KLA members elect new officers

Dec 18, 2009
by WLJ

Sharon Springs rancher and farmer Mark Smith was elected president of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) during the group’s annual membership meeting Dec. 4 in Wichita, KS. Smith will serve as the volunteer leader for KLA’s 5,500 members during the coming year. Ken Grecian, a cow/calf producer and farmer from Palco, was chosen by KLA members as the new president-elect.

Smith has a stocker cattle program, feeds cattle and farms in Wallace and Greeley counties. His cattle business is dictated by market conditions. He owns a cow/ calf herd and in the past, has purchased cull cows to breed, calve and sell. Smith has a growing yard to start cattle for summer pasture and winter grazing. The farming business produces corn and wheat.

His family earned the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Environmental Stewardship Award in 1994 for the enhancement of natural resources. He has been presented many regional awards for grassland and soil conservation and preserving wildlife habitat.

Smith’s leadership capabilities are well-documented.

He has represented Greeley County on the KLA Board of Directors, is a past vice chairman of the KLA Natural Resources Committee, and was chairman of the KLA

Stockgrowers Council in 2007. Smith served the past year as KLA president elect. He represents KLA on the NCBA Board of Directors.

Smith also is active in his community. He has served on the Greeley County School Board and as a past local 4-H beef leader. Smith serves on the Fort Wallace Memorial Association Board of Directors.

He graduated from Kansas State University in 1976 with a degree in social science. Smith also earned a degree from Kemper Military College in Boonville, MO.

Smith and his wife, Cindy, have two adult daughters. Angie works in the healthcare industry and is married to Edward Robson, who is employed in the Smith family’s grain storage business. Valarie Smith is a Western State College of Colorado graduate and currently is pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy.

Grecian and his wife, Barb, own and manage a grain and cow/calf business in Graham County. They background calves at home from the Angus-based herd and retain part interest when the cattle are sent to a commercial feed yard. The cattle are sold through U.S. Premium Beef. Part of the sorghum acreage is used to produce feed for the cowherd. About half of the wheat crop is grown and marketed as certified seed.

The Grecians were presented the Grassland Award for Conservation Practices in 2008 by the Graham County Natural Resources Conservation Service. They received the Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker Award in 2002.

Grecian’s involvement in beef industry organizations is extensive. He was the 2005 KLA Stockgrowers Council chairman. Grecian is a member of the KLA Executive Committee, the NCBA Board of Directors, and the NCBA Tax and Credit Committee. He currently is serving on the Kansas Animal Health Board.

Grecian is an active member of Kansas Farm Bureau.

He has served as president of the Unified School District #269 Board of Education. Grecian currently serves on the local township board and as a trustee for the Bogue United Methodist Church.

The Grecians have three grown children. Son Brent, employed by Wells Fargo Bank, and his wife, Stacey, live in Leawood with their daughters, Faith and Maci. Daughter Jennifer Durbin and her husband Derek, a dentist, live in Topeka with children Taryn, Petra and Blaine. Youngest daughter Stephanie Siders, who works for Country Club Bank in Kansas City, and her husband, Aaron, employed by Commerce Bank, live in Prairie Village. — WLJ