National Geographic : 1985 Sep
commercial hub of southwestern Kansas, boasting the state's largest livestock auction and supplying feed and materials for the state's growing beef industry. FIFTY MILES west of Dodge, high pitched whistles from men on horse back blended to almost a keening sound above the bellowing of the confused cattle. Black Angus, Charolais, and white faced Herefords moved protesting through a horseshoe-shaped chute. They plunged over their heads into a pungent chemical bath and emerged complaining on the other side. "They either slide in or dive in and get totally covered," Stan Fansher told me as we leaned against a fence. Providing this pro tection from ticks and other vermin is only part of a day's work outside of Garden City at Brookover Feed Yards, founded by Earl Brookover, who helped pioneer the feedlot business. After grazing on rangeland, cattle are grain-fattened in pens for the final four and a half months of their lives. "A cowboy rides each pen every day," Fansher told me. "They go in to check for cripples or sick cattle. Or to see if a heifer's trying to have a calf."