from October 30


     The enrollment deadline for the 2014 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) is November 3. The 2014 Farm Bill designated ELAP as a permanent disaster program and provides retroactive authority to cover losses that occurred on or after October 1, 2011.
     ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Livestock Indemnity Program. For 2014 program year losses, the notice of loss and an application for payment must be submitted by Nov. 3.
     Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information or to enroll in the program. 


from October 29


     Cost-share funds are available to help livestock producers deal with mounting environmental regulations. The funds are available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This program pays for up to 75% of the costs associated with environmental improvements.
     Items EQIP can help fund include lagoon construction, pipelines for waste transfer, composting facility construction, variable rate irrigation equipment used in waste application and phosphorus reduction equipment (Phred).
     November 21 is the deadline to apply for EQIP funds. For assistance in submitting an application, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.


from October 28


     The discussion at this year’s Consumer Trends Forum during the KLA Convention will revolve around how the definition of a healthy diet is changing. NCBA Executive Director of Human Nutrition Research Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, will outline how nutrition experts, educators and authors are pushing the conversation about the unintended consequences of long-standing dietary advice to cut back on saturated fat. This has widened the dietary debate in the public health community, with opinions ranging from the Paleo approach to plant-based diets and varying amounts of scientific evidence to support each.
     McNeill will explain how the beef checkoff is advancing the science on beef’s role in human health and how consumer concerns are being addressed.
     The Consumer Trends Forum will take place December 4 during the convention. It will be presented by the Kansas Beef Council and Kansas CattleWomen, with sponsor support from the Kansas Soybean Commission.
     Convention registration, a complete schedule and hotel information is available online at and will appear in the November/December Kansas Stockman, which is due in members’ mailboxes around November 1.


from October 27


     Gov. Sam Brownback, Kansas Ag Secretary Jackie McClaskey and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Bob Moser signed and sent a letter last week asking the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed waters of the U.S. rule. According to the Kansas officials, the draft regulation would greatly expand EPA’s regulatory power and have a significant negative impact on the state’s agriculture and energy industries. 
     Brownback called the proposal an “unlawful and unconstitutional attempt to assert federal jurisdiction over local water and land use.” KDHE 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. Brownback said the rule would make it impossible for farmers, developers and homeowners to know what routine business practices could be carried out without obtaining an expensive federal permit.
     “Kansans have had enough of this kind of federal overreach,” the Kansas governor said. “My administration will continue to fight back against this continued pattern of disregard for business, industry and farm and ranch families.”
     State officials noted during an October 24 news conference that Kansas already has adequate laws in place to protect waters that fall under state jurisdiction. The proposed EPA rule, they said, would be redundant and a costly infringement on the state’s rights without providing any significant benefits. These concerns will be part of official comments the state will file before the November 14 deadline.
     KLA was among more than a dozen agriculture and energy-related organizations present at the governor’s news conference to express concern about the proposed rule.


from October 24 


     KLA President Jeff Sternberger announced today Matt Teagarden is the new KLA chief executive officer (CEO). Teagarden, a member of the KLA staff since 2001, was named to replace current CEO Dee Likes after a nationwide search. The search committee’s recommendation was approved by both the KLA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
     Teagarden has served as a key liaison between KLA staff and volunteer leaders during his 13 years as KLA director of industry relations and information technology. He is KLA’s lead staff person on federal government relations, advancing KLA member policy through relationships with the Kansas congressional delegation and other agency contacts. Teagarden coordinates KLA member policy initiatives through NCBA by building consensus with staff and members of other state cattle organizations.
     “Matt’s dedication to KLA goes without question,” said Sternberger. “He is not only qualified, but has the experience necessary to lead this great organization into the future.” 
     He grew up on a diversified ag operation near LaCygne. Teagarden graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agricultural economics. He and his wife, Stephanie, have a grown daughter, Allie, and son-in-law Kale Monk.
     “It’s an honor to be chosen to lead such a respected organization,” said Teagarden. “We have a tremendous staff and I look forward to continuing the team-oriented approach that has served KLA members well.”
     Teagarden officially will begin his duties as CEO January 1. He is only the ninth executive director in KLA’s 120-year history.
     Likes will assume the title of KLA chief executive emeritus January 1, 2015. He will remain employed by KLA in an advisory role to work on future initiatives.


from October 23


     The national spotlight on the Kansas City Royals playing in the World Series has included stories about the origin of the team’s name. While most believe it goes back to kings and queens, the reality is Kansas City’s major league baseball team was named after the American Royal Livestock Show and Rodeo.
     According to the Wall Street Journal, a 1968 contest to name the new professional franchise was won by a now-deceased Kansas City engineer who suggested Royals. His written entry attributed the recommendation to “Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant.”
     Coincidentally, the American Royal Livestock Show started yesterday (10/22), the same day the Royals defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-2 in game 2 of the 2014 World Series.


from October 22


    How long record cattle prices will last and the rate of cowherd expansion will be two topics addressed by CattleFax Executive Vice President Randy Blach during his market outlook, December 4 at the KLA Convention in Wichita. His presentation will be part of Beef Industry University, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.
    Blach will tie in prospects for competing protein supplies, predictions for feed prices and a forecast for overall meat demand. He also will share thoughts on what factors will shape the U.S. and world economy in 2015 and how the macroeconomy will impact the beef industry.
    The KLA Convention will take place December 3-5 at the Wichita Hyatt and Century II Convention Center. KLA members should have received registration materials in the mail. Registration is available online by clicking
here. The Wichita Hyatt is full, but rooms remain at 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’re with KLA to get the special convention rate.


from October 21


     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 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


     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 headquarters.