American Shorthorn Association staff attended the annual Beef Improvement Federation Convention last week in Manhattan, Kansas. Convention participants attended general sessions with industry professionals who spoke about the beef industry.
The Young Producer Symposium was the first afternoon before BIF started. This event was designed to create a network for young cattleman and to help them gain knowledge as they work towards growing their role in the industry.
The first official morning general session was titled “Opportunities for the Beef Value Chain: Can we become more coordinated and more profitable?” Speakers for the day included Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder with Kansas State University, John Stika with a branded beef program, Brad Morgan with Performance Food Group, and Keith Belk with Kansas State University.
The second morning general session was titled “Protecting producer profit for the future.” The speakers for the day included David Lalman of Oklahoma State University, Chip Ramsay of Rex Ranch, Mark Enns of Colorado State University, and Clay Mathis of King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.
“This annual BIF event is a great way to network with people who are involved in the industry,” said Montie D. Soules, Executive Secretary/CEO of ASA. “The speakers are great, but some of the best opportunities come from meeting people outside in the hall. There are so many chances to make lifetime connections.”
The afternoons were filled with breakout sessions that focused on topics from beef-production to genetic-improvement. Convention participants chose the session that was most pertinent to their needs.
Participants attended dinners at the KSU Weber Arena and Stanley Stout Livestock Marketing Center, which gave more ways for networking with people who are involved with all aspects of the cattle industry.
“This is one of the best conferences I go to,” said Toby Jordan of Waukaru Farms Inc. “There is always information about the latest and greatest when it comes to breeding. I also really enjoyed speaking at the Young Producer Symposium that was focused towards younger cattle producers that are trying to grow in the business.”
ASA staff also participated in the International Genetic Solutions seminar that was before BIF. IGS is a collaboration of 12 breed associations that are working to put the progressive commercial cattleman first by creating genetic evaluation. Soules was among the panel of association leaders that spoke about the importance of genetic improvement.