Oklahoma City, OK – Back in the Fall of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, numerous cattle shows canceled across the nation, sending a tremor through the cattle industry. A collective of concerned Oklahoma City businessmen led by Jarold Callahan, Tyler Norvell, and Bob Funk, Sr., amongst others, stepped in to support the cattle industry by creating the Cattlemen’s Congress which took place in January 2021 at the OKC Fairgrounds. In addition to providing a location for cattlemen and women to showcase and market their genetics, it also came at a time when the local hospitality industry was suffering. This inaugural event was a major success and boost to the Oklahoma City economy at a time when it was much needed. In its inaugural year, this elite show resulted in a record-breaking $50 million impact to the state’s economy, with $10 million resulting directly from cattle sales.
The second annual Cattlemen’s Congress returned to Oklahoma City in January 2022. This year’s show, which ran January 1 through 15 at the OKC Fairgrounds, attracted over 9,200 head of cattle, entered by more than 2,900 exhibitors from 40 states and multiple countries including Canada and Mexico. The Cattlemen's Congress grew its international presence in 2022 hosting buyers and interested cattlemen from across the globe including: Dubai, Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua, Canada and online buyers from many other countries. As pandemic protocols loosen, they hope to increase the opportunities for those internationally and gain notoriety as the world’s largest and most elite cattle show. It is the focus of the Cattlemen’s Congress to put on a show for cattlemen that is managed by cattlemen with a mission of hosting a world-class event that caters to the agriculture industry and ranchers, both of which are vital to the state of Oklahoma.
“We were extremely proud and honored to be the host site for the Cattlemen’s Congress,” stated Timothy J. O’Toole, Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. President & CEO. “Since 2005, we have invested over $120 million in expansion and improvements to this world-class facility, placing an emphasis on livestock and equine events. Those efforts have been validated in the feedback received from the various breed associations after the inaugural event in 2021.”
One of the key factors in the success of the Cattlemen’s Congress is the fact that Oklahoma City is the Crossroads of America and is centrally located in proximity to 40 percent of the nation’s cattle production. Approximately $10.2 million changed hands during the various breed sales associated with the Cattlemen’s Congress this year. It is the second year for the OKC Fairgrounds to host this “New Tradition” offering one of the largest and most elite cattle shows in the world.
“Oklahoma sits in the heart of cattle country and therefore makes the perfect place to bring cattlemen together,” said Jarold Callahan, Chairman of Cattlemen’s Congress. “Each year cattlemen come together to find the newest and best genetics the industry has to offer, and their meeting place became OKC in 2021 and we hope for future generations.”
“Oklahoma City has long been known as the “Horse Show Capital of the World” and it’s great to expand our reach into a marquee livestock event such as Cattlemen’s Congress,” said Zac Craig, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau President. “This event brings a significant economic impact for our economy and we are excited to see it grow into an annual event due to the attendees enjoying their time in OKC.”
“The Oklahoma City hotel community is proud to help host this important livestock event; the positive economic impact the Cattlemen’s Congress brings to our local hospitality industry throughout its two-week stay is tremendous,” stated Mike Farney, Director of Sales, Champion Hotels Management & Development. “We look forward to continuing to build a strong long-term relationship with all the wonderful folks who administer, sponsor, and attend the event.”
As a result of the resounding support of the Cattlemen’s Congress by the City of Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma, and the agriculture industry, the OKC Fairgrounds will host this event again. The next Cattlemen’s Congress will take place December 30, 2022 through January 13, 2023.
For more information regarding OKC Fairgrounds events, please contact the OKC Fairgrounds Office at 405-948-6700. To stay up-to-date on all the OKC Fairgrounds has to offer, visit www.okcfairgrounds.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and Instagram.
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