(TOPEKA) – Featured presentations about marketing beef to consumers in the digital space and where the cattle market is headed the next 12 months highlight the educational program at the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention, November 29 through December 1 in Wichita. Livestock producer policy discussions about business issues, social events and a large industry trade show are on the convention schedule as well. The meeting will take place at the Wichita Hyatt and Century II Convention Center.

VML Executive Vice President Eric Baumgartner will be the showcase speaker during Beef Industry University (BIU), sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. He is part of a team helping the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), as a contractor to the beef checkoff, formulate strategies to reach beef consumers through digital platforms. Baumgartner has extensive experience helping top companies and brands, including Microsoft and Amazon, create strong online presences.

Another BIU highlight will be a review of the massive Starbuck wildfire early this year in Clark, Comanche and Meade counties and how affected ranchers are recovering. KLA President David Clawson of Englewood and a member of the Gardiner family from Ashland will tell some of the harrowing and heartwarming stories associated with the fire. From stories of people trying to save animals and barely escaping with their lives to testimonials about the emotional encouragement provided by those across the country who so generously donated hay, fencing, labor and cash to rebuild, the presentation will illustrate the best of people helping people.

One of the most respected analysts in the U.S. beef industry will be on the program to provide a market outlook for ranchers, feeders and dairymen. CattleFax Chief Executive Officer Randy Blach will deliver his comprehensive, data-driven cattle and beef market outlook during a Friday morning presentation sponsored by Elanco.

The Wednesday evening banquet speaker, sponsored by Micro and Zoetis, will not only entertain, but empower the audience to achieve greater success in life and business. Craig Karges combines the art of magic with the science of psychology and the power of intuition to create the impression nothing is impossible.

Homegrown star Rusty Rierson will bring his modern twist to classic country music Thursday evening during the Cattlemen’s Barn Party. His appearance, suited for those who want to dance or just listen, is being sponsored by Merck Animal Health and Kansas Feeds, LLC.

Consumer Trends, presented by the Kansas Beef Council (KBC) and Kansas CattleWomen, will address the level of information today’s consumers want about how beef gets to their dinner tables. NCBA Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Alisa Harrison and KBC Director of Communications Scott Stebner will look at the importance of industry transparency to consumers and discuss how the checkoff’s new “Rethink the Ranch” campaign meets this demand by using real ranchers to tell the production story. The forum is sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission.

KLA members will review current policy and potentially discuss new resolutions during committee and council meetings at the convention. Issues expected to be discussed include protecting meat and milk nomenclature from use by competing non-protein sources, a review of existing KLA tax policy as it applies to the draft framework for comprehensive national tax reform, proposals to increase the acreage cap on Conservation Reserve Program acres and changes in water appropriation rules.

The KLA Trade Show will showcase products and services for livestock producers, as well as being the site for most of the social events and meals. There will be a welcome reception in the trade show late Wednesday afternoon, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health.

Schedule and registration information is available on www.kla.org or in the November/December Kansas Stockman. All livestock producers are welcome to attend.

Source: KLA News Release