from October 19


     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt last week appointed Jim Gulliford of Missouri as administrator for Region 7. Gulliford will oversee environmental protection efforts in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. He previously held this position from 2001 to 2006.  
     Most recently, Gulliford served as executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. He was responsible for all operational aspects of the non-profit organization that advocates for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practices, programs and policy.  
     Prior to joining the Soil and Water Conservation Society in 2009, he spent nearly a decade at EPA serving as a regional administrator, then as assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. Gulliford also served as director of the Division of Soil Conservation at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for 15 years.


from October 18


     Checkoff dollars were used to relaunch the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” brand last week in the form of a comprehensive website tailored for use by the industry’s target audience. The site blends more than 800 recipes, an explanation of how to cook all 126 beef cuts, cooking lessons and nutrition information with a look at the people who raise it.  
     In response to interest from millennials about how beef gets to the table and who is responsible, the “Rethink the Ranch” pages on the website bring real beef producers to life through videos, photographs and quotes. Ranchers and feeders from across the country are featured, including Rodney and Sadie Derstein from southwest Kansas. Through this section, consumers will learn about each step in the beef production process, from farms and ranches to feedyards to beef processing facilities.  
     The new digital home for beef,, is being unveiled during the 25th anniversary of the famous themeline and brand name. Traffic will be driven to the website using innovative social media and Internet search strategies.  
     Later this year, new promotional materials celebrating beef’s unique qualities as a protein source will be released in hopes of appealing to consumers’ love for beef.


from October 17


     A marketing executive who is helping the industry develop digital marketing strategies to reach beef’s target audience will be the featured speaker during Beef Industry University (BIU), November 30 at the KLA Convention in Wichita. VML Executive Vice President Eric Baumgartner will talk about radical changes in how Americans are shopping for everything from food, including beef and milk, to cars and homes. He will offer insight into these changes and what it means for beef promotion and advertising programs funded by producers through the beef checkoff.  
     Baumgartner has extensive experience in digital engagement, design and communications technology in the consumer space. His current clients at VML, which is a full-service marketing and advertising agency, include Microsoft, Amazon and Chevron.  
     BIU is sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. Registration materials have been sent to KLA members. Hotel information and online registration are available here. The preregistration deadline is November 17.


from October 16


     The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) recently finalized new consumptive use regulations that apply when converting an irrigation water right to another use, like stockwater. KLA worked with KDA as it developed the new regulation and submitted written comments during the formal rulemaking process.  
     KDA’s new rule sets a county-by-county consumptive use conversion rate based on return flows generated by a regional groundwater model using irrigation types reported within the county. The formula is more transparent and relies on better data than the old formula that used flawed crop, historic acreage and precipitation assumptions. In most counties, the new formula will result in a more realistic and beneficial conversion rate for livestock operations seeking to convert an irrigation right to a stockwater right. In addition, the rules retained the provision that allows a water right owner to undertake an individual engineering study if it appears the county conversion rate is too punitive.  
     Individual county consumptive use conversion rates can be viewed here. Once on the webpage, scroll down to the map titled “Consumptive Use Percentages in Kansas, by County” which can be enlarged by clicking on the map image.


from October 13


     Texas rancher Kelley Sullivan testified this week before the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. She urged Congress and the Trump administration to protect the Korea - U.S. (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement and move quickly to strike a bilateral deal with Japan.
     Testifying on behalf of NCBA, Sullivan expressed concern that prolonged negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and withdrawal or modifications to KORUS could pose setbacks for the U.S. beef industry. She explained how selling to global markets allows U.S. beef producers to generate more overall value. Many of the beef cuts Americans find less desirable command higher prices in foreign markets where consumers have different tastes.
     “Exports are critical to U.S. beef producers and the rural economies that depend on them because they allow us to maximize the value of each carcass,” she testified.
     Sullivan thanked the Trump administration for restoring access for U.S. beef in China. She noted the U.S. Meat Export Federation estimates U.S. beef sales to China will reach $300 million annually within five years.


from October 12


     The Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) presented a total of $20,000 in scholarships to eight exhibitors during the event, which was held September 29 through October 1 in Hutchinson. Those receiving $3,000 stipends were Ryann Allison, Fort Scott; Shay Duer, Onaga; Chad Hibdon, Princeton; and Mason Runft, Scandia. Four students were awarded $2,000 scholarships, including Michael Dowd, Olathe; Jade Edwards, Hamilton; Ben Jensen, Courtland; and Katherine Krauss, Russell.  
     Since the inception of the KJLS scholarship program in 1993, a total of 314 exhibitors have been awarded $431,000. This program would not be possible without the generosity of Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, Cargill Meat Solutions, INTRUST Bank, the Agri-Business Council of Wichita, Forrest Lattner Family Foundation, Merck Animal Health, Seaboard Foods, Shane and Kianne Prill and the Coonrod Family Foundation.


from October 11


     The 2016 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) included data on cows and bulls. Improvements were noted in animal welfare and handling, hide condition, injection placement and carcass quality.
     Audit results showed the vast majority of bulls and cows walked normally into packing facilities, with no apparent lameness issues. Study coordinators suggested there has been a trend toward increased body condition scores in beef and dairy cows since 2007, while scores remained fairly constant for the bull population. About 98% of bulls and cows had no visible swellings from animal health product injections and the incidence of injection-site lesions in the round have dropped considerably since 1998.
     While making a reduction in the amount of bruising a priority helped lower the prevalence from 1999 to 2007, auditors said there is still an opportunity to further decrease the incidence. In addition, greater attention to the size and location of brands could increase hide values.
     Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board Chairman Dan Kniffen said understanding these quality issues is important because cows and bulls are significant sources of beef. He believes NBQA will lead to ways to improve bull and cow carcass quality through enhanced production practices.
     NBQA is funded by the beef checkoff. Audit research on bulls and cows was last conducted in 2007.


from October 10


     Becky Farha of Yates Center has earned KLA Recruiter of the Month honors for a second consecutive month. She signed up five new members during September to earn a $50 Cabela’s gift card, plus another chance in the grand prize drawing among all 12 monthly winners. Farha leads the 2017 KLA Top Hand Contest with 10 recruits to her credit. Second place is Vernon Bohn of Dwight with four new members. Seven people are tied for third place with three members each. They are Clint Bryant, Winfield; Clint Corpstein, Atchison; David Clawson, Englewood; Gregg Stewart, Washington; Jim Ashmore, Logan; Mark Schultz, Lucas; and Russ Walker, Altoona. To date, 53 individual KLA members have signed up a total of 88 new members in this year’s contest, which will end November 30 at the KLA Convention in Wichita.
     Prizes for this year’s contest, exclusively sponsored by John Deere, include: first recruit - BBQ tool set; three recruits - Buck Talus knife; five recruits - soft-side cooler with two tumblers; 10 recruits - $150 Cabela’s gift card; 15 recruits - pair of Roper, Stetson or Tin Haul boots; and 20 recruits - 30-30 rifle. In addition, the top recruiter of the year (minimum of 25 recruits) will receive a custom-made 20X felt hat from Greeley Hat Works.
     For a list of past and prospective members in your area and membership recruitment materials, contact Letty Meek at or (785) 273-5115.


from October 9


     AT KJLS Separate from the selection of species champions, a showmanship contest was held during the Kansas Junior Livestock Show, September 29 through October 1 in Hutchinson. The top showman in both junior and senior divisions of each species received a silver belt buckle. Prizes also were awarded for second through fifth place in each division.
     Madison Loschke from Kingsdown took the champion senior cattle showmanship title. Reserve champion was claimed by Wesley Denton of Blue Rapids. In the junior cattle showmanship division, Jase Beltz of Canton was the champion, while Weston Schrader from Wells claimed reserve.
     Brody Nemecek, Iola, received champion senior swine showmanship honors. The reserve champion senior was Danielle Nading from Fort Scott. In the junior swine showmanship division, Abi Lillard, Abilene, was the champion, with Kynna Crawford, Hugoton, named reserve champion.
     Becca Paine of Hutchinson was the champion senior sheep showman. Taking reserve was Jillian Keller from Piqua. Clay Brillhart from Fort Scott won the junior sheep showmanship division. Caleb Dechant of Goodland took home reserve junior honors.
     In the senior goat showmanship contest, the champion was Jillian Keller of Piqua, with Reilly Stewart from Baldwin City claiming reserve. Jera Schoenfeld of Oakley earned champion junior goat showmanship honors, with Raine Garten from Abilene earning reserve.


from October 6


     The KLA Political Action Council (PAC) Golf Tournament hosted 152 players September 29 for a competitive round on Colbert Hills in Manhattan. A Bank of the West team consisting of (pictured, L to R) Jim Wernli, Lucas Christensen, Rodney Van Norden and Casey Johnson won the championship flight by shooting 15 under par. Second place in the championship flight was the Midwest Mixer team of Brad Boulware, Jerry Buxton, Jon Skelton and Aaron Spanier at minus 14.
     A team from Fairleigh Feedyard won the second flight. Team members Greg Glunz, John Fairleigh, Rey Armendariz and Aden Nelson shot eight under par and won the tiebreaker over four other teams. Second place in the second flight, also at eight under, was Bret Henderson, Greg Legleiter, Lucas Maddy and Aaron Timm representing Frontier Farm Credit.
     Another Frontier Farm Credit team won the third flight. Mike Utech, Mark Wells, Terry Crawford and Mark Utech shot four under and won the tiebreaker over two other teams. Second place in the third flight was the team of Shawn Baer, Bill McMichael, John Wildin and Gary Niehaus, who also shot four under.
     Proceeds from the tournament help fund KLA PAC contributions to political candidates who support and appreciate livestock production in Kansas.