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
K A N S A S
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.
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
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.