Members of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) met in Corning, Kansas to discuss industry topics on the evening of March 19, 2015 at the Corning Community Center. The free event was open to the public, and it included a free USA Beef supper. ImmuCell provided a calf welfare presentation, and KCA provided updates regarding current legislation and other issues facing independent cattle producers. The meeting wrapped up with a presentation on the Beef Checkoff followed by an auction of a Triple C, Inc. toolbox and an alfalfa bale donated by Pfrang Farms.
“We were happy to have such a great turnout to the meeting. The city of Corning is always very welcoming and willing to help out in so many ways. With the meeting being open and free to the public, we see many people come in that are interested in the current events affecting local independent producers. Many factors facing agriculture today have a direct effect on rural communities all across the state, so supporting the independent producer is supporting the rural way of life in Kansas,” stated Gary Schreiber, KCA Board Member.
Matt Hutchins of ImmuCell kicked off the meeting with a presentation on calf welfare. Attendees learned which techniques work and which don’t with regard to calving and the prevention of scours. According to ImmuCell, there is nearly a 15% death rate from scours prior to weaning, and an additional 20% that recover, but at a significant cost as compared to having never developed scours.
“With a 57% economic loss taking place within the first 24 hours and up to 75% in the first 7 days, it is important to have a scours prevention program in place in your cow/calf operation. ImmuCell has found a solution which statistically provides immediate immunity with our First Defense products.” stated Hutchins.
KCA is actively supporting independent producers in Topeka and Washington, D.C. Staff updated attendees on current legislation, Beef Checkoff, USDA Dietary Guidelines, and Country of Origin Labeling. Numerous members expressed an interest in Senate Bill SB178, and how it would affect their property tax liabilities if it were to become part of the Kansas tax law.
“KCA is prepared to provide testimony to the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee when Senate Bill 178 is scheduled for a hearing. We can overcome a drought, late freeze, or a hail storm, but this legislation would pull the rug right out from under the farmer’s and rancher’s feet, and we just cannot let that happen,” stated Tyler Dupy, KCA Executive Director.
The final presentation of the evening, “Is there a firewall between KLA and KBC,” was provided by KCA members Jim Dobbins and David Pfrang. The presentation discussed the authority of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) over the Kansas Beef Council (KBC). Attendees learned of the option to redirect the 50% share of the $1 per head assessment which goes to the KBC to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), which is the national administrator for the Beef Checkoff.
“We fully support a Beef Checkoff. What we question is the administration of the dollar that we as producers are required to pay. Without a clear firewall between KLA and KBC, and a total lack of transparency, how do we know our own dollars aren’t used to promote conflicting interests?” asked Jim Dobbins.
The meeting adjourned following the giveaway of door prizes and an auction of donated items from area businesses.
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