(TOPEKA) – The coronavirus pandemic has altered countless events in 2020 and this year’s KLA Convention is no exception. In an effort to abide by spacing requirements and health regulations, KLA leadership and staff made the decision to condense the meeting to one day, Thursday, December 3, at the Wichita Hyatt and Century II Convention Center. Although the schedule will be abbreviated, there still will be time to hear from industry leaders, discuss important issues and set policy for the coming year.
CattleFax Chief Executive Officer Randy Blach will kick off the convention by offering his perspective on the cattle and beef markets during Thursday morning’s Beef Industry University, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. He will take a top-to-bottom look at the beef industry, from projected feed and energy costs to prospects for cattle numbers, total beef production, exports and beef demand. With two black swan events occurring over the last 18 months further exposing the need for additional shackle space and the importance of supply chain continuity, Blach also will discuss packing capacity and what that means for future growth in the cattle business. During the Thursday afternoon KLA membership meeting, Elanco Animal Health Chief Sustainability Officer Sara Place will discuss the strides made thus far in livestock production to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint and highlight opportunities for further improvement. Prior to joining Elanco last year, Place served as senior director of sustainable beef production research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where she oversaw the checkoff-funded life cycle assessment used to benchmark the sustainability of the U.S. beef industry.
KLA members will review existing policy and consider new resolutions during committee and council meetings at the convention. Among policy issues expected to be discussed are tax structure differences, the Beef Industry Long Range Plan, conservation easement funding and trade agreements. Final policy consideration will come during the business meeting at the end of the convention.
Schedule and registration information is available on www.kla.org or in the November/December Kansas Stockman. All livestock producers are welcome to attend. At this time, Sedgwick County has adopted a county facemask mandate. As a result, KLA and the Hyatt Regency require facemasks to attend the convention. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to all attendees.
KLA works to advance members’ common business interests on legislative, regulatory and industry issues affecting producers at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members.