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L E A D I N G

A D V O C A T E

F O R

T H E

B A N K I N G

I N D U S T R Y

I N

K A N S A S

12

W

ELCOMING OVER 250 BANKERS TO

the K-State Alumni Center on March 11-

12, the KBA- Kansas Ag Bankers (KAB)

Division recorded the highest attendance

to date. In the spirit of embracing new

challenges and in recognition of the newly constructed

headquarters for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the

KAB division incorporated a charity food drive. Conference

attendees contributed over 200 lbs. of food and donations from

the KAB Division bankers and KBA staff totaled $1,000.00 for

the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Drive, hosted by the Kansas

Department of Agriculture.

Dr. David Kohl was welcomed by KBA-KAB Division

President Troy Soukup. Dr. Kohl focused on the big picture in

agriculture and his outlook is cautiously optimistic. The “grow,

grow, grow cycle” is over and operations must diversify and

use moderation going forward, he explained. The strengthening

dollar will decrease imports and the “Big Mac index” will be

evident with global economies experiencing deflation and debt

issues. Dr. Kohl outlined strategies necessary to be resilient in

this changing world market.

Mark Gardiner, Gardiner Angus Ranch, educated attendees on

the carcass improvements made using artificial insemination

from high value carcass Angus bulls on typical southern-origin

beef cows. Enhanced technology in molecular breeding has

produced seed-stock that is adding value to the beef industry.

The data driven process has produced superior Angus genetics.

The Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey

addressed the conference group outlining the top priorities of

her office in the coming year. Following her presentation the

conference transitioned to the new Department of Agriculture

headquarters on the Kansas State University campus where

facility tours were given.

John Jenkinson gave the Sunrise Ag News Report to kick off

day two of the conference. His presentation was followed by

Randy Blach, Cattle Fax. He explained that cattle slaughter has

seen the largest decrease since 2004 when the Canadian border

was closed. There is an active focus on rebuilding herds and

the coming year production numbers will remain low. Peak

profits for standing beef will be seen in 2015. He expects an

expansion in beef slaughter in 2016 and 2017 and projects

similar activity in poultry and pork markets. Randy noted that

there will be greater profit in the cow-calf operations due to

continued high calf prices.

Andrew Gottschalk,

HedgersEdge.com

LLC, gave a

presentation that addressed a long term look at commodity

price cycles. The first thing he noted was that the world is

producing more grain than we can consume. Production has

caught up with the elevated demand created by federal ethanol

policy. Also noting that worldwide poultry production is up

due to affordability, but pork is flat and beef is down, similar to

what we see in the United States. “We don’t live in a vacuum

and the U.S. percentage of world production is decreasing,”

Gottschalk stated. He continued “As world competition has

intensified, U.S. producers must become more efficient.” There

has been a sharp increase in grain production in South America,

Africa and Asia. Soybean and bean meal is still holding strong

due to demand from China.

Darrell Holaday, Advanced Market Concepts/Country Futures,

closed the conference with a dynamic presentation titled, “Top

Ten Things Kansas Ag Lenders Should Consider in 2015”.

Darrell detailed that the biggest concern worldwide currently

is deflation. Quantitative Easing (QE) was introduced by the

Federal Reserve in the United States, but has now been adopted

as world policy. Darrel believes that there are signs that China

is pulling back and demand may be down because of lagging

stimulus. Holaday continued that he believes the soybean

market is giving false signals and an increase in production

worldwide will result in a drop in prices.

KAB President Troy Soukup, Citizens State Bank & Trust,

Ellsworth, presented the 2015 Pioneer Award to Jim Birkbeck,

Denison State Bank, Holton. The Kansas Ag Bankers’

Pioneer Award exemplifies the best in agricultural lending

by continually bringing credit to the agricultural banking

community. Jim has contributed time, energy and expertise

to the ag banking profession through involvement in state and

local voluntary organizations that have benefited from his

wisdom and commitment to service.

BREAKING RECORDS AND STARTING

NEW TRENDS AT THE 2015 KBA AG

BANKERS CONFERENCE

Mike Palen, Western State Bank, Garden City, Timothy Binns,

Bankers Bank of Kansas, Leonard Herman, Western State Bank,

Garden City, Mike Pritchett, First National Bank, Hutchinson.