Tradition and history have always been a part of what Kansas State University prides itself on and this year was no different in that aspect for those who organized the 2014 KSU Cattlemen’s Day. Last year Cattlemen’s Day celebrated its’ 100th anniversary, so it was only fitting that the annual event continued to build upon the strengths instilled in its legacy over the past 100 years.
For starters, the event takes place annually on the first Friday in March, as was the case again this year as it was held on Friday, March 7, 2014. According to Dr. Dale Blasi, KSU Professor and Extension Beef Specialist and co-chairman of the event, Cattlemen’s Day was host to approximately 800 attendees and 75 trade show booths this year. A majority of the booth spaces were occupied by representatives from animal health resources, state and national breed associations as well as extension services, just to name a few. The event also brings in a wide demographic of an audience. Those in attendance range from producers, prospective students and their parents to existing students who have the opportunity to visit with agricultural companies for possible job opportunities.
The organization of the event is a culmination of beef faculty of the animal science department with several planning meetings to determine venues and what topics are important to cover. A major focus in planning the event is reacting to industry trends and being flexible with what people would like to hear.
“What is important to me personally is reacting to what is on people’s minds,” Blasi says. “When topics are relevant, it all comes together.”
In addition to speakers related to KSU, the organizing committee strives to bring in a highlighted speaker from outside of the university. This keynote address for 2014 was from Paul Clayton, senior vice president of export services for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, who shared insight on beef trade and exports.
“Paul did an excellent job of pointing out the importance of exports and the fact that we have entities in the industry that strive to create greater demand for our product,” he says.
KSU Agricultural Economists Dr. Glynn Tonsor and Dr. Ted Schroeder led a session with focus on cattle and beef market outlook. Those in attendance enjoyed a good meal, which Blasi affirms is always important. This was followed by a full afternoon of breakout sessions that covered topics from disease prevention, animal well-being, genetic defects and synchronized breeding programs.
We like to think we have kept ourselves firmly rooted,” Blasi says. “We are merely keeping with the tradition of the event.”
The day concluded with the 37th Annual KSU Legacy Sale held at the Stanley Stout Center followed by a social.