KLA Convention Program to Cover Wide Range of Issues

October 27, 2022

(TOPEKA) – Featured presentations about consumer buying habits, where the cattle market is headed the next 12 months and international beef trade will highlight the educational program at the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention, November 30 through December 2 in Wichita. Committee and council meetings where members will have policy discussions about issues important to their businesses, a large industry trade show and social events are on the schedule as well. The convention will be held at the Wichita Hyatt and Century II Convention Center.  

Anne-Marie Roerink, 210 Analytics president, will take center stage during the Cattlemen’s Banquet, which will kick off the convention. Serving as a researcher in the food retail business since 1999, and closely working with retailers, wholesalers, processors, producers and trade associations, has given her an excellent perspective on the ever-changing demands of meat consumers in a one-size-fits-no-one world. During her presentation, sponsored by Micro Technologies and Zoetis, Roerink will share her insight into the wants and needs of today’s consumers and how these impact their shopping habits. She also will discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie within the food and meat industries and highlight how the environment, animal welfare and sustainability factor into consumer buying decisions.   

Back by popular demand, CattleFax Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Randy Blach will be the featured speaker in Beef Industry University. He will identify factors driving the cattle and beef markets during his presentation, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. Blach will assess where the industry stands on cowherd numbers and what that means for beef supplies in 2023. He also will offer cattle price projections, taking into consideration grain prices, energy costs, beef exports, competing meat supplies and consumer demand. He will factor drought conditions, increasing interest rates and high input costs into his comprehensive forecast as well.  

During a session sponsored by Elanco Animal Health, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom will explain how the organization is working to put U.S. beef on the world’s table. He will provide an overview of U.S. red meat exports, focusing on which foreign markets have seen demand growth for U.S. beef over the last year and where the potential for expansion remains. Halstrom joined USMEF in 2010 as the senior vice president of marketing and was responsible for coordinating programs promoting U.S. beef, pork and lamb in 18 regions around the world. He was named president and CEO in 2018. 

The Consumer Trends Forum, sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission, will focus on the importance of pushing back against the anti-meat narrative. Registered dietitian and author Diana Rodgers will explain how her latest initiative, the Global Food Justice Alliance, advocates for the inclusion of animal-sourced foods in dietary policies for a more nutritious and sustainable worldwide food system. Rodgers spent 18 years living on a working farm. She co-authored the book “Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat” and directed and produced the companion film, “Sacred Cow.”  

KLA members will review existing policy and consider new resolutions during committee and council meetings at the convention. Final policy approval will come during the general KLA membership meeting at the end of the convention.  

The KLA Trade Show will feature livestock products and services on display for producers, as well as being the site for social events and meals at the convention.  

Schedule and registration information is available on www.kla.org under the Events & Meetings tab or in the November/December Kansas Stockman. Members can save on the cost of attending the convention by registering before November 11.  

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.