South Dakota rancher wins Nutra-Lix saddle |

South Dakota rancher wins Nutra-Lix saddle

Gene and Joyce Phillips keep the new saddle clean for now. Courtesy photo

There is a longstanding relationship between Nutra-Lix, Inc. and the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA). For the past several years, they have marked that partnership with the drawing of a custom saddle for the USCA membership drive at the Montana Agri-Tradeshow and Exhibition in Billings held each February.

The MATE proved to be the perfect setting for this drawing. Over the years, it has grown into the largest agricultural tradeshow in the region. Thousands of people attended the show taking in the exhibits as there was something there for every facet of agriculture.

Nutra-Lix, Inc. has been in business for close to 30 years selling liquid beef supplement to ranchers in an area that spans several states. Since their business is beef, it is only natural that they would have a partnership with the USCA. Each year they choose from the pool of membership names to draw for a Yost Saddle Company designed and made saddle.

The lucky winner is the longtime member Gene Phillips of Hot Springs, S.D. He and his wife Joyce moved to Hot Springs in 1972 where they own and operate a commercial cattle operation. Like many ranches in the area, it turned into a family run enterprise when his son Scott and Scott’s wife Kristy came on board.

Phillips has been a member of the USCA for as far back as he can remember, “I knew this was going to be a good organization, and they need members to make it work,” said Phillips. As a cattleman, it made the most sense for him to become a member.

A true cowboy, Phillips grew up ranching and rodeoing. He spent his earlier life calf roping and heeling for the simple fact that he could use one horse to do both events. It was a great wish of his to win a saddle. Years ago, Phillips missed out on an all-around saddle by $2. This time luck went his way when his name was drawn for Yost saddle.

Now that he is semi-retired, his son Scott has taken over most of the operations and was quick to volunteer to use the saddle that Nutra-Lix sponsored. Though Phillips has already decided on another plan for his new saddle.

Gene and Joyce have always been supportive of the youth in agriculture in his surrounding area. His thought is once his new saddle has been admired in his home for spell that he would donate to a local youth rodeo so that it can help a young competitor. “Those kids are the future of our industry, its good if we can give them a chance to be successful,” said Phillips.

Nutra-Lix, Inc., the USCA, and Gene Phillips and his family all have a similar goal to ensure that beef industry thrives, and they each are doing their part to see it through.