from July 30



     Following adoption of the new beef industry long-range plan at the Summer Conference in Denver, checkoff leadership altered the structure of committees to better address demand drivers critical to success of the plan. Checkoff committees now directly align with the core strategies reflected in the five-year plan.
     There are five new checkoff committees from which Beef Board and Federation of State Beef Council members will recommend programs for funding. Those committees will focus on beef safety, nutrition and health, innovation, export growth and social responsibility (building consumer trust). 
     The two groups also voted to continue the checkoff’s Market Research Working Group and Investor Relations Working Group.


from July 29



     NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts will be a featured presenter at the August 20 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near El Dorado. Butts lobbies on multiple issues on behalf of the cattle industry. She will update those attending the field day on the status of bills and regulations pertaining to antibiotic use in livestock production, federal dietary guidelines, country-of-origin labeling and other issues pending in Washington, D.C.
     Gilmore Creek Ranch, operated by Frank and Mary Harper, will host the field day. Other topics on the program at Gilmore Creek will include tips on utilizing grass traps for wintering cattle and information on designing and maintaining windbreaks.
     Hobbs Ranch near Penokee will host the second field day August 27. LS Cattle in western Douglas County will be the site of the third and final KLA/K-State Ranch Management Field Day August 29. The El Dorado and Penokee field days begin at 4:00 p.m., while the Douglas County event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days.


from July 28



     Researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine are participating in national policy discussions about the possible connection between antibiotic use in food animals and resistance in humans. K-State Professor of Production Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology Mike Apley was among the 150 human and animal health experts selected to attend the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship earlier this year in Washington, D.C. He represented NCBA at the event. 
     Apley said determining how antibiotics used in food animals contribute to the problem is difficult. On one side of the argument, he said, are those who use antibiotic resistance to harm the standing and perception of animal agriculture. Others on the opposite end of the debate spectrum claim using antibiotics in food animals has absolutely nothing to do with human health. Although Apley believes antibiotic use in animals is only a small part of the problem, that does not absolve the industry of responsibility to address it. 
     “If there is a clear public health risk of using an antibiotic in food animals, we must make some hard choices as to how and if that antibiotic should be used in these animals,” said Apley. 
     Antibiotic resistance challenges also involve maintaining the ability of veterinarians to treat bacterial infections in animals. Apley’s colleague, K-State Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology Brian Lubbers, is updating a project to determine resistance levels of bacteria known to cause bovine respiratory disease. He will co-chair the National Institute for Animal Agriculture meeting later this year in Atlanta, where the topic will be how to measure antibiotic resistance.


from July 27



     Legislation introduced last week by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would drive the U.S. even closer to a trade war with Canada and Mexico, according to NCBA. The proposed amendment to current law would create a voluntary country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program that would necessitate the same controversial segregation of Canadian and Mexican livestock required by the current mandatory system. NCBA President Philip Ellis said Stabenow’s amendment does not address all the trade issues identified in four previous World Trade Organization decisions against the law. 
     If Congress doesn’t approve a full repeal of current law containing mandatory COOL, Canada and Mexico have the authority, under WTO rules, to place stiff retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including beef, pork, wine, apples and even furniture. Both countries have publicly announced intentions to follow through with these tariffs, which could total $3 billion a year.
     In June, the U.S. House overwhelmingly voted in favor of a full repeal of mandatory COOL for beef, pork and chicken. U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas is leading efforts for a full repeal in the Senate.


from July 24



     KLA member Shawn Tiffany of Herington was on a producer panel discussing how food gets to the table during an event earlier this week titled “Kansas City: Our Town, Our Food.” Hosted by the Kansas City Agribusiness Council and Kansas City Restaurant Association, the summit was designed to address hot-button consumer issues and provide details on how food makes its way from farms and ranches, through the chain, to the consumer.
     Tiffany spoke to the 160 people in attendance about raising and caring for cattle, environmental stewardship and the use of technology. He provided a testimonial on how beef producers integrate safe technologies to produce safe and wholesome protein for consumers.
     Joining Tiffany on the “Who raises it?” panel were corn farmer Ken McCauley with K&M Farms, Liz Kurlbaum with Kurlbaum’s Heirloom Tomatoes and fruit grower Lorin Fahrmeier from Fahrmeier Family Farms. KLA helped sponsor the forum.


from July 23



     The NCBA Board of Directors and Cattlemen’s Beef Board adopted a new beef industry long-range plan during the Summer Conference earlier this month in Denver. Created by a special task force, the plan contains aggressive goals to strengthen the beef industry’s position in the marketplace from 2016 through 2020.
     Task force members representing every link in the beef value chain agreed the single most important strategic objective is growing beef demand. That is quantified in the plan as a goal to increase the wholesale beef demand index by 2% annually over the next five years.
     “At this pivotal point in the U.S. beef industry’s history, we need to focus our energies and limited resources on those areas that can provide our industry the best results,” said Task Force Co-Chair John Butler, chief executive officer for the Beef Marketing Group.
     According to the plan, increasing demand by the stated amount will require committing resources toward four core areas. Driving growth in beef exports is identified as a priority. Protecting and enhancing the business and political climate for beef is considered key, with this point driven by motivated stakeholders who become more engaged in policy concerns. Third on the list is increasing consumer trust in beef and beef production, whether that involves promoting better understanding of antibiotic stewardship or continued investment in beef safety initiatives. The plan also emphasizes promoting and strengthening beef’s value image with consumers by communicating its nutritional benefits, making product improvements and increasing production efficiencies.
     In addition to Butler, the other Kansan on the 16-person task force was Pratt Feeders General Manager Jerry Bohn. To see the complete beef industry long-range plan or a summary, click here.  


from July 22



     A new online entry system is being introduced for the 83rd annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), proudly sponsored by Cargill. No premium books will be mailed this year as all show information will be posted to The 2015 show will be held October 2-4 at its new location, the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.
      Electronic entries are due by 11:59 p.m. August 15. Late electronic entries will be accepted at double the entry fee until 11:59 p.m. August 31. After completing and submitting the electronic version, forms also must be printed and signed by the exhibitor’s county extension agent or ag instructor and mailed to the show office in Wichita. Instructions for doing so are provided on the website.           
     During the show, KJLS will award 10 to 18 scholarships ranging in amounts from $750 to $2,500 to students from across the state. The scholarship application is posted on the website. Applications are due August 15.
     KJLS welcomes Cargill as the official, platinum-level sponsor for the show. Merck Animal Health is sponsoring the beef show. Other corporate sponsors include Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Syngenta, Elanco Animal Health and Frontier Farm Credit. KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita continue to serve as the three major sponsors of the event. 


from July 21



     The Kansas Beef Council is joining with councils in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska to extend the checkoff’s digital “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” video campaign. Nationwide, the campaign already has generated more than 10 million views this year.
     Allocation of the state funds will be made based on where the need is greatest to reach and engage millennial parents, a key target for the beef industry. This partnership allows for more efficient use of checkoff funds and cost savings for each state beef council.
     Begun about a year ago, the national digital advertising effort has been successful in a competitive marketplace. Digital advertising funded by the checkoff led to a nearly 700% increase in new Facebook fans and a 272% increase in total website visits during 2014.
     The campaign is now in its biggest advertising push, grilling season, which runs from May through September. According to a checkoff-funded Google consumer survey conducted in May, nearly half of consumers are excited about serving beef this summer grilling season. That is nearly double any other protein.
     This summer’s campaign is reaching consumers in a variety of ways, across different platforms. Exposure points for beef information include, social media and search advertising. 


from July 20



     LS Cattle in western Douglas County will host the final KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day in the 2015 series August 29. The Bryce and Gina Schumann family owns and operates this commercial cow-calf operation.
     Gilmore Creek Ranch near El Dorado, operated by Frank and Mary Harper, will host the first event, August 20. Hobbs Ranch of Penokee is the site of the August 27 ranch field day. The Terry Hobbs family owns and operates this Graham County ranch.
     The El Dorado and Penokee field days will start at 4:00 p.m., include educational and informational sessions and conclude with a beef dinner. Activities in Douglas County will start at 9:00 a.m. and conclude with a beef lunch.
     All three events are sponsored by Bayer Healthcare’s Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. This marks the 19th year for the KLA/K-State ranch field days. Through the first 18 years, 46 different ranches and dairies have hosted events.


from July 17



     Loren Doll and Robert Josserand were inducted earlier this week into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame. During ceremonies in Westminster, CO, the Hall of Fame also presented retired CattleFax Executive Vice President Topper Thorpe with its Industry Leadership Award and Hoxie Feedyard Office Manager Karla Olson with the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award.  
     Doll has been involved in the western Kansas cattle feeding business for more than five decades. It began with the construction and operation of Ingalls Feed Yard. The family has grown its commercial cattle feeding business to seven western Kansas feedyards with a one-time capacity of 215,000 head.
     Josserand, a native of Pratt, is the owner of AzTx Cattle Company. The cattle feeding business has a yard in Hereford, TX, and operated one in Garden City for many years. Josserand is a past president of both the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and NCBA.
     The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize and honor outstanding individuals in the cattle feeding community. More information and a list of past honorees can be found at


from July 16



     Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK) will host the third annual 5K Run for the Brand August 22 during Flint Hills Beef Fest. The race will take place at The Orchard, which is north of Emporia on Highway 99. A number of ranch obstacles will be featured on the course. Awards will be given to the top three men and top three women in five different age groups.
     The registration fee is $25 in advance or $30 the day of the race. There also is a special $15 rate for youth, a $50 family rate and a free stick horse race for kids. Register before August 11 to guarantee you’ll receive a complimentary t-shirt.
     To register, click here or call Samantha Kohman at (785) 273-5115. 


from July 15



     KLA staff participated in 32 county and area meetings during the first half of 2015, with total attendance exceeding 2,500. Fifty-six new KLA and 35 new NCBA members joined as a direct result of these meetings. Attendees were brought up-to-date on legislative and regulatory issues of concern to their industry; learned how the $1.00-per-head beef checkoff is being used in promotion, education and research; and heard from a variety of educational speakers.
     The continued support of KLA’s allied industry partners makes it possible for the dinner meetings to be offered at little to no cost in most locations. If you have friends or neighbors who should be KLA members, be sure to invite them to your next local gathering. 


from July 14



     The Sand County Foundation, in partnership with Ranchland Trust of Kansas and the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD), has announced three finalists for the first Kansas Leopold Conservation Award. Randall and Nicole Small of Neodesha, Sproul Ranch of Sedan and the Vorhees family from Fredonia will compete for the award, which honors achievements in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.
     The Smalls practice rotational grazing, plant cover crops and enhance wildlife habitat as part of their cow-calf operation. Sproul Ranch burns tallgrass prairie on a rotational basis to provide quality grazing, improve wildlife habitat and maintain the integrity of native grass species. The Vorhees family uses cross-fencing to more evenly distribute grazing in their cow-calf operation and implements programs to improve water quality.
     All three finalists for the $10,000 award are KLA members. The overall winner will be announced at the KACD Convention, November 23 in Wichita.


from July 13



     Riley County KLA Chairman Andy Larson of Green has been named Recruiter of the Month for June. He signed up four new members as a result of organizing the recent Pottawatomie/Riley Counties KLA Meeting. Nearly 120 producers gathered at the Stout Center on the Kansas State University campus where they heard a legislative update from KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden and learned more about the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) from NBAF Senior Program Manager for Strategic Partnership Development Marty Vanier.
     Larson received a $50 Cabela’s gift card for his efforts and will be entered in a grand prize drawing of all monthly winners that will take place at the KLA Convention.
     These recruits also count toward the ongoing KLA Top Hand Contest, exclusively sponsored by John Deere. The top recruiter of the year will receive a Greeley Hat Works hat in addition to prizes received for each level of achievement. To date, 72 individuals and county committees have signed up a total of 152 recruits in the competition. Wilson County Chairman Russ Walker leads the pack with 18. The Anderson County Committee has 10 and the Coffey and Nemaha County committees have seven each. Jefferson County Chairman Gene Barrett rounds out the top five with six new members to his credit.


from July 10



     August 20 and 27 are the dates for two of the 2015 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Days. Gilmore Creek Ranch near El Dorado will host the August 20 event. This ranch is operated by Frank and Mary Harper. Hobbs Ranch of Penokee is the site of the August 27 field day. The Terry Hobbs family owns and operates this Graham County ranch.
     Both events will start at 4:00 p.m., include educational and informational sessions, and conclude with dinner. The date and location of a third field day, in northeast Kansas, will be announced next week.
     Bayer Healthcare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days.