The cattle industry has been the cornerstone of commerce in Dodge City since cowboys drove herds up from Texas to sell them.
The cattle drive period only lasted 10 years in Dodge City. The railroad continued its westward expansion and the industry evolved.
But the feedlots and packing plants, not to mention numerous cattle operations of all sizes in the area, keep the cattle industry going strong.
And like every industry, things have changed while remaining essentially the same.
Today's farmers and ranchers have a lot of technology to keep up with, along with a rapidly changing market.
Winter Livestock, Inc., a business that's been serving the cattle industry since 1936, recognized an opportunity to bring together vendors, exhibitors and presenters for a day full of information that would be valuable to their customers.
So two years ago they hosted the first Cowboy Capital Ag Expo and Trade Show.
"We were one of the first events scheduled in the Magouirk Conference Center when it opened," said Darci Winter, one of the expo's organizers.
The show quickly outgrew the conference center and now fills the United Wireless Arena as well.
"We'll have 40 exhibitors in the arena," Winter said.
The vendor list includes feed yards, media outlets and publications, automotive and truck dealers, seed companies, animal nutrition and crop specialists, financial institutions and advisors, equipment sales, insurance providers, veterinarians and even a couple of clothing retailers.
In addition to the vendors, three speakers have been invited to make presentations.
n Luke Schwieterman, representing Schwieterman, Inc. will discuss the local commodity trade. Born and raised on a farm near Syracuse, Schwieterman graduated from St. Mary of the Plains. His firm, which is based in Garden City, has branch offices and brokers in Wichita, Ashland, Meade and Hutchinson.
He also founded Schwieterman Marketing LLC, a service which assists farmers in providing written marketing plans to present to lenders. The service includes cash flows, lease development, crop selection, crop insurance and government programs.
n Andy Gottschalk, senior vice president with R.J. O'Brien and owner of HedgersEdge.com, will talk about the world view of agriculture. Based on his extensive travels, Gottschalk's presentation will be titled "Beyond Our Borders."
RJO was founded in 1914 and the firm has been instrumental in the development of the futures industry.
n U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp will be on hand to talk about a broad range of topics relating to agriculture.
Huelskamp, who was born and raised near Fowler, attended the College of Santa Fe and later The American University in Washington, D.C.
Huelskamp and his wife, Angela, returned to the family farm and he was elected to the Kansas Senate in 1996.
Page 2 of 2 - Huelskamp was re-elected by wide margins in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
In 2010, he was elected to his first term as a congressman, representing Kansas' First Congressional District.
"I'm also allowing plenty of time for the congressman to answer questions," Winter said.
Other features of the expo will be door prizes throughout the day and broadcasts by Q97 throughout the day.
A live longhorn will be at the show and guests can guess his weight and win a prize.
Breakfast and lunch will be available at one of the arena's concession stands.
"We invite anyone who's interested in any aspect of agriculture to stop by the expo, hear the speakers and visit the exhibits," Winter said.
"We hope people who are in town for the AMBUCS show will stop by as well," she said.
IF YOU GO
What: Cowboy Capital Ag Expo and Trade Show
When: Friday, Feb. 22
9:30 a.m. — doors open, trade show opens
10:00 a.m. — Luke Schwieterman presentation
11 a.m. — Congressman Huelskamp presentation
1 p.m. — Andy Gottschalk presentation
5 p.m. — show closes
Where: United Wireless Arena and Magouirk Conference Center
The Expo and Trade Show are free and open to the public.
Follow Don Steele on Twitter @Don_dcglobe.