(TOPEKA) – The Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) will help celebrate the state’s 150th birthday by driving 30 trophy Longhorn steers through downtown Wichita as part of the Kansas Sunflower Parade. Hundreds of Kansans are expected to watch the majestic Longhorns being driven down Main Street during the October 8 event. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be horseback ahead of the herd.
Several KLA members, including President Elect Frank Harper of Sedgwick, will be among the outriders driving the Longhorns in the parade. KLA President Ken Grecian from Palco will follow the cattle in a trail-drive era wagon provided by Josh and Gwen Hoy with the Flying W Ranch at Cedar Point. Flying W also is providing several saddle horses for dignitaries, including Gov. Brownback, who are helping drive the cattle.
Chain Ranch of Woodward, OK, will supply the Longhorns for the KLA parade entry. These cattle have led large parades in Cheyenne, WY, and Greeley, CO. The Longhorns have been used to help promote events as far away as Detroit, MI, and have been part of at least one movie.
Longhorns symbolize the early years of a business that has contributed significantly to the Kansas economy since the Civil War. Ranchers, feeders and dairymen today are responsible for billions of dollars circulating through the state’s economy.
“KLA’s entry in the parade is meant to emphasize to citizens the commitment our industry has to animal care, environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Grecian, a rancher and farmer from Graham County.
Starting at 11:00 a.m. October 8, the Sunflower Parade is part of the daylong Kansas 150 Festival in Wichita. Activities will conclude with a “Home on the Range” concert highlighting the history of Kansas through video, song and poetry.
KLA is a trade organization representing ranchers, feeders, diversified farmers and dairymen on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by members.