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!
By 1892 the Omaha stockyard was pulling in 25 million dollars’ worth of business. Around 1900, the stockyards added new pens and brick floors along with new concrete watering troughs and weighing scales. The sheep barn was also rebuilt to hold 100,000 animals, and the new block horse and mule barn was hailed as “the largest and best single barn in the world. At its height of, the Omaha stockyard covered almost 250 acres! In 1910, 20,000 animals were arriving DAILY including cattle, sheep, hogs, and goats from all over the American west!
For more than a decade Chicago had been the center of meat production in the northern great plains. In 1955, Omaha’s livestock market became the largest in the world, moving 6.7 million head that year and that would not even be the PEAK of sales receipts. A few years later at the end of World War 2, they would move 7.7 million head.
Every day, thousands of cattle, hogs and sheep were shipped, first by rail and later by trucks, to Omaha’s pens where they would be sold to packinghouses for slaughter or to other livestock producers for fattening or breeding stock. They were now receiving cattle from 30 different states and Canada. On any given market day in the mid-50s, over $2.5 million dollars’ worth of livestock was handled – that’s over $18 million worth in today’s dollars.
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.