Tracy Brunner – National Cattleman’s Beef Association

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. The annual KLA Convention was held December 3rd through the 5th in Wichita, Kansas. Take a look. Farmers and ranchers from all across Kansas gathered in early December to attend the Annual Kansas Livestock Association Convention where topics included nutrition, saturated fats, cattle markets, and retail sales. Tracy is the National Cattleman’s Beef Association Vice President. And him, along with several other producers are hopeful and optimistic for the future. (Tracy) I’m Tracy Brunner, a beef producer from Ramona, Kansas. I’m serving as the National Cattleman’s Beef Association Vice President this year. I’m here at the Kansas Livestock Association Convention in Wichita. And it’s been a very good convention so far, a very large turnout. One thing that was very noticeable was the great attitude and positive outlook on cattleman’s minds as you visit in the halls and in meetings. You know our industry has recovered from five years of devastating drought. We have improved moisture conditions around the country. Pastures are being restocked. We’ve got relief from the extremely high feed costs that we experienced for several years. Cattlemen are experiencing better profits and are using those profits to rebuild their herd and reinvest in their farms and ranches and want to do an even better job of raising beef for their customers at home and abroad. (Conrad) The cattle industry has an economic impact of over $44 billion in farm gate receipts according to the United States Department of Agriculture. And the number of beef cow operations have been recorded as high as 729,000. However, unlike with other industries where with large numbers we see large industry take over, most operations in the United States are family operated businesses. (Tracy) You know cattlemen manage their resources to raise their cattle and to grow beef for their customers. And cattlemen by and large are generational operations. And they are family operations and they want to use those resources to not only provide for their families today but also be good stewards of the land and the water and all of their farms and ranches and pass that on to the next generation. (Conrad) In 2014, the United States exported nearly 5.6 billion pounds to hungry customers around the world. Our top exports went to Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Hong Kong. And with Kansas being the third largest in terms of sales of beef, it’s no wonder the industry is so vast in our state. And KLA believes that the industry will grow along with agriculture advocacy. (Tracy) The improving equity position of the beef industry, the growing global demand for high quality protein, increasing demand at home and abroad makes this one of the best times to be in the cattle business in my lifetime. I firmly believe that our industry is poised for some of the strongest growth over the next few years and that’s a very exciting time to be in the cattle business. Along with that opportunity, we have the responsibility to tell the cattle men’s story and so we need to capitalize on that opportunity and be involved in our associations and give the support that it needs, both of our time and our membership.

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