Brookover Feed Yards, Garden City
Aerial view of the Brookover Feed Yard. Photo courtesy Brookover Feed Yard.
Earl Brookover, Sr. looking over his first feed yard just north of Garden City in the early 1950s. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
View of cattle in an individual pen at the feed yard. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
An "ensilmixer" feed truck was invented to streamline the feeding of tens of thousands of cattle. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
Keith Downer, was a well known as the head cowboy at Brookover Feed Yard. Photo taken in 1987. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
Pen riders are essential to the success of the feed yard. They are trained to look for sick cattle and other signs of problems. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
The feed mill processes and loads the Ensilmixer trucks with the wide variety of feed used to fatten the cattle. Photo courtesy Finney County Historical Society.
Brookover Feed Yards signature sign atop the grain elevators at the yard proclaim people to "Eat Beef, Keep Slim". Photo courtesy Brookover Feed Yards.
31013 N. Hwy. 83, Garden City, KS 67846
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Feed Yards is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce because in 1951 it was the first commercial feed yard
Earl Brookover pioneered the commercial cattle feeding industry with the establishment of the first commercial feed yard located in the High Plains region. The first yard was built in Garden City in 1951. He envisioned vast amounts of irrigated grain, ideal cattle feeding climates, and a demand for commercial cattle feeding.
Since 1951, many changes have occurred in the beef cattle industry. However, one thing has not changed - Brookover is still family-owned and remains a leader in commercial cattle feeding.
Brookover has two commercial feed yard operations with a combined capacity of 80,000 head: Brookover Feed Yard, located north of Garden City and Brookover Ranch Feed Yard, located south of Garden City.
The commercial cattle feeding process begins with the movement of cattle from the ranch, farm, or auction to the feed yard. Cattle are received 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When cattle arrive, they are weighed on the truck and then unloaded and moved to the receiving pen where fresh hay and water are available.
A program is designed based on type, origin, and previous history of the cattle. Normal processing includes implanting, assignment, and attachment of a permanent lot identification number, deworming, and vaccination.
After processing and sorting, cattle are moved to their permanent pen. A starter ration and fresh water await their arrival in a pen specifically designed for maximum cattle performance. Cattle are then fed a finish ration based on a schedule that includes a combination of nutritional science and cattle feeding expertise.
The bunk reader is critical to achieving maximum cattle performance. At Brookover, the bunk reader observes cattle and bunks several times daily to determine the amount to be fed to each pen each feeding. This is transmitted to the feed mill and feed truck driver who delivers the feed to the specific pens.
Rations fed are scientifically formulated and completely manufactured in our modern feed manufacturing plants.
The Brookover animal health program and system play an integral part in the cattle feeding program. Brookover is proud of the well trained cowboys at all of our feed yard operations. Pens are ridden daily to observe, pull, and treat sick cattle immediately.
To achieve the best feed conversions Brookover utilizes long, well-designed feed bunks for efficient and timely cattle feeding. Pens are designed to handle one to four loads of cattle. Waterers are cleaned on a regular basis. Pen drainage is excellent. Pens are cleaned continuously. This alone can improve cattle performance by up to twenty percent.
Sales of finished cattle are an integral part of commercial cattle feeding. Brookover is ideally located within a 60 mile radius of five major packers. The location, in combination with Brookover's expertise in the selling of finished cattle and our reputation of producing a consistent product, allows Brookover to receive top dollar for your finished cattle.
Source: Edited "About Us" at www.brookover.com.
Drive by Brookover Feed Yards on N. Highway 83 and keep going to Finney County Historical Museum at Finnup Park, 403 S. 4th. The museum has a wonderful display about Earl Brookover and the pioneering of the first commercial feedlot. Winter hours are daily 1-5 p.m. 620.272.3664.