Smith County Ranch To Host KLA/K-State Field Day

July 30, 2020

(TOPEKA) – Program highlights for the August 13 Kansas Livestock Association/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near Smith Center will include discussions on leveraging genetics to achieve cowherd objectives, managing and planning for tough economic times, optimizing gain with post-weaning nutrition and combating farm stress. The event will be hosted by W & S Ranch Inc., owned and operated by the Weltmer family, which encompasses a farming business, cow-calf operation and feedyard.  

Select Sires Beef Sire Analyst Jon Herrick will kick off the educational portion of the field day. The discussion will be centered on how genetics can be leveraged to increase the profitability of an operation. The presentation will cover how to tailor trait selection and capitalize on the genetic and reproductive tools available, as well as the feasibility, from a timing and financial standpoint, of achieving the genetic goals of the operation.  

With the current state of the livestock industry, being able to manage through economic uncertainty is more important than ever. Mark Wood, Kansas Farm Management Association extension specialist, will share how ranchers can better prepare and plan for challenging times, rather than just reacting to them.  

K-State extension beef systems specialist Justin Waggoner will discuss nutrition management steps that need to be considered during the post weaning stage. He also will highlight some of the successes W & S Ranch has had in leveraging nutrition to achieve their cattle weight-gain goals. 

Kelsey Olson, deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, will provide an update on the resources her team has compiled to assist Kansas farmers and ranchers in managing stress, financial and legal challenges and other issues.  

The field day will begin with registration at 3:00 p.m. and include a free beef dinner at 6:45 p.m. All livestock producers and others involved in the business are invited to attend. The event will be set up to ensure proper spacing to accommodate social distancing protocol. Masks will be available and hand sanitizer will be provided to each attendee.  

W & S Ranch is located southeast of Smith Center. Head east on U.S. Highway 36 for 1 mile, then turn south on R Road and travel 2 miles. Or, go 1 mile south on U.S. Highway 281 from Smith Center, then east on 180 Road for 2 miles. The field day site is located on the southeast corner of R and 180 Roads. Directional signs will be posted.   

The second and final event in the 2020 field day series will be held August 18 at G-Three Cattle Company near Uniontown. Both events are sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and Bayer Animal Health. For more information, go to The educational sessions from each field day will be recorded and posted on the KLA website following the events.   

KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of independent beef producers at the state and national levels. Members of the association are involved in all segments of the livestock industry, including cow-calf production, backgrounding, cattle feeding, swine, dairy and sheep.