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KLA Convention to feature discussion on nutritional science
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Livestock producers attending the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention in Wichita will hear an investigative journalist present the case that nutritional science has it wrong with respect to the healthfulness of meat and dairy products. A tribute to KLA’s chief executive, who is stepping down, and comments from one of the nation’s largest cattle feeders are other highlights of the convention, set for Dec. 3-5.
Nina Teicholz will share findings from the research for her book, titled “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” during the Wednesday evening banquet. She will focus on the possible unintended consequences of Americans being told to cut back on saturated fat for more than 40 years. In the book, she presents convincing evidence that nutritional advice to eat less meat and dairy has led to increased obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Teicholz suggests people may inadvertently be replacing nutrient-dense animal proteins with foods that are calorie-rich and lack nutritional value. Her presentation will be sponsored by Micro and Bayer, while the steaks for dinner will come courtesy of INTRUST Bank and Tyson Fresh Meats.
Thursday’s Beef Industry University (BIU), sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, will be about a milestone for the Kansas Stockman magazine, opportunities facing the beef industry and how long record profitability might last for ranchers and feeders.
The program will start with a presentation marking 100 years in print for the Stockman. Past Stockman editors, writers and fieldmen will be recognized at that time.
That will be followed by comments from Friona Industries President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Herring. He will assess prospects for the beef industry. Herring’s perspective comes from running the third-largest cattle feeding operation in the U.S. Commercial feedyards owned by Friona have a one-time capacity of 300,000 head. Herring’s success in the beef business earned him the National Cattlemen’s Foundation Vision Award in 2008.
The closing BIU presentation will be a cattle market outlook from CattleFax Executive Vice President Randy Blach. He will provide comprehensive analysis of the factors behind all-time high cattle prices and predict how long record profitability might last. Blach will talk about the rate at which ranchers are expanding their cowherds and what that means for beef supplies.
Friday’s breakfast, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and Zoetis, will serve as the lead-in for a tribute to KLA CEO Dee Likes, who will step down at the end of 2014 after 30 years in the position. Colleagues and friends of Likes will be at the podium to discuss highlights of his successful career at KLA, which started when he was named executive secretary of the Cow-Calf/Stocker Division in 1976.
Wrapping up the program, the Industry Information Session, sponsored by Elanco, will address the demand for sustainably produced food items and where beef fits in. Walmart Senior Director of Sustainability Brittni Furrow will explain her company’s global approach to sustainable food and how it is being integrated into both sourcing and merchandising. She will be followed by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Sustainability Research Kim Stackhouse, who will describe how the checkoff-funded life cycle analysis is helping meet the demands of Walmart and others by providing hard evidence of the industry’s improved sustainability record.
In addition to educational sessions, KLA will honor individuals who have belonged to the organization 50 years or more, earned scholarships, won membership recruitment awards and graduated from the KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy.
A schedule and registration form are available on or by calling KLA at (785) 273-5115. Registration is available online. All livestock producers are welcome to attend.  
KLA works 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.