from January 19
FORMER GEORGIA GOVERNOR, VETERINARIAN REPORTEDLY CHOSEN AS AG SECRETARY
NCBA and most other mainstream ag groups are
praising President Elect Donald Trump’s reported nomination of Sonny
Perdue as U.S. secretary of agriculture. The appointment was confirmed
by an unnamed member of the Trump transition team. It would be the final
cabinet post to be filled by the incoming administration.
Perdue, 70, is a veterinarian, businessman and former two-term
governor of Georgia. He served as governor from 2003 to 2011. Perdue was
a member of Trump’s agricultural advisory committee.
“Gov. Perdue is an excellent pick to head the agriculture
department,” said NCBA President Tracy Brunner. “In a time of increasing
regulations and a growing governmental footprint, we have no doubt that
Gov. Perdue will step in and stand up for rural America so that we can
continue to do what we do best - provide the safest and most abundant
food supply in the world.”
Kyle Gillooly, a cattleman from Wadley, GA, and president of the
Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, an NCBA affiliate, said Perdue always
has been a strong supporter of agriculture. He said as a graduate of the
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Perdue
understands issues facing the livestock industry.
from January 18
CHECKOFF EFFORTS TARGETED AT MOVING LARGER BEEF SUPPLIES
The “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” digital
advertising campaign is active in early 2017, with the focus on helping
consumers take advantage of larger beef supplies and lower prices. As
part of the Families in Motion campaign, new value-oriented displays are
being utilized on Facebook, Pinterest and other sites including www.allrecipes.com.
Digital beef ads share how consumers can purchase and prepare
budget-friendly meals by coupling lower-priced beef with checkoff-funded
The smartphone app Ibotta is another way checkoff dollars are being
used to increase awareness of good value at the meatcase. Consumers who
download the Ibotta app can browse the grocery category for rebates on
food items including fresh ground beef, steaks or roasts. They can
“unlock” these rebates through online learning about beef and buy the
items at any retailer nationwide. This platform provides a unique
opportunity to target cost-conscious shoppers who previously may have
omitted beef from their shopping list when beef prices were higher.
from January 17
BUDGET MATTERS DOMINATE AT CAPITOL
The highlight of the first week of the 2017 Kansas legislative session
was the unveiling of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for balancing the current
state fiscal year budget. Brownback also outlined his 2018 and 2019
budget proposals. State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan, in his
presentation to legislative committees last week, told lawmakers the
energy and agriculture sectors are contributing to the weak growth of
tax receipts and are partly to blame for the $350 million shortfall in
the current budget. Sullivan cited a Kansas Department of Agriculture
study showing for every 1% decrease in agriculture prices, there is a
corresponding $7.7 million decrease in sales tax receipts.
Brownback’s proposed changes for funding the 2017 budget include a
seven-year loan from the state’s Pooled Money Investment Board,
reductions in payments for K-12 education, reductions in transfers to
the state highway fund and other one-time adjustments.
For the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the governor suggested new taxes on
passive income, including rents and royalties; an increase in the annual
report filing fee from $40 to $200 for LLCs; and increases in tobacco
and liquor taxes.
Legislators serving on appropriation committees will begin work on
alternatives to the governor’s proposals. The 2017 Legislature is
expected to vote on bills that would repeal the 2012 income tax
exemption for LLCs, proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations.
from January 16
SUPREME COURT WILL DETERMINE JURISDICTION OF WOTUS LAWSUIT
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether jurisdiction
over a lawsuit challenging the government’s waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)
rule rests with the federal district court or appellate court.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include NCBA, the National Pork Producers
Council (NPPC) and dozens of other ag groups, businesses and
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put WOTUS into effect
August 28, 2015. A little more than a month later, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati issued a stay on the rule
pending disposition of numerous lawsuits filed in U.S. district courts
across the country. Last year, the 6th Circuit consolidated the suits
under its jurisdiction.
NCBA, NPPC and other groups submitted briefs to the appellate court
in November 2016 arguing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
promulgated the WOTUS rule without following federal rulemaking
procedures. The groups suggested the agencies exceeded authority under
the Clean Water Act and the U.S. Constitution.
In their brief, the ag coalition charged EPA and the Corps failed
to reopen the public comment period after making fundamental changes to
the proposed rule and refused to conduct required economic and
environmental analyses of the rule. Other aspects of the lawsuit contend
the agencies engaged in a propaganda campaign to promote the rule and
illegally lobbied against congressional efforts to stop implementation.
from January 13
MARSHALL TO REPRESENT KANSAS ON U.S. HOUSE AG COMMITTEE
First-term U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall was selected earlier this week
to serve on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. The Big 1st
District of Kansas, which Marshall represents, has been noticeably
absent from the committee the past three years.
“We committed to getting the Big 1st back on the ag committee,”
said Marshall. “I’m proud to be able to say today that we have delivered
on that promise.”
Marshall and his House Ag Committee colleagues will deal with
important legislation affecting farmers and ranchers during the 115th
“The appointment of Congressman Marshall to the U.S. House
Committee on Agriculture could not have come at a more opportune time,”
said KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden. “His input on behalf of
Kansas livestock producers will be vital as Congress deals with serious
issues including the onerous GIPSA rule and a new Farm Bill.”
from January 12
ADVANCED BEEF CATTLE CARE TRAINING SESSIONS SCHEDULED
The Kansas Beef Council (KBC) will host five advanced beef cattle
care and health training sessions across the state during January,
February and March. In addition, KBC will host an online training
session for Kansas FFA members.
Kansas State University veterinarian Dan Thomson will lead the
training. The curriculum will include Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)
recommendations on animal husbandry best management practices; downed
animal care and humane euthanasia; and low-stress cattle handling
techniques. Those attending the sessions will earn BQA certification,
which is valid for three years.
Dates and locations are January 24 - Russell Livestock; February 6 -
Paola Livestock Auction; February 9 - Winter Livestock, Dodge City;
February 20 - Clay Center Livestock Sales; and March 7 - Rawlins County
Fair Building, Atwood. The online training for FFA members will take
place February 13.
All the workshops start at 6:00 p.m., are free to attend and
include a meal. Preregistration one week or more prior to the chosen
session is requested by calling KBC at (785) 273-5225 or emailing email@example.com.
from January 11
STATE INVESTIGATOR HELPS RECOVER STOLEN CATTLE
Kansas Special Investigator Kendal Lothman recently reported he’s
opened more than 60 livestock theft cases since his appointment by
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in late 2014. Lothman, who also
collaborates with the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Division of
Animal Health, currently has 40 open cases in at least 35 Kansas
During 2016, Lothman helped recover 39 stolen cattle and assisted
in identifying and returning 28 strayed animals. He credits the
cooperative efforts of local law enforcement officials, auction market
operators and theft investigators in neighboring states for the success
in solving many of these thefts the past two years.
The state attorney general’s office and KDA are studying the
feasibility of hiring a second cattle theft investigator for Kansas.
Brand registration fee revenue currently funds livestock theft
investigation efforts. The current brand fee is $45 for a five-year
registration. Additional funding for a second investigator likely would
require a significant increase in the brand registration fee. KLA policy
committees will review this proposal in the coming weeks.
from January 10
CATTLE STOLEN IN RILEY COUNTY
A KLA member has reported 50 heifers and 1 Angus bull stolen
between December 26 and January 5 from a pasture northwest of Randolph.
Most of the heifers are black in color, with a few that are smokey grey
in the group. Forty of the heifers have a S with a bar in the bottom
(forming a “D”) branded on the left hip. These cattle carry a yellow tag
in the right ear and a white tag in the left. The remaining 10 heifers,
have a broken bar over CC branded on the right hip, an ear notch at the
point and bottom of the right ear and a white tag in the left ear.
KLA is offering up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of the thieves. The reward program only applies when the
producer is a KLA member. Anyone with information on these cattle should
contact the Riley County Sheriff’s Office at (785) 537-2112 or Jan
Dreith at (785) 293-2198 or (785) 632-4848.
from January 9
LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FULL WITH BUDGET, EDUCATION FUNDING, AG ISSUES
The 2017 Kansas legislative session convenes today in Topeka and
state lawmakers are expected to immediately begin deliberating Gov. Sam
Brownback’s proposed solutions to the $350 million deficit for the
current budget year. Brownback unveils his budget adjustments and agenda
for the session tomorrow (1/10).
This year’s session involves many new players, as more than a third
of the House and Senate are newly elected. In addition, only two of the
top six leadership positions in the House and Senate are holdovers from
the previous session and many committee chairs are new as well.
The high-profile issues for 2017 are expected to be the state’s
financial status and an attempt to craft a new K-12 education funding
plan, with a pending state Supreme Court ruling likely to direct the
Legislature on this matter. Answers to these challenges undoubtedly will
require consideration of bills that would amend state income tax law to
generate additional revenue.
On the agricultural agenda, amendments to the state’s water
conservation area law and the water rights impairment claim process are
expected to be deliberated. In addition, reform of the state’s noxious
weed law and modifications to the deer hunting permit system will be
debated this session. KLA will be one of several agricultural
organizations that will ask legislators to increase maximum truck
weights to 90,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, on six axles only, to more
closely harmonize Kansas law with neighboring states.
KLA legislative affairs staff will monitor and provide input on
these and other issues at the Capitol on a daily basis. Weekly updates
will appear in the KLA News & Market Report.
from January 6
ROBERTS RATIFIED FOR SECOND TERM AS SENATE AG COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
The U.S. Senate Republican Conference has ratified the selection of
Sen. Pat Roberts as chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture,
Nutrition and Forestry. His appointment as committee chairman for the
115th Congress will be his second term in the position.
“I look forward to another productive year with a majority in
Congress and now with a Republican administration,” said Roberts. “We
have an aggressive agenda lined up, from passing a Farm Bill to
repealing and replacing Obamacare to meaningful tax reform, reducing
regulations and much more.”
Under his chairmanship in the last Congress, the Senate Ag
Committee passed bipartisan legislation and addressed polarizing topics
like child nutrition and food labeling. Specifically, Roberts led the
committee as it passed emergency wildfire legislation, resolved the
country-of-origin meat labeling trade dispute and protected the Farm
Bill from proposed changes and cuts.
Roberts is the only member of Congress in history to hold the
chairmanships of both the Senate and House Ag Committees, as well as the
title of ranking minority member with both committees.
from January 5
K-STATE TO HOST EDUCATIONAL SERIES IN EARLY 2017
Kansas State University will be hosting two
different educational series over the next two months. One will be
focused on calving and the other on winter ranch management.
Calving schools will be held in various locations across the state
through January 17. Conference speakers will share tips on when and how
to intervene to assist a cow or heifer giving birth and demonstrate
proper use of calving equipment on a life-size scale.
The winter ranch management series, which will run in January and
early February, will include comments from extension educators on
profit-enhancing strategies for beef producers. Some of the topics to be
discussed will range from winter feeding and cow management to bull
buying to vaccination and animal health issues, including the new
Veterinary Feed Directive. Each meeting will feature a “town hall” style
question and answer session.
For more information on each series, including dates, locations and how to make reservations, go to www.ksubeef.org.