023 and popularized the 3 embryos per lot format in 2005. Christy currently owns, operated and developed, a web based livestock marketing service that she founded and developed in 2017. Christy used the platform to promote smaller auctions broadcasted live only for the benefit of smaller breeders and genetic sales.
In 2009 Christy imported Red Angus cattle out of Canada to the US and started Las Rojas Red Angus, a genetic program that has generated six National Champion or Reserve National Champion Red Angus Females.

Christy was a member of the National Champion Sr College Livestock Team in 1991 and graduated Oklahoma State University with a BS in Animal Science in 1992.

Kyle Conley, Conley Cattle

Conley Cattle is owned and operated by Kyle and Amanda Conley along with their two sons, Case and Jack. Their operation consists of an Annual Bull Sale, Annual Fall Production Sale, and a Spring and Fall online show heifer sale.

Conley Cattle was founded in 2006 by Kyle and Amanda Conley with Angus cattle raised by their families. Kyle is a 3rd generation Angus breeder from Clarksdale, MO. Amanda is a 5th generation Angus breeder from Sulphur, OK. They purchased a farm in Amanda’s hometown with hope to support a family of their own doing what they both love, raising quality cattle. Amanda also works as a pharmacist, and she prides herself in improving the health in our community.

From the beginning, their focus has been the foundation female. The more Kyle traveled to visit Angus herds around the United States, the more he began to figure out what cow families could influence our future as cattle breeders. They have built their herd around these donors, and they have produced numerous high sellers.

Both Kyle and Amanda believe the next generation holds the key to their success. Their herd managers and summer interns offer a new outlook and perspective on this industry, and their input is greatly valued in the decisions of Conley Cattle.

Chad Martin, Tyson Foods

Chad Martin graduated from Texas A&M University in 1996 with a B.S. in Animal Science. From there, he launched an impressive career with Tyson Foods, starting as a Quality Assurance Inspector. He moved up the rankings and served as Vice President of Food Safety Quality Assurance, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Beef Enterprise, Chief Operating Officer and Group President of Poultry and now serves as the Head of Tyson Food Service Poultry.

In addition to his experience at Tyson, Martin has also served as the Assistant Operations Manager at Capital Land and Livestock in Schwertner, Texas. He is a member of many professional boards and associations, which includes the Texas A&M Agrilife External Advisory Board, Texas A&M Animal Science Advisory Council, Executive Committee of the National Chicken Council, Executive Committee STEC Cap Grant, Technical Committee US Meat Export Federation, FAD Committee Secure Beef, Past Chairman and Executive Committee of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, Inspection and Scientific Affairs Committee of NAMI and the Technical Committee of the Canadian Meat Council.

Katelyn McCollock, Director, Senior Economist at LMIC

Katelyn McCullock is the Director and Senior Agricultural Economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center. Katelyn has expertise in the cattle, hog, dairy, hay and grain sectors covering market analysis and outlook. Katelyn is well published through a variety of platforms and audiences. Katelyn is an recognized presenter on livestock marketing topics, and outlook and has a breadth of experience presenting to technical and non-technical audiences.

Prior to joining LMIC, Katelyn has worked in the Farm Credit System as well as in Washington, DC for American Farm Bureau Federation on livestock related agricultural policy topics. She has a masters in Agricultural Economics from Colorado State University and a bachelor of Science from the University of Maine.

Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU

Derrell Peel holds the Charles Breedlove Professorship of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University. He is known for his expertise in livestock and meat marketing and policy analysis. He has also served as the Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist since 1989. His extension programs focus on livestock market situations and outlook and marketing/risk management education for producers. Peel has published numerous articles and reports on these topics and is a sought-after speaker and consultant in the industry. He was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from SAEA in 2017 and the Excellence in Extension from the Southern Region from APLU in 2015. His program and expertise areas consist of: Livestock Market Analysis and Outlook; Livestock Marketing Education and Risk Management; Economics of Stocker Cattle Production and Marketing; International Cattle and Beef Trade; Mexican Cattle and Beef Industry; NAFTA Cattle and Beef trade Issues.

Dr. Morgan Pfeiffer, OSU

Morgan Pfeiffer is a Meeker, Colorado native who grew up actively involved in production agriculture and the 4-H and FFA programs. Her ties to agriculture led her to Oklahoma State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Communications. She was also member of the meat judging team, livestock judging team, and national champion meat animal evaluation team. Morgan went on to receive her Master’s and PhD degrees at OSU while helping coach five meat judging teams, three of which were named national champions. Morgan currently works at OSU as an Assistant Professor in Meat Science. Outside of the university she is fortunate to spend time helping her husband, daughter and his family on their family farm. She is passionate about teaching the next generation of agriculturalists and conducting research that will have a positive impact on the industry.

Topics to be Covered:

Genetic Prediction
Showring and Marketing Ethics
Pasture and Soil Health
Trends in Beef Production


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