from July 22
POLICY APPROVED INCLUDES RESOLUTION ON FUTURES ACCOUNTABILITY
More than 700 cattle producers were in Denver
earlier this month for the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting. KLA
officers, staff and other volunteer leaders attended the meeting to help
NCBA and its state affiliates create the framework for policy guiding
the national organization.
Specifically, members renewed a resolution opposing any
regulations, legislation or policies that limit methods of marketing
cattle. One of the new resolutions approved supports initiatives between
cattle producers, the CME Group and other market participants to
increase transparency; level access to information and transactions; and
foster an environment that builds confidence in the ability of the
hedging community to effectively manage forward price risk using futures
and options on Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle contracts.
Another new resolution directs NCBA to work with the Livestock
Marketing Association in suggesting updates to the federal Packers and
Stockyards Act. The resolution specifically mentions extending
protections in the act, such as custodial accounts, prompt payment and
bonding, to producers who sell cattle through online and video auctions
that work on a commission or other fee basis and handle or offer to
handle the proceeds. Language in this resolution also seeks to make
modern forms of electronic payment a permissible option if prompt pay
requirements are met.
from July 21
USFWS REMOVES LESSER PRAIRIE CHICKEN FROM THREATENED LIST
Earlier this week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)
officially removed the lesser prairie chicken from the federal list of
endangered and threatened wildlife. This action fulfills a court ruling
earlier this year that vacated the agency’s listing of the bird under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The court found FWS failed to make a
proper evaluation of a multistate conservation plan, in which Kansas
participates, when it listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt praised the decision, saying
it was “good news for private property rights, the rural Kansas economy
and common sense.” He said there is a pending lawsuit, which Kansas
joined in 2014, challenging the sue-and-settle tactics used by private
interest groups that ultimately spurred the listing. Before resolution
in the case is sought, Schmidt said assurances will need to be made that
the federal government will not later change its mind on the lesser
prairie chicken or “shift its regulatory zeal to another species.”
Schmidt’s concerns seem founded as federal officials indicated the
removal doesn’t mean authorities have concluded the lesser prairie
chicken didn't warrant federal protection for biological reasons. FWS
said it will be undertaking a thorough re-evaluation of the bird’s
status and the threats it faces using the best available scientific
information to once again determine whether a listing under ESA is
warranted. In the meantime, KLA staff is working with the Kansas
congressional delegation to get an appropriations rider to put a pause
on future listings until voluntary efforts are given a chance to work.
from July 20
BEEF SUSTAINABILITY GROUP ACHIEVES KEY DEVELOPMENTS
The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) held its second annual
general assembly meeting last week in Denver. USRSB is a
multi-stakeholder initiative launched in March 2015 to shape the
sustainability framework for the U.S. beef industry. Key accomplishments
in the first year include officially recognizing the importance of the
U.S. beef industry life cycle assessment (LCA), identification of six
high-priority beef sustainability indicators and agreement to a tiered
The checkoff-funded LCA continues to be the gold standard for measuring
continuous improvement in key areas of sustainability. Agreed upon
indicators include animal health and well-being, land resources, water
resources, air emissions, worker safety and efficiency and yield.
A tiered assurance framework will start with the development of
education and training resources and self-assessment tools. USRSB will
not have a role in second-party or third-party verification of any
KLA and other NCBA affiliates are founding members of the
organization. USRSB has nearly 100 member organizations. John Butler
with the Beef Marketing Group will serve as chairman of USRSB during the
coming year. For more information and results of USRSB efforts, go to www.usrsb.org.
from July 19
TAKE STEPS TO ALLEVIATE LIVESTOCK HEAT STRESS
The high pressure system influencing the High Plains and Midwest
weather could have dangerous ramifications for livestock. Cattle and
other livestock subjected to the combination of high temperatures and
humidity, low wind speeds and high solar radiation can experience heat
stress and, in some cases, death.
Veterinarians and animal scientists are suggesting steps ranchers,
feeders and dairymen should take to provide relief and ensure animal
welfare. Among the recommendations are increasing airflow around
confined areas by taking down winter windbreaks, providing shade, using
light-colored bedding such as chopped hay or straw and wetting the
surface of pen mounds in the morning.
The National Weather Service, in conjunction with USDA, issues
daily livestock heat stress maps designed to make producers aware of
weather conditions that could adversely affect livestock health. A link
to these maps can be found throughout the summer months on the front
screen of www.kla.org under the "Timely Links" section.
from July 18
CATTLE GROUPS DISAGREE WITH HANDLING STANDARDS IN PROPOSED RULE
NCBA and KLA filed comments last week on a
proposed USDA rule addressing organic livestock and poultry standards.
The proposal would establish animal welfare and livestock living
condition standards through the National Organic Program. This would be
the first time specific welfare standards were contained in federal law
and, according to industry analysis, could create a dangerous precedent
if applied to conventional agriculture.
“Organic programs are marketing programs and therefore not the
place to prescribe animal welfare practices,” said NCBA President Tracy
Brunner of Ramona.
In its comments, NCBA and KLA informed USDA the Beef Quality
Assurance (BQA) program is the gold standard for cattle care and
handling recommendations. If USDA is looking to provide guidance to
organic producers, NCBA and KLA suggested certification through the BQA
While Brunner said the cattle industry supports voluntary marketing
programs like the National Organic Program, creating a separate set of
animal handling standards could be confusing. He suggested efforts by
USDA to set a secondary animal welfare standard will inevitably mislead
consumers into thinking cattle in an organic program are handled
differently than conventionally produced cattle.
“Consumers need to clearly understand regardless of what product
they choose to buy, the commitment to safety, quality and animal welfare
remains the same,” said Brunner.
NCBA and KLA encouraged USDA to withdraw the proposed rule and work with all producers to draft new language.
from July 15
KANSAS CATTLEMAN ELECTED TO FEEDERS HALL OF FAME
Cattle Empire founder Paul Brown was inducted
into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame earlier this week during ceremonies
in Denver. Brown started in the cattle business in 1961 to complement
his farming operation. Today, Cattle Empire, headquartered in Satanta,
has a one-time capacity of 245,500 head in five facilities and is the
fifth largest cattle feeding operation in the U.S. Several generations
of Brown’s family are actively helping manage the business today.
Jim Allen, who spent time working at AID Feedyard in Ulysses and
Garden City Feed Yard, was named recipient of the Arturo Armendariz
Distinguished Service Award. This award is dedicated to exceptional
feedyard employees. Allen spent more than 45 years in the cattle feeding
CattleFax Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
Randy Blach was presented the Industry Leadership Award. The award
recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership, provide
exemplary service and make significant contributions to the cattle
Bob Gottsch, founder of Gottsch Cattle Company, was inducted with
Brown into the Hall of Fame. The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was
established in 2009 to recognize and honor outstanding men and women in
the cattle feeding community. Founding partners of the Hall are Merck
Animal Health, Drovers/CattleNetwork and Osborn Barr.
from July 14
WILDFIRE RELIEF FUND TOPS HALF A MILLION DOLLARS
The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) Wildfire Relief Fund has
raised $518,194 to help those who lost livestock, fence and hay supplies
during extensive wildfires across the state earlier this year. There
were 785 donors from 31 states and 93 Kansas counties. These
individuals, organizations and companies made donations ranging from $10
to $69,000. KLF leadership thanks all of those who generously donated
to the disaster fund.
A special committee will meet this month to review applications and
determine how the funds will be disbursed. The committee will include
representation from the local areas affected by wildfire, KLF and KLA.
from July 13
BOOK ROOMS NOW FOR THE KLA CONVENTION IN WICHITA
Members should reserve hotel rooms soon for the KLA Convention,
November 30 through December 2 in Wichita. Room blocks tend to fill
quickly, especially at the headquarters hotel, the Wichita Hyatt
Regency, so reservations should be made as soon as possible.
Rooms are $112 per night at the Hyatt and can be reserved by
calling (888) 421-1442. The Drury Plaza Hotel-Broadview, at (800)
325-0720, has rooms for $129 per night. Rooms at the Fairfield by
Marriott Inn & Suites are $109 and can be booked by calling (316)
201-1400. The Hotel at Waterwalk, with a convention room rate of $109
per night, can be reached at (316) 263-1061. When making reservations,
tell any of the hotels you’re with KLA to receive the special convention
rate. To reserve rooms online at any of these hotels, click here.
from July 12
BIG STEERS REPORTED STOLEN FROM CHASE COUNTY PASTURE
Matt Peterson of Council Grove has reported the theft of 50 steers
from a pasture six miles west of Americus. The steers are thought to
have been stolen sometime between June 20 and July 10. All of the cattle
are branded CP on the left hip. The steers weigh about 900 lbs. and are
mostly black, with some reds and Charolais crosses.
KLA is offering a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of those involved in this crime. The reward
applies because Peterson is a KLA member.
Anyone with information on the steers should call Peterson at (785) 466-3230.
from July 11
RANCH FIELD DAYS SET FOR LARNED, WALLACE, JUNCTION CITY
This year’s KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Days
will be held August 15, 16 and 18. The Froetschner family’s Bar F Farms
near Larned will host the August 15 event. Bertrand Cattle Company of
Wallace is the site for the August 16 field day and the August 18 event
is scheduled for Moyer Ranch near Junction City.
All three of the field days start at 4:00 p.m., include
informational sessions and conclude with dinner. Bayer Healthcare -
Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are
sponsors of the field days.