(Jamie)Were back! Let’s join Kyle and Matt as they look at the future of KLA.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer, I have the opportunity to visit with the current KLA President Matt Perrier. Matt, let’s start with talking about your farming and ranching operation. Where it is and what it looks like. (Matt) Our family owns and operates Dalebanks Angus Ranch. It’s in the southern Flint Hills of Kansas, about three to five miles northwest of Eureka, Kansas, in Greenwood County. I’m a fifth generation livestock producer, fourth generation to have registered Angus cows on that place. My Mother and Father are still very active, Tom and Carolyn. My wife Amy and we have some other family there, are part owners as well. (Kyle) You know unlike a lot of people that are in leadership in organizations, you have a young family and you’re a younger person. (Matt) Well I appreciate that. Hopefully I can still be considered younger. But yes, we’ve got four children, my wife Amy and I. Ava is 12, Lyle, Hannah and Henry is the youngest. He’ll be five here next week. So, it’s going to be a challenge as I’m gone traveling and things, I know that I’ll miss some activities. But we talked a lot a year ago when I was contacted by our nominating committee at KLA and asked if I was interested. At first I told them there’s no way that I can, between the family ranch and the actual family that I can make time to do this. But as we talked about it we realized that there is a need for service to our industry. And while it seems like it will be a big commitment it is only a year to two years, and so hopefully we can handle that. (Kyle) Well, let’s talk about what sort of things you’ve seen that you want to make that kind of a sacrifice for the organization. (Matt) Well I think KLA does a great job of working on various, many different facets in our industry. We are bombarded with a lot of anti-meat groups. We are probably very misunderstood in terms of our elected officials and things like that. And KLA does a great job of communicating with these folks to help us tell our story. We need more involvement. We need more producers. We need more members. And we need more activity actually out of the folks that are involved in KLA to help tell that story – our consumers are dying to hear it. They are going out there and seeking that information elsewhere. And if we don’t tell that story the HSUS, the PETA organizations of the world are happy to tell their version, which we know not to be true. But we need to tell ours so that we can get our points across. (Kyle) You’ve just come through your annual meeting. Does everyone agree on all the issues? (Matt) No. It’s very obvious when you come to a KLA meeting that we have plenty of very independent minded folks that have opinions, have viewpoints and have perspectives that are varying. We represent nearly every segment, definitely every segment of the beef industry. And when we come to this meeting half of us can’t even agree whether calf prices, high calf prices are a good thing or a bad thing. This year after the last couple of weeks we can’t even decide if rain is a good thing or a bad thing. And so the independent spirit of the cattlemen is definitely still alive and well within KLA. And the fact of the matter is, even those that have been active in KLA for generations like myself, we can go through that policy handbook and find plenty of different aspects that we may not be in complete agreement. That’s OK. In fact, it’s probably healthy for the organization. But we find that the bulk of those facets and those things that we work on as an industry, we do agree on. We do need to come together. We only represent a percent or two of the entire population and if 98 percent of the people are off of our farms and ranches, I would say it’s time for the two percent to come together and work toward the greater good for the beef industry. (Kyle) Visiting with Matt Perrier, current President of the Kansas Livestock Association. Back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Thanks, Kyle. OK, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee, but don’t go far away – next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.