from December 6
BIU FOCUSED ON HEIFER RETENTION, GRAZING MANAGEMENT
??? Speakers on the Beef Industry University (BIU) panel addressed the prospects for rebuilding the cowherd and long-term grazing management strategies. Kansas State University Associate Professor of Ag Economics Glynn Tonsor began by sharing economic information about retaining heifers and expanding herds now that drought conditions have improved. He said the economic signals to expand will continue, as returns per cow in 2014 are projected by the Livestock Marketing Information Center to reach a record-high $302 per head. Tonsor encouraged producers to use a K-State spreadsheet that provides estimated prices cattlemen can pay for replacement heifers based on yearly cow costs and potential calf crop profits.
Ranch management consultant Burke Teichert explained grazing strategies to be used following the drought. He urged producers to consider planned, time-controlled grazing methods to improve pasture conditions. By enhancing pasture quality, producers can increase the number of grazing days and decrease additional feed requirements. This can lead to lower overhead costs and improved profitability.
Jaymelynn Farney outlined the new Sunflower Supreme replacement heifer program. The program, directed by Farney, is designed to supply high-quality bred heifers to the market.
The Farm Credit Associations of Kansas sponsored BIU.
from December 6
LOGGER TELLS KLA MEMBERS “THE ENEMY IS IGNORANCE”
The general public has fallen in love with the environment and culture of rural America, said Montana logger Bruce Vincent, the opening speaker for the 101st KLA Convention in Wichita. They want to save the environment they’ve grown to love, but as a result of their misguided efforts, “they are saving us to death,” Vincent said.
Social movements beginning in the 1960s have changed over the years into activist businesses funded by fear. These conflict-based organizations claim that with a donation, people such as loggers and farmers and ranchers can be kept from “destroying the environment.”
Representing the third generation of a logging family, Vincent shared his experiences and the way his industry, and ultimately the forests, have suffered because public perception and policy have hindered loggers’ ability to be good stewards of the land.
Vincent warned the audience this conflict doesn’t only apply to logging. These companies will need another source of conflict to make money, and that source will come from any industry dealing with water and animals. He believes this places the target directly on livestock production.
“The enemy is ignorance,” Vincent said, suggesting livestock producers can address this lack of knowledge through transparency with the general public. He urged every livestock producer to make it a line-item in their business operation by spending at least an hour a week reaching out to lawmakers, thought leaders and the general public with positive, truthful information about their industry. Vincent said special emphasis should be placed on contact with younger generations.
“They are starving to hear a message of hope about their planet,” he said. The story of continual improvement in the cattle industry, he believes, is the exact message of hope they long to hear.
Bayer, Micro and MWI sponsored Vincent’s presentation.
from December 4
TODAY’S CONVENTION ACTIVITIES INCLUDE REMARKS FROM FORMER LOGGER, LONG-TIME MEMBER RECOGNITION
The KLA Convention opens a three-day run today at the Wichita Hyatt and Century II Convention Center. Logging industry veteran Bruce Vincent will be the keynote speaker this evening in a presentation sponsored by Micro and Bayer. His business was targeted starting more than 20 years ago by environmental activists through legislation and vandalism. Vincent believes animal agriculture is among the list of newer targets identified by environmentalists. He has suggestions, based on experience, of how ranchers, feeders and dairymen can minimize activist interference in the livestock business.
Also this evening, long-time KLA members will be recognized for their loyalty. Nine members have reached 50 years of membership in 2013. They are Les Baumgartner of Sabetha, Don Lundquist from Marquette, Kathryn McLain of Medicine Lodge, Bob Cather from Anthony, Oliver Hess of Alma, Robert McClellan from Palco, Elizabeth Oswald of Hutchinson, Floyd Larson from Sharon Springs and Ronald Schultz of Haviland. Those marking 60 years of membership this year are Joe Smith from Tribune, Dorothy Spade of Reading, 3 Bar Ranch near Coldwater and Harvey Raaf from Gridley. Darrell Sutor of Zurich will be honored for reaching the 70-year membership mark.
Registration will be available at the door. KLA members and guests can register for one, two or all three days of the meeting. For a complete schedule, click here.??????????????
from December 3
CLARIFICATION ON PREVIOUS KLA TODAY REGARDING FARM VEHICLES
There has been recent confusion about how KLA members should register and permit farm vehicles. This uncertainty is being caused by regulatory changes contained in the 2012 federal highway bill known as MAP-21.
As a result of further clarification by Kansas Corporation Commission staff, the November 27 KLA Today on this issue is being updated with a full checklist of information that can be found here. Of specific note is a correction on the types of vehicles that need a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. Contrary to the November 27 KLA Today, all farm vehicles crossing state lines that have a GVWR over 10,000 lbs. must obtain a USDOT number.
from December 2
LANDOWNER PERMISSION REQUIRED WHEN HUNTING ON PRIVATE LAND
The Kansas firearm season for deer starts Wednesday (12/4) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is reminding hunters it is illegal to hunt on private land, posted or not, without the owner’s permission. This covers entering private land or shooting from the road.
Individuals should be aware of trespass laws, as stiff penalties apply, according to KDWPT. By law, all hunters must have permission, whether the land is posted or not. Landowner permission also should be obtained before pursuing wounded game onto private property. If the landowner can’t be located, hunters should contact a local natural resource officer or sheriff’s office.
Conviction of simple criminal hunting can result in a maximum fine of $500, plus court costs and a one-month jail sentence on the first conviction. If big game or turkey hunting is involved, the penalties are stiffer. Upon first conviction, the law states a violator should be fined no less than $500 and no more than $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than six months or both.
Anyone witnessing trespassing or illegal hunting should report it to the local KDWPT officer, the sheriff’s office or call the Operation Game Thief toll-free hotline at (877) 426-3843.
from November 27
LET THE AROMA OF BEEF WELCOME GUESTS
KLA and the Kansas Beef Council are encouraging consumers to welcome their friends and family this Thanksgiving with the aroma of a mouthwatering beef roast. Even busy households can find time to prepare a beef entrée that is easy on the cook but special for guests.
Nutrient-rich beef satisfies the craving for a food that's great tasting and good for you. Those hosting Thanksgiving dinner can get roasting tips and premium beef roast recipes, including "Salt Encrusted Ribeye Roast" and "Peppery Beef Rib Roast" by clicking here.
Beef roasts also make great leftovers for sandwiches and stews to enjoy while watching football and gathering with family and friends this weekend. Treat your family and friends to beef this Thanksgiving!
from November 26
MEMBERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO RANCHER RELIEF FUND THROUGH KLF
Media sources reported last week the Rancher Relief Fund for those hit hard by the early October blizzard in South Dakota and eastern Wyoming has grown to nearly $1 million. KLA donated $1,000 to the fund. The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) separately donated $3,000.
The fund is being administered by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, in cooperation with the South Dakota Stockmen’s Association, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association. KLA members who would like to contribute can bring checks made out to KLF or the Rancher Relief Fund to the KLA Convention, December 4-6 in Wichita.
from November 25
BRING EMPTY RALGRO WHEELS TO THE KLA CONVENTION TO FUND SCHOLARSHIPS
The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) generates funding for scholarships through the collection of empty Ralgro wheels. Merck Animal Health donates $1 to KLF for every empty wheel turned in. Last year, the Ralgro Wheels for Bucks program generated more than $6,000 in scholarships.
KLA members and friends can help by saving Ralgro wheels and delivering them to the KLA Convention in Wichita, December 4-6. Ask family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Deserving college students will be able to defray the high cost of education thanks to your efforts!
from November 22
CORPORATE FARMING DOCUMENT PROVIDES BACKGROUND FOR KLA POLICY DISCUSSIONS
Members of the KLA Stockgrowers and Cattle Feeders Councils will consider policy on the state’s corporate farming laws December 5 at the annual convention in Wichita. KLA staff has prepared a background document to help members better understand the current law, proposed changes and current KLA policy. It is available here.
Bills considered by the 2013 Kansas Legislature would have removed existing restrictions on certain corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships and corporate partnerships to own agricultural land in Kansas. The bills were tabled for further review and could be considered when the 2014 Kansas Legislature convenes in early January.
from November 21
FEEDYARD DISCUSSION REVOLVES AROUND SAFER WORKPLACE
The KLA workers’ compensation program hosted a meeting November 13 at the KLA West office in Scott City to discuss feedlot safety. Focus of the program was on how to create a safer workplace through behavior.
One of the items reviewed by the group was a new web-based training resource available to KLA members. The online training, to be debuted at the KLA Convention, includes feedyard-specific issues presented in both English and Spanish.
This marks the 20th year of the KLA self-insured program. Profits generated in the program are returned to members as dividends. During the first two decades of the program, more than $7 million in dividends have been returned to members of the KLA workers’ compensation program.
from November 20
ANIMAL AG SUPPORTERS NEED TO DELIVER GREEN MESSAGE TO PUBLIC
Every beef production system can be sustainable, whether it’s grain-finished, grass fed, natural or organic. That was the message delivered by independent sustainability consultant Jude Capper at last night’s Upson Lecture in Manhattan, hosted by Food for Thought. She said three things must be in place for sustainability to occur: economic viability, environmental responsibility and social acceptability.
All three of these factors come into play when beef technology is used. While these technologies are viewed unfavorably by some, Capper said consumers should know just the extra beef from using implants and beta agonists on a single carcass will supply seven children with school lunches for an entire year. For those concerned about hormones in food, she emphasized foods like cabbage and peas have substantially larger quantities of estrogen than beef from an implanted steer. According to Capper, safe growth enhancing technologies alone have reduced the environmental impact of beef production by 10.7% over the last 30 years.
“Animal agriculture is greener than it was 20 years, 40 years, 50 years ago,” she said.
Her research shows it took 30% fewer animals in 2007 to produce the same amount of beef as in 1977 due to improvements in technology, genetics and management. This translated to lower resource requirements, including 19% less feed, 12% less water, 33% less land and a 16% smaller carbon footprint.
Capper hopes animal agriculture stakeholders will take these facts to the public through personal conversations and social media. She illustrated the need for livestock advocacy by pointing out there are 1.5 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members for every farm and ranch in the U.S.