from September 26


     China’s Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine announced last week the ban on imports of U.S. beef has been lifted. Reports are China will begin accepting U.S. beef from animals less than 30 months of age.
     U.S. Meat Export Federation Chief Executive Officer Philip Seng said while the announcement is an important first step in the process of resuming beef exports to the world’s largest consumer market, technical negotiations must be completed before U.S. suppliers begin shipping product.
     U.S. beef officially has been out of the Chinese market since 2003. According to NCBA Director of International Trade Kent Bacus, China already is the world’s second largest buyer of beef, and with a growing middle class, presents “tremendous” export opportunities for the U.S. beef industry. China is home to one-fifth of the entire global population, with a middle class larger than the entire U.S. population. 


from September 23


     The third installment of the 2016 KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) was held September 20-22, with the group touring various segments of the beef and dairy industries in central and western Kansas. Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program.
     C&W Ranch near Smolan was the first tour stop. Owner Joel Wimer talked about his Red Angus-based cow-calf herd and how he has diversified the operation to also include fee hunting and agritourism. Stops also were made at Bertrand Cattle Company near Wallace and Wedel Red Angus of Leoti. Brent Bertrand represents the third generation on the family operation, which has expanded to include a cow-calf, stocker and backgrounding business. In addition to their own cattle, the Bertrands background calves and feeder cattle on a custom basis. Frank Wedel took the group on a pasture tour to highlight his intensive rotational grazing program. The pasture is divided into 160-acre paddocks, with the cows moved every two to three days. Wedel also explained the GrowSafe feed intake system he uses to develop Red Angus bulls sold in his annual production sale. GrowSafe utilizes a radio frequency identification ear tag and bunk scanner to measure intake, feeding frequency and duration, number of animals feeding simultaneously, feeding times, etc.     
     During a tour at McCarty Family Farms Dairy near Scott City, manager Brock Peters told the YSA class the operation, which consists of four farms, produces 76,500 gallons of milk per day. Fairleigh Feedyard Manager Perry Nowak highlighted various aspects of the feedyard at Scott City, including how they use risk management practices to market cattle. The group also toured the Tyson beef packing plant in Holcomb.
     The final meeting for this year’s YSA group will take place in conjunction with the KLA Convention, November 30-December 2 in Wichita.


from September 22


     The Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) is offering a new mobile app to help cow-calf producers and veterinarians better manage pregnancy information. Designed for instant data collection and analysis, Pregnancy Analytics will transform data into actionable information for individual herds. As an example, when herd name, breed, cow identification, age, body condition score and number of days bred are entered, the app projects calving dates and graphs displaying the distribution of the producer’s upcoming calving season. It also will evaluate the success of the breeding program at the time of palpation and benchmark the producer’s herd against others in the region.
     Pregnancy Analytics is available to download for Apple and Android devices. BCI Executive Director Brad White said this is the first of several interactive decision-making tools the institute will unveil for industry use. For more information, click here or call (785) 564-7459.


from September 21


     KLA earned the use of New Holland equipment for recruiting the most NCBA members among state affiliates during the first quarter of 2016. A one-year lease on a New Holland roll-belt 560 specialty crop round baler or T6.180 tractor will be sold to the highest bidder at the KLA PAC auction during the KLA Convention, November 30 in Wichita. Proceeds will be shared between KLA PAC and NCBA PAC. Both support candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who understand and appreciate the livestock industry.
     New Holland is a strong supporter of NCBA membership. In addition to the incentive program for state affiliates, the company offers rebates to individual NCBA members.
     “New Holland appreciates the work of state affiliates to help strengthen the grassroots membership and give the cattle industry a louder voice,” said Mark Lowery, New Holland regional market specialist.


from September 20


     The KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) departs today (9/20) for its third educational tour of the year. The group, consisting of 20 KLA members from across the state, will spend three days touring various segments of the beef and dairy industries in central and western Kansas. Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program.
     During the tour, attendees will visit C&W Ranch near Smolan, Bertrand Cattle Company of Wallace and Wedel Red Angus at Leoti to learn more about cattle and pasture management. The class also will participate in a Beef Quality Assurance injection site demonstration. To gain a better understanding of the link between the feedyard and processing plant, the group will tour Fairleigh Feedyard near Scott City and the Tyson packing plant in Holcomb. YSA members also will see firsthand the inner-workings of a dairy during a visit to McCarty Family Farms in Scott City.


from September 19


     Ranchers, feeders and dairy farmers can become certified for free through the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program until November 13. Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is picking up the $25 to $50 online fee for every person who completes BQA training prior to that date. Click here to take advantage of the open certification period.
     The BQA online training modules are customized to fit the specific needs of producers in each industry segment. Training for cow-calf producers, stocker operators and feedyard employees covers topics including proper administration of animal health products and low-stress cattle handling principles. For dairy producers, the online modules satisfy the employee stockmanship training requirement included in the new FARM 3.0.
     More than 2,000 producers were BQA-certified during a similar campaign sponsored by BI earlier this year. BI’s ongoing sponsorship of BQA training has resulted in 26,000 beef and dairy producers becoming certified over the last five years.


from September 16


     Keith E. Buttenhoff of Lincoln pleaded guilty and was convicted on six counts of felony cattle theft in Lincoln County September 6. Single charges of felony theft and criminal trespass were dropped.
     During the early morning hours of November 26, 2015, the landowner reported a cattle theft in progress. A sheriff’s deputy took Buttenhoff, who was driving a Suburban towing a stock trailer, into custody. A joint investigation between Kendal Lothman, head of the Livestock/Brand Investigation Unit with the Kansas Attorney General’s office, and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department later revealed Buttenhoff was responsible for taking several head of cattle from the same property during the month of November. The cattle were sold at a salebarn in Salina, but later were recovered and returned to the owners.
     Owners credit the return of their cattle to the quick response from law enforcement authorities involved and cooperation from the salebarn and those who purchased the cattle. Sentencing for Buttenhoff is scheduled for October 4.


from September 15


     The top working cowboys and cowgirls from across Kansas will compete at the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo (KCRR), September 23-24 in Medicine Lodge. Twelve Kansas ranch teams will contend for the state title, with the winning team qualifying for the World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo. Teams will compete in five events, including bronc riding, stray gathering, penning, wild cow milking and branding.
     Ranch teams invited to participate this year are Alfalfa County, Sun City; Arndt & Bailey, Emporia & Cottonwood Falls; Buck Creek & Patry, Cottonwood Falls & Junction City; C5T & Hebb, Benton; Haywire & Kalvesta, El Dorado & Ashland; Lazy B, Ellsworth; Lonesome Pine, Cedar Point & Fort Scott; Nine & Broken O, Liberal & Moscow; Paddy Creek & C Bar, Council Grove; Robbins & Keith, Cottonwood Falls & Allen; Scribner & Diamond P, El Dorado; and Stock & Diamond E, Redfield & Fort Scott.
     For more information on KCRR, including ticket prices, click here or call (620) 886-9815. 


from September 14


 Speakers will talk about receiving diets, technology applications and low-stress animal handling at the Kansas State University Beef Stocker Field Day, September 22 in Manhattan. The program is designed to provide practical information to stocker operators and others in the industry.
 Highlights on the program include a producer panel discussing pasture burning issues. A beef cattle outlook, animal health research update, technology application review and discussion on receiving diets are among other scheduled presentations.
 The event starts at 9:30 a.m., includes lunch and ends with an evening social at 5:30. Registration is $25 if paid by September 15. Go to or call Lois Schreiner at (785) 532-1267 to register or for more information.  


from September 13


     Youth from 90 counties have entered 2,063 animals in the 84th Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), proudly sponsored by Cargill. This is the largest number of livestock entered in more than 25 years, up 200 head over last year’s record. A total of 798 exhibitors plan to bring 141 market steers, 329 breeding heifers, 293 market hogs, 278 breeding gilts, 326 market lambs, 298 breeding ewes, 240 meat goats and 158 commercial doe kids to the show. The statewide event will take place September 30 through October 2 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.
     Immediately following Saturday evening’s exhibitor barbecue, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, KJLS will present a number of scholarships to exhibitors who have excelled academically, in community service and in 4-H/FFA. This is the 24th year for the scholarship program, which has awarded a total of $390,500 to 294 KJLS exhibitors since 1993. Last year, a total of $21,800 was awarded to 13 exhibitors.
     New this year, KJLS will be offering the LEAD Challenge, which is an educational and advocacy event that provides an opportunity for exhibitors to learn about current industry issues. Exhibitors in the senior division will compete in showmanship, go through an interview process and take a written examination. Juniors will compete in showmanship and be interviewed. There are 59 seniors and 92 juniors entered in this year’s challenge.
     KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita serve as the three major sponsors of the show. In addition to Cargill and Merck, other corporate sponsors include Seaboard Foods, Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Friends of KJLS, Elanco Animal Health, Syngenta and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.