Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
The Omaha Stockyards spurred growth of jobs in other industries related to the stockyard. Immigrants flooded in from all over Europe. The men worked long, grueling hours to build a life for themselves and their families. By 1957, the livestock industry – that included the stockyard company, an astounding 19 different meatpacking companies, 40 commission firms, a special railroad just for livestock, and other companies – employed half of Omaha’s workforce. At its peak, the stockyard alone, employed 400 people.
For nearly 75 years, from the late 1890s to the early 1970s, the stockyards and the meatpacking plants that came to surround them were the engine that drove Omaha’s economy, putting this city on the map. But with the invention of train and truck refrigerator cars, it no longer became necessary to ship cattle a long way for slaughter. This saw the decline of cattle and livestock coming to Omaha. In the late 1960s, the old South Omaha packing plants, burdened by outdated facilities and labor problems, began to close. In July 1971 the last of the cattle being slaughtered in south Omaha. The stockyard would remain open for longer selling cattle for local producers every Monday. Until one Monday, in mid-March, 1999, the last 600 head of cattle would sell through the ring. The last gavel fell that day, ending an era that put Omaha on the map as a hub of agriculture in the United States of America.
Cows Build Towns!
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 3 daughters near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her current role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report that is broadcast on 60 radio stations with coverage in 9 states, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights R-CALF’s work on industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the ranch.