KCA Hosts 22nd Annual Convention & Trade Show
The 22nd Annual Kansas Cattlemen's Association (KCA) Convention & Trade Show took place November 13th and 14th, 2020 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Junction City, KS. KCA brought together experts from around the country to share the most up-to-date information and education in the cattle industry. The convention kicked off with Policy Review Sessions, where members came together to go over and recommend changes to expiring and existing policies, as well as introduce new resolutions. Friday's schedule included some presentations. First up was Brian Hastings to discuss mental health. Brian is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving families in Southwest Kansas through his family counseling practice, Hastings Family Services. Hastings discussed stress and anxiety, mental illness, and the effects of suicide on farmers and ranchers of rural Kansas communities. He explained that treatment can often be simple and not long-term. He discussed many tools for diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Brian Fieser, of ADM presented an animal nutrition seminar on Friday afternoon. He discussed how balancing nutritional needs of livestock can save money and improve profitability. On Friday afternoon, the KCA membership conducted their annual business meeting. During this meeting, the active membership nominates board members, review expiring resolutions, recommend and adopt resolutions and bylaws, and build the ballot to be mailed to the entire KCA membership. The members at the business meeting moved 23 initiatives to the ballot.
Following the business meeting, the KCA members and trade show participants attended an evening social and bbq sponsored by Roto-Mix.
Saturday kicked off with time for attendees to visit with exhibitors in the trade show. Following the trade show time, Sam Davis presented findings on some of his research at Kansas State University. Davis discussed his thesis research focusing on the sensory differences between plant-based ground beef alternatives and traditional ground beef. His research involved tasting groups of 20 people each, where they were served ground beef of various fat contents, and three plant-based ground meat alternatives. The subjects then rated the products for beef flavor, texture, and other characteristics. Jason Guenther and Alan Clark provided the Cattle Market Update with Schwieterman, Inc. They discussed key market indicators like cattle on feed, captive supply, and slaughter rates/carcass weights and their effects on the cattle markets. Additionally, they discussed the Green New Deal, the 50/14 Legislation, and grain commodities. A panel of members discussed the Beef Checkoff during an afternoon presentation. DJ Edwards, Perry Owens, and David Pfrang provided insights into the Beef Checkoff setup. They discussed the Federation of State Beef Councils and how they are funded, projects undertaken by the Cattlemen's Beef Board and Kansas Beef Council, and the Kansas Livestock Association's ownership of the Kansas Beef Council. Finally, they reviewed the Beef Checkoff Referendum Petition and ways cattlemen can redirect their Beef Checkoff Assessments from the Kansas Beef Council to the Cattlemen's Beef Board. Dr. Tom Noffsinger, veterinarian and owner/member of Production Animal Consultation, Pierson Precision Auscultation and the Cattle Performance Enhancement Company presented attendees with expert education and knowledge on low-stress cattle handling and stockmanship. Dr. Tom utilizes field videos and tools during his presentation to demonstrate the good and what could use improvement in cattle handling with clients. Upon the completion of the presentations Saturday afternoon, attendees took part in the annual social and KCA benefit auction. KCA Vice President, Andy Miller, auctioneered. Up for auction were over 50 items donated by members, exhibitors and sponsors ranging from wall art to minerals and drench. The auction was concluded with the annual heifer auction generously donated by John Ericson of Cloverdale Angus. The heifer was rolled over and eventually sold to Lee Robbins. The benefit auction raised over $17,000. Following the auction, attendees enjoyed some final time together during the KCA annual banquet.