Date: 11/4/2013 12:00:00 AM

Title: KLA Convention will provide information relevant to ranchers

     (TOPEKA) – A third-generation logger who has firsthand experience dealing with environmental activists and a panel discussing the prospects for herd expansion are two highlights of the annual Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention, December 4-6 in Wichita. More than 900 livestock producers and others connected to the business are expected to attend.
     Bruce Vincent from Libby, MT, will lead off the convention program with a presentation about how farmers and ranchers must become more involved to prevent activist groups from severely restricting food production. As a Montana logger 20 years ago, his business was targeted by activists through legislation and vandalism. Vincent believes animal agriculture is among the list of new targets identified by activists. He will tell KLA members during an address sponsored by Micro and Bayer how important it is for people with a vested interest in agriculture to prevent activist interference in the livestock business by heightening their involvement in the public policy arena.
     Beef Industry University (BIU), sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, will focus on the timely topic of herd rebuilding. With improved moisture and forage availability, many ranchers are considering holding back or buying heifers. The BIU panel will feature Kansas State University Associate Professor of Ag Economics Glynn Tonsor, ranch management consultant Burke Teichert and Sunflower Supreme replacement heifer program director Jaymelynn Farney. Tonsor will analyze the economic prospects of expansion, including returns to cow-calf producers and the impact on beef production as heifers are retained. Teichert is expected to share grazing management strategies that could increase the carrying capacity of a ranch as expansion begins. Farney, a K-State beef systems specialist, will have details of the new program designed to increase the availability of high-quality replacement heifers at a time when demand should be strong.
     CattleFax Executive Vice President Randy Blach will project trends for the cattle market at the end of a year when ranchers have been the beneficiaries of record prices for calves and feeder cattle. His outlook, during the Industry Information Session sponsored by Elanco, will assess feed prices in light of a large corn harvest, herd expansion, beef exports, competing meat supplies and the overall economy. Blach will combine these factors into a beef demand forecast.
     The Consumer Trends Forum, presented by the Kansas Beef Council and Kansas CattleWomen, will concentrate on the importance of promoting a better understanding of beef and how it is produced among Millennial consumers. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Executive Director of Integrated Communications Michele Peterson Murray will explain how the beef checkoff is structuring programs to emphasize beef’s nutritional value with the 13 to 33-year-old demographic and help Millennial parents feel good about choosing beef. The forum will be sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
     During the convention, KLA will honor individuals who have belonged to the organization 50 years or more, earned scholarships and won membership recruitment awards. Graduates of the KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy and KLA Feedyard Leadership Program also will be recognized.
     Social time and meals will be centered in the KLA Trade Show. KLA members traditionally use this time to talk with nearly 60 exhibitors about the equipment, technology and services on display. 
     A complete schedule and registration form are available on www.kla.org or by calling the KLA office at (785) 273-5115. All livestock producers are welcome to attend. 
     KLA works to advance members’ common business interests on legislative, regulatory and industry issues affecting producers at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members. 

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