Fifteen ranchers from 10 Kansas counties were in the capital city earlier this week to participate in the KLA Leadership Conference. The three-day educational seminar exposed attendees to services provided by KLA and NCBA, the legislative process, industry advocacy and various aspects of beef marketing.

While at the Capitol, the group attended a Senate Ag Committee meeting and heard from KLA lobbyists on how they protect member interests during the legislative process. Conference attendees also had a chance to meet with their respective legislators to discuss important beef and dairy industry issues.  

As a part of the conference, members participated in an interactive advocacy training session led by KLA staff and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcasters Kelly Lenz and Greg Akagi. Members were given an overview of the importance of being an industry advocate and the various social media outlets available to help them reach consumers who want to know more about how and where their food is produced. Debbie Lyons-Blythe, a rancher and beef advocate from White City, shared with the group how she has implemented advocacy into her daily routine through the use of her blog, “Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch,” Facebook and Twitter. Lyons-Blythe regularly reaches thousands of consumers across the U.S. with her positive messages.
The class immediately put this training to work while distributing samples of flat iron and ribeye steaks to consumers at Dillon’s and Hy-Vee grocery stores in Topeka. They answered customer questions about beef nutrition and cooking methods.

Class members also visited U.S. Foods and Texas Roadhouse to learn more about how beef is sold at the foodservice level. Additionally, Chef Ali Winter conducted a cooking demonstration for the group where she prepared an appetizer, soup and sandwich using various cuts of beef.

A more detailed account of the KLA Leadership Conference will appear in the March Kansas Stockman.

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