KLA youth tour agribusiness and retail industries

Nov 6, 2009
by WLJ
KLA youth tour agribusiness and retail industries

The third installment of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) was held Oct. 6-7 in the Kansas City area. Fort Dodge Animal Health is partnering with KLA to host members in their 20s for a series of four seminars throughout the year. The group spent two days learning more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries.

The first stop was Fort Dodge’s world headquarters in Overland Park. Fort Dodge’s senior marketing manager, Paul Parker, vice president of sales, Scott Bormann, and senior director of professional services, Jim Hall, gave an inside look at the company and the animal health industry. Hall told the group it takes 10 to 12 years to bring food animal pharmaceuticals to the marketplace, with at least three of those years spent under review by the government. Fort Dodge is the number one vaccine manufacturer in the world.

To gain a better under standing of the link between the processing plant and the consumer’s plate, the group toured the Kansas City Steak Company and SYSCO Food Services. Both companies distribute high-end beef cuts to restaurants across the U.S. Kansas City Steak also has a mail-order business and sells beef products on QVC, a home shopping channel. SYSCO distributes beef cuts through 86 facilities, grossing more from boxed beef sales than any other item sold. The distribution center in Kansas City ships out 10 truckloads of beef per week.

In addition, YSA members saw how beef is marketed over the counter and in the meatcase. Stops were made at McDonald’s and Whole Foods Market. McDonald’s purchases nearly 580 million pounds of beef annually for use in its 14,000 stores. Whole Foods sells a variety of beef products, with a focus on natural and organic.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Issues & Reputation Management Jacque Matsen discussed numerous efforts by the organization to protect the interests of cattle producers and enhance beef’s image. Matsen told the group being proactive in telling the positive beef production story to the general public is the best way to maintain strong consumer confidence and demand for beef.

The group also toured the Kansas City Board of Trade and heard from staff at Bartlett and Company about cattle and grain risk management.

The 2009 class includes Paige Alexander, Satanta; Chris Boyd, Isabel; Sharon Breiner, Manhattan; Parry Briggs, Emporia; Clint Bryant, Arkansas City; Travis

Bryant, Penokee; Kyle Casey, Leoti; Garet Farney, Manhattan; Brandon Greenwood, Wamego; Abbie Grossnicklaus, Mound City; Spencer Jacobs, Manhattan; Trisha Janssen, Geneseo; Derik Klaassen, Newton; Tiffany Lee, Leavenworth; Mitch Mayer, Alma; Elissa Mullinix, El Dorado; Clem Neely, Chanute; Erik Peterson, Lindsborg; Caleb Strauss, Junction City; and Andrew Sylvester, Wamego.

The fourth YSA session will be held during the KLA Convention in December. Members will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions and help form policy during council and committee meetings. — WLJ