from October 21
WTO RULES U.S. COOL VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE OBLIGATIONS
The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced yesterday that
mandatory U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) violates international
trade rules by discriminating against Canadian and Mexican livestock.
According to NCBA President Bob McCan, WTO’s decision brings the U.S.
meat industry one step closer to facing retaliatory tariffs from two
countries that are among the largest buyers of American beef and pork.
Canada’s list of products subject to possible trade retaliation
include U.S. live cattle and hogs, as well as beef, pork and many other
food products. Mexico has yet to release its list of targeted items.
“NCBA has maintained there is no regulatory fix to bring the COOL
rule into compliance with our WTO obligations or that will satisfy our
top trading partners,” said McCan. “We look forward to working with
Congress to find a permanent solution to this issue, avoiding
retaliation against not only beef, but a host of U.S. products.”
NCBA and KLA contend COOL adds cost to the system without any
offsetting benefit for livestock producers or consumers. Increased costs
are experienced when segregation at processing plants is required by
the COOL law. Consumers are not willing to pay more for labeled U.S.
beef, meaning these costs are simply being absorbed in the system and
reducing net income to the industry.
from October 20
KLA COMMENTS SUPPORT DELISTING LONGNOSE SNAKE
KLA staff provided comments at an October 16 hearing held by the
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission on the
longnose snake. The topic of the hearing was the commission’s proposed
regulation to delist the snake and several other species as threatened
or endangered under the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species
Conservation Act (KNESCA).
Information provided by KLA supports the proposed delisting. KLA
testimony stated the longnose snake is abundant in numbers and the
original listing was the result of inconclusive information on
prevalence of the species.
KLA originally became involved in the issue two years ago when the
discovery of longnose snake habitat temporarily disrupted the
construction and operation of a feedyard and dairy in southwest Kansas.
Since that time, KLA staff has advocated for KNESCA reform, including
the delisting proposal being considered by the commission.
from October 17
KLA CONVENTION TO INCLUDE SUSTAINABILITY PANEL
Livestock producers attending the December 5 Industry Information
Session at the KLA Convention will hear about beef industry efforts to
provide sustainably produced beef to consumers. The program, sponsored
by Elanco, will highlight Walmart’s
efforts to source sustainably produced goods throughout its product
line, as well as the beef industry’s efforts in this area.
Walmart executive Brittni Furrow will describe how they
are working with KLA, NCBA and other state cattle affiliates to
identify priority areas for enhancing sustainability. NCBA Director of
Sustainability Research Kim Stackhouse will explain how the checkoff-funded life cycle analysis provides a benchmark to help beef producers identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their businesses.
KLA members are encouraged to take advantage of the online convention registration option by clicking here.
Room reservations can be made by calling the Fairfield Inn & Suites
at (316) 201-1400, Drury Plaza Hotel - Broadview at (800) 325-0720 or
Hotel at Waterwalk at (866) 822-6274. Be sure to tell the hotels you are
with KLA. No rooms remain at the Wichita Hyatt, which is convention
from October 16
BICHELMEYER MEATS WINS RESERVE IN AMERICAN ROYAL STEAK CONTEST
Entries from Montana, Kansas, Nebraska and Washington are winners
of the 2014 American Royal steak competition. Thompson River Ranch of
Marion, MT, was grand champion of the grain-finished category. The
reserve champion grain-finished steak came from KLA member Bichelmeyer
Meats of Kansas City, which has served customers in the area since 1946
and also owns the Silkville Ranch at Williamsburg.
In the grass-fed division, Got Grass-fed of Plainview, NE, was the
grand champion. The reserve grand champion grass-fed steak was entered
by Merrill Cattle Company/Beefalo Meats of Ellensburg, WA.
Beef producers from across the nation submitted ribeye steaks for
the contest. Each steak was prepared in an identical manner, cooked on a
grill, sliced into one-inch cubes and served to a panel of expert
judges. Points were assigned for flavor, juiciness and texture. The
winners were announced October 8 in Kansas City.
from October 15
STATE CATTLE GROUPS ASK AG SECRETARY NOT TO CREATE SECOND BEEF CHECKOFF
KLA and 44 other state cattlemen’s associations
sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack 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, representing 170,000 members, expressed
concern this unilateral action by the secretary of agriculture will
harm the success of the existing checkoff. NCBA strongly supports the
position taken by its state affiliates.
According to NCBA, the 1996 act would allow more government
control and less producer influence over checkoff investments. Rancher
and feeder control of the current beef checkoff was built into the 1985
act partially through the involvement of state beef councils. This
grassroots direction helped the checkoff maximize the return on
investment to stakeholders. Cornell University research shows the
checkoff returned $11.20 to beef producers for every $1 invested from
2006 to 2013. Recent surveys show 78% of producers support the checkoff.
“Through state beef councils, grassroots producers invest and
direct programs that build demand for their product at the state and
national level,” said KLA President Jeff Sternberger, a cattle feeder
from Garden City. “By comparison, the 1996 act is a top-down, federally
controlled program that not only fails to recognize the role of states,
but places the control and administration of promotion dollars in the
hands of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”
A checkoff enhancement working group, which includes NCBA and 10
other national organizations, has been meeting since 2011 to discuss
potential improvements to the existing program. When one of those groups
defected, Secretary Vilsack announced he would begin drafting a
proposed rule to implement a supplemental beef checkoff under the 1996
from October 14
SCHMIDT JOINS COLLEAGUES FROM OTHER STATES IN OPPOSING EPA PROPOSAL
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined 10 other state
attorneys general and six governors in signing a letter formally
objecting to the waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). The letter suggested the proposed rule would
place virtually every river, creek, stream, along with vast amounts of
neighboring lands, under the agency’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Many
of the these features, according to the state attorneys general and governors, are dry the vast majority of the time and already are in use by farmers, ranchers, developers and homeowners.
“States, by virtue of being closer to communities, are in the best
position to provide effective, fair and responsive oversight of water
use, and have consistently and conscientiously done so,” the letter
The joint letter asserts EPA’s proposed rule unlawfully and
unconstitutionally seeks to exercise federal jurisdiction over local
water and land use management. Under the rule, landowners would be
forced to obtain expensive federal permits for certain management
“This federal power grab is unnecessary, unwise and contrary to the
Clean Water Act,” said Schmidt. “The proposed rule needs to be
The deadline for public comment on the proposed rule is November
14. KLA members are encouraged to submit comments through the link
provided on the front page of www.kla.org. A decision on whether to finalize, modify or revoke the proposed rule is not expected until 2015.
from October 13
PHARMACEUTICALS, TACK STOLEN FROM FEEDYARD AT MEADE
Meade County Feeders has reported two 500 ml bottles of Draxxin and
miscellaneous tack stolen from the feedyard located north of Meade. The
items, which were stolen the night of October 8, represent an estimated
loss of $4,500. The locks were cut off the front gate, gas pumps,
veterinarian’s room and horse barn.
KLA is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this crime. Anyone
with information on the stolen items or those involved in this theft
should call Meade County Feeders at (620) 873-2252 or the Meade County
Sheriff’s office at (620) 873-8765.
from October 10
YSA MEMBERS SEE ALL INDUSTRY SEGMENTS IN TOUR OF SOUTHERN, WESTERN KANSAS
The third installment of the KLA Young Stockmen's
Academy (YSA) was held October 6-8, with the group touring various
segments of the beef and dairy industries in southern and western
Kansas. Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program.
The first stop on the tour was at Bechtel Ranch near Eureka.
Veterinarian and ranch owner Roger Bechtel discussed his
cow-calf/stocker operation and conducted a Beef Quality Assurance
injection site demonstration for the class. Stops also were
made at McCurry Angus Ranch near Burrton and CB Farms of Preston. John
McCurry told the group the focus of his family’s Angus seedstock
operation is to raise high-quality bulls that meet the needs of their
commercial cow-calf customers. All McCurry bulls are DNA tested, which
can provide as much information on a young bull as if he had recorded
more than 20 progeny records. Berry and Carla Bortz, owners of CB Farms,
gave an inside look into their operation, which consists of a
commercial cow-calf herd, registered Angus seedstock operation, feedyard
and farming business. The Bortzes finish all their own calves, along
with some purchased from bull customers, and market each through U.S.
Premium Beef. One of their primary goals is to increase the number of
Certified Angus Beef and Prime carcasses produced each year.
During a tour of the milking parlor at Royal Farms Dairy near
Garden City, manager Kyle Averhoff told the YSA class the dairy milks
about 6,500 cows twice daily and markets more than 13 million pounds of
milk per month. Jeff George, manager of Finney County Feeders near
Garden City, highlighted various aspects of the feedyard, including a
newly built feed mill, which is used to customize rations for each pen
of cattle. The group also toured the Cargill beef plant in Dodge City.
from October 9
STEWART JOINS KLA LEGAL STAFF
Tucker A. Stewart joined the KLA staff as associate
legal counsel this fall. Born and raised in Kansas, Stewart has been
involved in every aspect of his family’s cow-calf operation, Mid
Continent Farms and Jones Stewart Angus Ranch, near Washington. The
exposure to farming and ranching gives him a unique perspective on the practice of law.
Stewart obtained an associate degree in agriculture from Butler
Community College and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas
State University. He was a member of the livestock judging teams at
Butler and K-State. Stewart graduated with honors from the Washburn
University School of Law, where he helped found the first ag-related
student group, the Washburn Agricultural Law Society. While in law
school, he worked in the legal departments at the Kansas Department of
Agriculture and Dairy Farmers of America.
Stewart joins KLA as a part of the legal and government affairs
staff where he will use his background and education to assist members
with legal questions and lobby at the state capitol. Stewart also will
help coordinate the KLA Dairy Council.
from October 8
REDFIELD COWBOYS WIN STATE RANCH RODEO TITLE
Stock & Diamond E Ranches of Redfield won the
Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo, held September 26-27 at Medicine
Lodge. The team won both the cattle doctoring and team penning on its
way to the title. Team members were Kolby Stock, Travis Duncan, Coy Hyer
and Andy Eck.
The second place team was Scribner Ranch of El Dorado. The team
consisted of John, Daniel, Doug and David Scribner. Third place was
Arndt & Bailey of Emporia and Cottonwood Falls, featuring Ryan
Arndt, Glen Collinge, Wes Bailey and Josh Lilley. Beachner Brothers of
Erie was fourth place, with a team including Cody and Calvin Kendall,
Kris Vitt and Ty Swiler.
Other individual event winners were Austin Rathbun from Lazy B
Ranch at Ellsworth in the ranch bronc riding, Beachner Brothers in the
wild cow milking and Arndt & Bailey in the calf branding.
The all-around cowboy was Kolby Stock with Stock & Diamond E.
“Little TJ Paul,” ridden by Cody Kendall of Beachner Brothers, was named
the all-around horse for the third time.
Stock & Diamond E previously had qualified for the World
Championship Ranch Rodeo next month in Amarillo, meaning Scribner Ranch
rolls into the qualifying slot for the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo.
Beachner Brothers, Lonesome Pine of Cedar Point and H+/Broken H of
Bronson qualified for Amarillo through earlier events, bringing the
total to five that will carry the Kansas flag at the world