Cattle Today

Cattle Today



Topeka – Beef producers will hear how the changing cattle cycle will affect market prices in 2007 during the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention, November 30 – December 1 in Wichita. The cattle and beef market will be one of many business issues addressed by speakers and in member policy discussions at the meeting. According to KLA President Ron Estes from Atchison, information presented during the convention will help producers position their operations for success in the years to come.

Cattle-Fax Executive Vice President Randy Blach will deliver the market outlook during Beef Industry University, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. He'll assess how drought has affected the trend toward herd expansion and what that will mean for beef supplies in 2007. Blach also will analyze how quickly the U.S. can regain export market share to help build beef demand. His presentation will include comments on the impact ethanol production is having on corn prices and how that could change the dynamics of the feeding industry.

Expanding on the ethanol discussion will be a Kansas native who maintains a close watch on that segment of the energy sector. Bill Holbrook, who grew up in Washington, will examine how the explosive growth in ethanol production is fueling corn demand. The ethanol industry currently represents about 18% of total corn use, a figure expected to grow exponentially in the near future. Holbrook will use his experience as the owner of a consulting service specializing in market analysis for ethanol start-up ventures to give beef producers insight into the situation.

Potential improvements in the beef checkoff will be discussed by a Kansas cattleman who served on a special task force studying the issue. Tracy Brunner from Ramona will report on recommendations of the 18-member, industry-wide group that met several times this past summer. Allowing producers to petition for a referendum every five years and increasing the checkoff rate to $2.00 per head were among suggestions forwarded by the task force. Brunner will share all of the group's conclusions and answer questions about how the recommended enhancements in the checkoff could be implemented by the industry.

The president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) will speak during a session at the convention sponsored by MicroBeef Technologies. Mike John of Huntsville, MO, has led the 27,000-member trade organization since early February. He has spent time away from his cow-calf and backgrounding business representing NCBA members on issues affecting the bottom lines of producers. John will give a status report on NCBA's efforts to eliminate the federal death tax, and the organization's attempt to clarify new Environmental Protection Agency rules regulating agricultural dust. He has strong connections to the Kansas beef industry, having graduated from Kansas State University with an animal science degree in 1980.

Producers will take away useful information from sessions featuring Kansas producers using electronic identification, a meat scientist discussing the latest National Beef Quality Audit and KLA staff offering examples of valuable troubleshooting services. Elanco is sponsoring these Industry Information Sessions.

Speakers on the electronic identification panel will explain how the technology is helping collect performance information used in breeding, culling and feeding decisions. Cow-calf producers and stocker operators will share their real-world experiences and answer questions from the audience.

Colorado State University meat scientist Gary Smith will review results from the 2005 National Beef Quality Audit. Producers improved beef quality since the previous audit, in 2000, through fewer injection-site blemishes and cattle genetics resulting in better beef. Smith will outline 10 industry goals to be achieved prior to the next scheduled quality assessment in 2010.

Four KLA staff will help producers realize greater value for their membership during the troubleshooting session. Every day, staff assists members with questions about fence law, environmental regulations, sales tax exemptions and transportation issues. Members are encouraged to come prepared with questions for Senior Vice President Rich McKee, Feedlot Division Executive Director Clayton Huseman, Vice President and General Counsel Allie Devine and Assistant Counsel Brent Haden.

Estes, the auction market operator and cow-calf producer who has led KLA for the past year, encouraged members to be part of the policy formation process during the convention. Any member can bring an issue up for consideration during committee and council meetings. Resolutions originating in these meetings are subject to approval of the general membership before the convention adjourns.

“We need every member to present their thoughts and ideas,” said Estes. “Broad input makes KLA more reflective of its membership and gives us a stronger voice.”

Estes will help present awards to scholarship winners and members who have belonged to KLA for 50 years. The top membership recruiters also will be recognized.

About 100 businesses will display equipment, technology and services during the trade show at the KLA Convention. The trade show gives producers an opportunity to talk with exhibitors and test new products.

A complete schedule and registration form can be found in the November/December Kansas Stockman magazine or on More information on the KLA Convention is available by calling (785) 273-5115. All livestock producers are welcome.

KLA is a trade organization working 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.


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