National Western Stock Show

January 10-25, 2015, Denver, Colorado

The National Western Stock Show is one of the largest beef cattle shows worldwide. Throughout its 16-day duration nearly 20 cattle breeds are exhibited. The National Western Stock Show is the premier beef and cattle industry showcase event.

The International Livestock Forum is a new event in 2015 hosted by Colorado State University in Fort Collins in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show. Breeders, producers, meat experts, meat technologists and future industry experts will come together on January 13 to discuss important topics with industry leaders from around the world. 

Please refer to the 2015 schedule for dates and times of all events for the Stock Show. For livestock specific information please visit the National Western Stock Show Livestock Events.

International inquiries can be made at the International Agri-Business Center. The Center was created to encourage and foster overseas sales of livestock and livestock products by providing a social and educational environment for trade development. The National Western Stock Show and more than 17 ambassadors interested in international agriculture commerce sponsor the Center.

Colorado Cattle: Industry Leaders for Over 150 Years

For more than 150 years, Colorado’s cattle ranching and feeding families have been committed to a tradition of providing consumers a safe and wholesome food supply while caring for Colorado’s land, water and wildlife resources.

Colorado’s livestock industry is also supported by Colorado State University. The Department of Animal Sciences is focused on improving profitable production in the livestock industry through resource management, science and technology, while addressing food safety and animal welfare concerns.

Colorado's Cattle Industry

Colorado’s cattle industry covers the full range of the U.S. cattle industry.  Colorado begins with world class beef cattle genetics.  These genetics create the base for Colorado’s “cow-calf” operators who produce over 750,000 feed calves per year.  

After weaning, the cattle from Colorado as well as other states are pastured in Colorado’s fields, and meadows to gain most of their weight before entering our feedlots.  Colorado’s feedlots feed over 2.3 million cattle per year, which are then processed by Colorado’s slaughter plants.

From our plants, Colorado beef is sold to the retail and restaurant trade in the U.S. and around the world.

Colorado Beef Industry Facts

  • Cash receipts for Colorado livestock and products total more than $3.7 billion, of which more than 75 percent of cash receipts come from cattle and calves.
  • Of Colorado’s $3.7 billion livestock industry, 75 percent comes from cattle and calves.
  • Traditionally, Colorado has around 2.65 million head of cattle each year, valued at over $2.8 billion.
  • Colorado feeds almost 2 million head of cattle including cattle from other states.
  • Colorado ranked 10th in the United States in total cattle in the year 2011.
  • The current concept of feedlots and packing houses used in the United States began in Greeley, Colorado.
  • Today Colorado is home to 11,600 farms with cattle and calves, 206 feedlots, and 24 USDA certified slaughter plants.
  • Colorado is the fourth largest exporter of fresh and frozen beef in the United States.

A Good Place to Do Business

Colorado is home to many national leaders in the cattle industry such as:

  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and Cattle-Fax
  • United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF)
  • Breed association headquarters: American Gelbvieh Association, American Highland Cattle Association, North American Limousin Foundation, American Salers Association
  • Major beef processors, leaders in traceability, and equipment manufacturers

For assistance in locating livestock genetics from Colorado, please contact the Markets Division at the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 869-9170 or

Industry Resources in Colorado

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association’s mission is to promote the interests of Colorado’s beef industry and protect Colorado’s land, water, and forage resources.

Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation's oldest state cattlemen's association.  CCA serves its members by speaking out on behalf of Colorado’s more than 12,000 beef producers. CCA works closely with state and national legislators, agencies, media and consumers to promote the beef industry.

Members take pride in CCA's ability to achieve results for Colorado’s beef producers. Beef producers join CCA voluntarily and manage it cooperatively, working together to accomplish goals that no single beef producer could reach alone.

Colorado Livestock Association

We will represent Colorado’s livestock industry with a unified voice in addressing legislative & regulatory issues and proactively advance the interests of our members through communications, education and leadership development.

CLA focuses on building relationships between producers, building relationships with regulatory agencies and legislators, and bringing forth future Colorado agriculture leaders. CLA has been a leader on behalf of its members in the regulatory and legislative arenas when it comes to issues impacting Colorado’s livestock industry. The Association continues to work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, through its stakeholder process, to assure the industry can remain viable and environmentally sound through ever increasing regulations.

Safety is also a main focus for the Association. We have a workers compensation group program that not only allows members to receive a financial benefit by pooling resources, it also provides training to help members develop a safety culture within their operations. Click here to learn more about CLA's worker's compensation group.

Colorado State University Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

DARE (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics) centers its research, teaching and outreach activities in defined areas of excellence: agricultural education, agribusiness management and finance, livestock systems, consumer choice and the economics of water, land and environment.

Colorado State University Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center

ARDEC was founded in 1993 in order to encourage cooperation between soils, crop and water research scientists in an integrated setting under common management.

The facility embodies several important concepts. It provides opportunities to conduct investigations on agricultural problems in a coordinated and integrated approach by bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise. Problems may include the entire system of agriculture from inputs (land, water, genetic materials) through production to value added processing. The facilities provide faculty, staff, students, agricultural producers, processors, agribusiness representatives, natural resource managers, governmental agencies and others with the opportunity to participate in work conducted on-site. The facility has been designed to provide flexible common use areas for peak period needs and shared equipment use for maximum resource use. This reduces the unnecessary duplication of equipment between departments.

We conduct integrated agriculture research instruction and outreach programs for the departments and areas of:

  • Soil and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • BioAgricultural Science and Pest Management
  • Horticulture
  • Animal Science
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition

Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences

The Department of Animal Sciences has the unique mission of serving Colorado’s large and diverse livestock industries. Research, teaching and extension/outreach activities in the Department of Animal Sciences focus on developing industry leaders and improving profitable production of horses and food animals through the application of science and technology, resource management and food product enhancement, with emphasis on addressing societal issues concerning food safety, product quality and value, animal care and management, and environmental impacts of animal agriculture.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Initiated in 1898, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is the marketing organization and trade association for America's one million cattle farmers and ranchers. With offices in Denver and Washington, D.C., NCBA is a consumer-focused, producer-directed organization representing the largest segment of the nation's food and fiber industry. NCBA works to achieve the vision: "A dynamic and profitable beef industry, which concentrates resources around a unified plan, consistently meets global consumer needs and increases demand."
The NCBA Federation of State Beef Councils Division oversees beef and beef product promotion, research, information and related activities financed by the beef checkoff and similar market development investments.

United States Meat Export Federation

The mission of USMEF is “to increase the value and profitability of the U.S. beef, pork and lamb industries by enhancing demand for their products in export markets through a dynamic partnership of all stakeholders.” Simply put, USMEF is “Putting U.S. Meat on the World’s Table.”

USMEF combines financial resources received from the USDA Market Access, Emerging Market and Foreign Market Development programs and matches them with support from Checkoff programs representing the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries.  USMEF further stretches the buying power of producers’ Checkoff funds by combining them with third-party contributions from industry partners around the world (retailers, food service outlets, importers, etc.) to create an integrated, cost-effective approach to supporting red meat exports.

Colorado ranches interested in live cattle and genetics exports:

*If you are a Colorado rancher interested in international sales and would like to be included on this page, please email

Colorado & U.S. Breed Associations
American Angus Association
St. Joseph, MO
(816) 383-5100
American Hereford Association
Kansas City, MO
(816) 842-3757
Colorado Angus Association
Akron, CO
(970) 345-6397
North American Limousin Foundation
Englewood, CO
(303) 220-1693
Beefmaster Breeders United
San Antonio, TX
(210) 732-3132
Red Angus Association of America
Denton, TX
(940) 387-3502
National Bison Association
Westminster, CO
(303) 292-2833
American Salers Association
Parker, CO
(303) 770-9292
International Brangus Breeders Association
San Antonio, TX
(210) 696-8231
American Shorthorn Association
Omaha, NE
(402) 393-7200
American International Charolais Association
Kansas City, MO
(816) 464-5977
American Simmental Association
Bozeman, MT
(406) 587-4531
American Gelbvieh Association
Westminster, CO
(303) 465-2333
North American South Devon Association
Parker, CO
(303) 770-3130