MEMBER INPUT NEEDED DURING COMMITTEE, COUNCIL MEETINGS
Potential changes in trichomoniasis regulations, a separate beef
checkoff proposed by USDA and possible improvements to the government’s
mandatory price reporting program will be among issues up for member
consideration during the KLA Convention, December 3-5. Members can
provide input on these and other issues important to their businesses
during committee and council meetings, as
well as the annual business meeting, at the convention.
During the Animal Health and Identification Committee, members will
hear how electronic certificates of veterinary inspection are being
used in combination with the Kansas Animal Health Division’s USA Herds
computer reporting system to enhance traceability efforts. The Natural
Resources Committee agenda will include discussions on the Environmental
Protection Agency’s waters of the U.S. proposal and the delisting of
the longnose snake from the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species
Conservation Act. Members of the Tax Committee will hear an official
from the Kansas Department of Revenue discuss the current use-value
appraisal formula and be presented an update on important federal tax
exemptions affecting agriculture that expired in 2013.
The KLA Stockgrowers Council will hear a report on trichomoniasis
in Kansas, including the locations of recent cases and potential changes
in state regulations to require timely notification of owners
neighboring an infected herd. Members of the Stockgrowers Council and
Cattle Feeders Council (CFC) will be updated on a special working
group’s recommendations for enhancements to the existing checkoff and an
additional, separate checkoff being proposed by USDA. A representative
from USDA Market News will make a presentation during the CFC meeting on
what information is collected and reported through the government’s
mandatory price reporting (MPR) program. With MPR reauthorization set
for 2015, cattle feeders will have an opportunity to provide input on
additional reports needed for efficient price discovery.
Registration and hotel information for the KLA Convention is available here
from November 19
DEADLINE FOR EQIP APPLICATIONS DRAWS NEAR
The deadline to apply for cost-share funds through the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is November 21. Funds
available through the program will pay for up to 75% of the costs
associated with environmental improvements on a farm or ranch.
Projects eligible for EQIP funding include lagoons, pipelines for
waste transfer, composting facilities, variable rate irrigation
equipment used in waste application and phosphorus reduction equipment.
EQIP also helps fund grazing land health improvements by providing
financial assistance for brush management, water development,
cross-fencing and other projects approved by Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) specialists.
For assistance in submitting an EQIP application, contact your local NRCS office.
from November 18
KANSAS RANCH RODEO TEAM FINISHES AS RESERVE WORLD CHAMPS
Lonesome Pine Ranch of Cedar Point was the reserve
champion team at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo (WCRR), held
November 6-9 in Amarillo. The team consisted of Bud, Troy, Frank and
Makenzie Higgs; Jess Coirier; and Chris Potter. Jolly and Lord ranches
of Colorado won WCRR.
Kansas teams also won several individual events and awards. Arndt &
Bailey of Emporia and Cottonwood Falls won the wild cow milking with
the team of Ryan and Mike Arndt, Josh Lilley, Glen Collinge, and Wes and
Richell Bailey. The calf branding was won by Stock & Diamond E of
Redfield. Team members for Stock & Diamond E were Kolby Stock, Coy
Hyer, Travis Duncan, and Andy and Colten Eck. The reserve top horse was
Little Tee J Paul, owned by Cody Kendall with Beachner Brothers
Livestock of Erie.
Other Kansas teams participating in WCRR were Broken H & H Cross of
Bronson, Buck Creek & Robbins of Cottonwood Falls and Scribner
Cattle Company of El Dorado. Overall, 22 teams from across the country
competed in the event.
from November 17
SECOND DRAFT OF GOVERNOR’S WATER PLAN RELEASED
The second draft of the Vision for the Future of
Water in Kansaswas distributed last week at the Governor’s Water
Conference in Manhattan. The latest document is the result of the
Brownback administration attending about 250 meetings around the state
and collecting input from more than 12,000 Kansans since the project was
announced in October 2013.
While introducing the latest Vision document, Gov. Sam Brownback
announced he was creating a Water Resources Sub-Cabinet to focus on
water matters and a blue-ribbon task force to develop a balanced,
affordable and sustainable method to provide financing for water
resource management and protection. The guiding principles that directed
the development of action items in the Vision plan state that solutions
should be locally driven and flexible; policies and programs should not
unintentionally penalize those who already have conserved water;
conservation projects should be voluntary, incentive and market-based;
and action is necessary now to ensure a reliable supply of water into
The strategies provided in the plan address water conservation,
water management, technology, crop varieties and additional sources of
water supplies. In the near term, the plan calls for tougher enforcement
regarding over-pumping and the passage of legislation to authorize
locally enhanced management areas outside the boundaries of groundwater
Gov. Brownback’s administration will be collecting comments on the
second draft through January 9. The KLA Water Committee will review and
discuss the new plan at its November 21 meeting in Garden City. A copy
of the latest plan is available here.
During the conference, two KLA members were publically acknowledged
for water conservation efforts. Supreme Cattle Feeders of Kismet was
recognized for installing a water recycling system that has saved more
than 90 million gallons of water since the technology was implemented.
Wenstrom Farms of Kinsley, was featured as an early adapter of
sophisticated irrigation scheduling techniques that can save up to 35%
in water and energy. Wenstrom also has been a leader in the formation of
the state’s water bank in central Kansas.
from November 14
TODAY IS THE DEADLINE TO MAKE COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED wotus rULE
Today is the last day to submit comments objecting to the waters of the
U.S. rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The rule
would place virtually every river, creek and stream, along with vast
amounts of neighboring lands, under the agency’s Clean Water Act
jurisdiction. Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials
project the proposed EPA rule would increase the number of classified
stream miles subject to federal jurisdiction from the current 30,000 to
174,000. It would make it impossible for farmers, developers and
landowners to know what routine business practices could be carried out
without obtaining an expensive federal permit.
KLA members are encouraged to submit comments to EPA opposing the rule by going here. A decision on whether to finalize, modify or revoke the proposed rule is expected in 2015.
from November 13
YOUNG KANSAN A FINALIST IN NATIONAL ANTHEM CONTEST
Eleven-year-old Mollie Beaver of Wichita has been chosen as one of
four finalists in the NCBA National Anthem Contest. Other finalists hail
from Colorado and Texas. The overall winner will sing the national
anthem at the Opening General Session, as well as the Friday Night
Event, at the 2015 Cattle Industry Annual Convention February 4-7 in San
To vote for Beaver, click here.
Online voting will take place through November 24. Only one vote per
day, per person is allowed. The winner will be announced December 8.
from November 12
CONVENTION SPEAKER WILL HIGHLIGHT “THE BIG FAT SURPRISE”
An investigative journalist will discuss the possible unintended
consequences of Americans being told to cut back on saturated fat for
more than 40 years during the KLA Convention in Wichita. Nina Teicholz
will present convincing evidence that nutritional advice to eat less
meat and dairy has led to increased obesity, diabetes and heart disease during her December 3 presentation, sponsored by Micro and
Bayer. Years of research she conducted on this issue are the basis for
her widely acclaimed book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and
Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.”
Teicholz believes by acting on conventional nutrition advice to
severely limit the saturated fat in animal proteins, people
inadvertently may be consuming more calories from foods that don’t
deliver much in terms of nutrients. The book includes more than 100
pages of notes and citations backing up her theory.
Prior to her presentation, KLA members and guests will dine on
nutrient-dense ribeye steaks provided by Tyson Fresh Meats. Dinner is
sponsored by INTRUST Bank.
The preregistration deadline for the KLA Convention is November 19. Registration and hotel information is available here.
from November 11
BEEF DEMAND SHOWS ADDED STRENGTH DURING THIRD QUARTER
The Choice Retail Beef Index and the All Fresh Beef Demand Index
(AFBDI) rose by 3.9% during the third quarter of 2014, according to
Kansas State University Associate Professor of Economics Glynn Tonsor.
He said this marks the 16th year-over-year increase in the last 17
quarters in the AFBDI.
Tonsor explained the most recent demand increase reflects the
combination of a 4.6% decline in per capita consumption and an 11.3%
increase in inflation-adjusted prices. This confirms the tight supply
situation has been coupled with an extensive period of demand
“There is nothing forcing consumers to pay this much more for beef
and the fact they are voluntarily doing so is a very positive thing for
all industry stakeholders,” said Tonsor.
from November 10
VILSACK PROCEEDS WITH SECOND CHECKOFF PROPOSAL DESPITE STRONG CATTLE INDUSTRY OPPOSITION
Despite unified opposition from mainstream cattle organizations,
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack last week proceeded with a proposed beef
checkoff separate from the existing $1.00-per-head program. The new
checkoff would be established under a 1996 federal act that allows for
more government control and less producer influence over checkoff
investments than the existing program created under a separate act in
Official notice of the proposal appears in today’s (11/10) Federal Register.
USDA is seeking public input on a number of questions related to the
proposed new checkoff. KLA and NCBA will provide comments opposing the
proposal prior to the December 10 deadline.
KLA and 44 other state cattlemen’s associations representing
170,000 members sent a letter to Vilsack last month urging him to
abandon efforts to establish an additional beef checkoff under the
Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. The
grassroots cattle organizations expressed deep concern that USDA’s
unilateral action would harm the success of the existing checkoff. NCBA
strongly supports the position taken by state affiliates.
from November 7
KLA REPRESENTED AT SMOKE MANAGEMENT MEETING
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) hosted a
meeting yesterday (11/6) of air quality officials from Nebraska, Iowa
and Oklahoma to review impacts from smoke caused by late March through
April 2014 prescribed burning in the Kansas Flint Hills. Representatives
of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and
Lincoln-Lancaster County (NE) Health Department presented data
confirming smoke from the Flint Hills drifted and settled into Lincoln
March 29-30; April 5-6; April 11-13; and April 17-19. Officials said
this caused the air quality index to spike into the “very unhealthy”
category. It was reported that on April 18, 2014, the area of the U.S.
with the worst air quality was Lincoln, NE, which is in Lancaster
KLA staff and members present at the meeting, held in Manhattan,
provided insight into the importance of annual prescribed burning and
the limited number of days each spring that burning can safely be done.
It also was pointed out ranchers try to burn when atmospheric conditions
are not projected to cause air quality problems in high population
areas like Kansas City, Wichita and Lincoln, NE.
KDHE reported it will consider changes to the Flint Hills Smoke
Management Plan (SMP) that account for potential impacts to Nebraska and
Iowa population centers. KLA members will have opportunities before
March 2015 to learn more details regarding such changes