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Cattle handling demos always a crowd pleaser at HHDCattle handling demos always a crowd pleaser at HHD

Long-time Lexington cattleman and veterinarian, "Dr. Joe" Jeffrey returns to HHD to inform and entertain cattle handling demo audiences.

Curt Arens

July 26, 2016

3 Min Read

Live cattle handling demonstrations at Husker Harvest Days, sponsored by Vesta, Minn.-based Rio Nutrition, always draws enthusiastic crowds. Maybe that’s because HHD was one of the first big farm shows to incorporate side-by-side chute comparisons and live cattle handling into the schedule.


Owner and founder of Rio Nutrition, Trevor Greenfield says that the demonstrations offer ranchers the opportunity to see equipment and livestock under real conditions. “Relationships with our rancher customers, partnering with them and standing shoulder to shoulder with ranchers on their side of the fence are the reasons participating in HHD is important to our team,” Greenfield says. “We are thrilled to get out there with our customers and show our commitment to the beef industry and to ranchers,” he explains. “We deal with so many producers over such a wide area, but it still all comes down to relationships. HHD gives us the opportunity to meet with ranchers face to face and to get a feel for what their needs are. It also gives them a chance to learn more about who we are and how we can help them.”

According to legendary Lexington veterinarian and demonstration narrator, “Dr. Joe” Jeffrey, side-by-side comparisons of cattle chutes along with explanations by company representatives make the demonstrations useful. Seeing the chutes in action as cattle are being processed helps producers make their own decisions about the chutes that work best for their operations.

“We try to tell a few stories and have some fun too,” says Jeffrey, who uses humor to engage and inform the audiences. “The real heroes of the demonstrations are the guys operating the chutes.”

Cattle handling demos always a crowd pleaser at HHD

SIDE-BY-SIDE:  Part of the appeal of live cattle handling at HHD is the ability for producers to see numerous of the top brands in cattle working facilities in action side-by-side. 

The demonstrations, located on Lot 860 in the Livestock Industry Building at the corner of Eighth Street and West Avenue, have always been situated in a prime spot, amidst livestock exhibits, breed association displays and beef related equipment and machinery.

For Rio Nutrition, sponsoring the demonstrations exhibits their solid commitment to the industry. “Everything we do is connected to the rancher’s bottomline,” Greenfield says. “That’s why we tell our sales people that the sale is not the end of the road. It’s just the beginning. We believe in a strong after-care program to help producers get the most out of our products.”

Collaboration with their customers often leads to new products, like Rio’s new RangeRocket lick sled refill program that is currently being tested and prepared for launch. The program will provide two 125 pound refills that can be dropped into the popular RangeRocket sleds, fitting snugly so they can be pulled with an ATV over rough terrain to any location. Biodegradable shells on the refills mean that there are no wasteful empties to worry about, plus the program utilizes the popular mobility of the RangeRocket system.

So, don’t miss the HHD demonstrations of chutes, vaccination and implanting devices, scheduled daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ralph Cornelius of Alda is carrying on a family tradition by providing cattle for the exhibition. Within the working facility complex, producers can talk with sales representatives from manufacturers of fencing, livestock panels, buildings and facilities, waterers, animal health and feeding systems and haying equipment. Rio Nutrition will again be offering free ice water, so stop by their booth if you are thirsty. 

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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