|By TIM THORNBERRY
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The state’s cattle industry comes together on January 11, 12 and 13 for the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) 2007 Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Lexington Convention Center.
This year’s theme is “Looking Into the Future” and the meeting consists of educational sessions that include topics ranging from forage to muscle profiling. The three-day event also includes a 70-booth trade show that highlights aspects of the beef industry from feed to pharmaceuticals.
The trade show also features a live Internet cattle auction where 2,000 to 3,000 head of cattle will be sold from Downtown Lexington.
Dave Maples, executive vice president of the KCA said the venue should work well for those attending the conference.
“Over 1,000 cattlemen are expected from across the region. Lexington is the home of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and the Lexington Convention Center will be a great venue to accommodate our members,” said Maples. “This convention will help Kentucky’s cattlemen learn new ways to create and market the best beef product possible. It’s also a great networking and educational opportunity for everyone in our industry.”
Conference speakers include Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech; Charlie McVean, McVean Trading Company; Dr. Chris Calkins, University of Nebraska Professor of Animal Science; Dr. Garry D. Lacefield, University of Kentucky (UK) Professor of Agronomy Extension; and Karen Lewis, UK School of Design.
Greg Ritter, KCA president and a producer from Glasgow, runs a cow-calf operation on his 240-acre farm and said the conference is a good place for producers to get to know each other.
“The convention will have many top speakers, a large trade show and the election of new officers, but one of the most important aspects of the conference is that it is a good place to meet other producers and participate in general fellowship and that is very helpful and important,” he said.
Ritter also said he felt like 2007 will be fairly stable for the state’s beef industry.
“I think the coming year will be solid and prices will probably fluctuate like they usually do but I feel like the average price will be a little better than right now. A lot will depend on corn prices,” he said.
The Kentucky Beef Cattle Association got its start in 1973 with the merger of two parent groups, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and the Kentucky Feeder Calf Association. That organization’s membership was based on associations that sponsored sales of feeder cattle and breeding stock.
Each year, representatives were elected to be on the Board of Directors and while individuals could join, their representatives came from 10 Directors-At-Large, elected each year at the annual membership meeting.
In 1992 the membership of the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association voted to restructure its organization, and to change its name to the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.
Cattle industry in Kentucky, U.S.
Kentucky is the largest cattle producing state east of the Mississippi and the eighth largest in the nation with approximately 40,000 beef producers and approximately 2.4 million head of cattle and calves.
Last year the state’s cattle numbers were 7 percent over 2005 with producers generating over $561 million dollars in cash sale receipts.
For 2006, beef production is expected to be up about 6 percent from 2005 according to a recent agricultural outlook report by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, beef cattle production “represents the largest single segment of American agriculture. In fact, the U.S. beef industry is made up of more than 1 million businesses, farms and ranches. There are more than 800,000 ranchers and cattle producers in the United States. In 2005, producers of meat animals were responsible for more than $64 billion in added value to the U.S. economy.
There were 97.1 million cattle in the United States as of January 2006. Total beef production in 2005 was 24.7 billion pounds. Beef production per cow has increased from about 400 pounds in the mid-1960s to 585 pounds in 2005.”
For more information about the organization and the conference, visit their website at www.kycattle.org/
This farm news was published in the Jan. 3, 2007 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.