The 2018 KCA Convention was in Lexington January 11-12, 2018. Approximately 1187 producers, educators and industry professionals joined the KCA for the 45th convention. For the 8th year, KCA welcomed back the partnership with Burley Tobacco Growers Coop to host their individual convention and a joint Ag Industry Trade Show.


Registration opened early Friday morning and helped to keep the lines down. Over 500 people pre-registered this year. By pre-registering it ensures a smooth check-in while giving KCA staff time to plan accordingly for events and meals during the convention. To say thanks for pre-registering each registrant received a pair of gloves. Attendees that completed pre- or on-site full registration were given five tickets for $100 cash drawings during the Beef Efficiency Conference, Ag Industry Breakfast, Opening General Session, Forages Session, and Closing Session. After the drawings were complete tickets were combined for a chance to win 1 of 2 Yeti Coolers. The winners of the Yeti coolers were Ben Lloyd, Daviess County and Jason Crowe, Estill County.

Trade Show

The Ag Industry trade show was a great success this year. There were 116 exhibitors to share their products with our members. More information about the trade show can be found on page 86. Thanks to everyone who participated in the trade show. Hope to see everyone at the 2019 Ag Industry Trade Show in Owensboro.

Beef Efficiency Conference

This was the 5th Annual Beef Efficiency Conference sponsored by the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund, Kentucky Beef Network, and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. The conference hosted an impressive list of guest speakers including Chip Ramsay, Rex Ranch; Dr. Daniel Givens, Auburn University; and Darrell Busby, Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity. Speakers discussed “Enhancing Efficiency Beyond the Farm’s Fences.”

Opening General Session

The Opening General Session began with a video promoting the year in review for the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association as well as a video from our platinum sponsor Blue Grass Livestock Marketing Group. KCA President, Chuck Crutcher from Hardin County welcomed everyone to Lexington during the Opening Session on Thursday afternoon. Keith Rogers, Chief of Staff with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture gave an overview of the Kentucky Agriculture Economy and updates within the KDA. Dan Miller gave the Kentucky Beef Network’s Annual Report highlighting the work KBN has been doing at the Eden Shale Farm and with the Kentucky Agriculture Development Funds it uses to execute beef producer education and marketing opportunities. Becky Thompson and Dan recognized Steve Higgins, Director of Environmental Compliance for the University of Kentucky for his support of KBN and Eden Shale Farm.Kiah Twisselman then presented the Kentucky Beef Council Annual Report. KBC has been busy this year beefing up education programs from classroom visits to teacher trainings, promoting beef in unique ways such as Ibotta app promotions and Lexington Burger Week, continuing to build relationships with valuable partners including Kroger and the Kentucky Soybean Board, and advertising to key target markets.

County President’s Award Banquet

There were approximately 150 people in attendance at the annual County President Awards Dinner. Kentucky Cattlemen’s coffee mugs, jackets and monetary prizes were awarded to counties that increased their membership significantly. The dinner was once again sponsored by Kentucky Livestock Marketing Association. Guests heard from KDA Chief of Staff, Keith Rogers who issued a challenge to each county to donate beef to their local food pantries. Ryan Goodman with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also spoke to the group on the importance of telling their story. The night ended with a presentation of the “Big Bull” award, which honored Breckinridge County for having the largest membership in the state last year with 523 members. Congratulations again to Breckinridge County and we look forward to seeing who comes out on top next year.

Allied Industry Game Night

The evening ended with a very popular Allied Industry Council Game Night. The event was held in the trade show. Everyone who came into the trade show was given money to play Blackjack. Over $640 was raised during the event. At the end of the evening the tickets won could be used to purchase items donated by the Allied Industry Council during an auction. There were a variety of items donated including mineral, jackets, caps, ear tags, and many other items. Thanks to all of the Allied Industry members who donated to the auction and for all of those who played.

Membership Awards and Closing Session

Membership Awards were presented during the closing session this year, which allowed us time to celebrate ending 2017 with over 10,668 members. Treasurer Ken Adams gave the financial report, Nikki Whitaker presented the Community Involvement and Membership Awards while also giving a KJCA report. Carey Brown provided everyone an update on KCA Communication efforts which included Cow Country News, Livestock Advertising Network, and other communication efforts allowing Dave Maples to wrap up with an annual report for KCA outlining a year full of activities. Regional reports were given from meetings held that morning and election of the 2018 KCA officers followed. New officers include Bobby Foree, President; Tim White, President Elect; Steve Dunning, Vice-President; Ken Adams, Secretary/ Treasurer; and Chuck Crutcher, KCA Past President.


The Kentucky Forage and Grasslands Council held the Annual Forages at KCA Program. The agenda included speaker Mark Coyne from the University of Kentucky discussing soil, Dr. Chris Teutsch, UK Forage Extension Specialist focusing on Nutrient Cycles in Kentucky’s Pastures, and producer, John Bell who pulled it all together by explaining how he manages the soil, plants and animals on his farm.

Ladies Program

Over 50 women gathered for this year’s annual Ladies Program. This year the Beef Council encouraged ladies to be proud beef advocates in their community through their session themed “Backyard to Big Screen.” Ryan Goodman, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for NCBA, shared tips and tricks for how to be a positive voice for the beef industry online through social media and in their communities. ]One lucky attendee, Mary Bach from Bath County, had her recipe selected for a live cooking demonstration and mock TV cooking show appearance with local TV celebrity Lee Cruse from LEX18 News. The ladies were able to sample her Every Day and Everybody’s Steak recipe and learn how they too can take their skills to the big screen.

Evening Banquet

Friday night finished up with a wonderful steak dinner, awards, and the foundation auction. Awards were given to Blue Grass Livestock Marketing Group, the Platinum Sponsor of the KCA Convention. All other sponsors were also recognized.

The 2018 Hall of Fame class was inducted and the winners included: Dr. Roy Burris, Region I; Hansell Pile, Region II;Billy Glenn Turpin, Region IV; and Jay Price, Region V.

Awards were also given to three Heifer Initiative winners at the Banquet.  This year’s winners were Sidney Sowder from Harrison County, Caleb Kernodle from Boyle County, and Nelson Paul from Bourbon County. Congratulations to all three and best of luck in the coming year! Dr. Glen Aiken, retired USDA ARS Research Leader for the Forage Animal Production Research Unit, was honored for his support to the Kentucky beef industry through his years of service with USDA. After dinner and awards the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation auction was held, the second annual Junior Auctioneer contest was hosted once again with two auctioneers competing for the grand prize of a free trip to the 2018 Livestock Marketing Association World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. Special thanks to both contestants, Ben Allen and Robert Guess as well as the KJCA for their ringmen services. Congratulations to the winner, Robert Guess! A total of $1,007 was raised during the silent auction and $4,250 was raised during the live auction.

The KY Beef Council Service Award

The Service Awards are presented to recipients that go above and beyond the call of duty to help farmers supply a safe and wholesome product and promote beef all at the same time. Theresa Stanley of Smiley Pete Publishing in Lexington received KBC’s Outstanding Service Award this year for her continuing support promoting Kentucky’s beef industry through her work on Lexington Burger Week.

Dr. Rebekah Epps was the recipient of the Outstanding Education Service Award. We thank Dr Epps for always taking the extra step, caring about the quality of teaching our youth are receiving, and for helping drive KY’s beef story into lessons all over the world.

Beef Council Beef Backer Award

The Beef Backer Awards seeks to recognize retail and food service members who have demonstrated commitment to outstanding beef marketing, merchandising, and/or menuing through beef Checkoff-funded programs as well as through retailer/food service-originated beef initiatives. The Beef Backer Award was presented to Creation Gardens. We thank Tom, John, and all Creation Gardens protein division for backing the Kentucky Beef Industry in 2017 and beyond.

Priefert Chute Membership Drawing

Priefert Ranch Equipment and KCA joined up once again to present a Priefert squeeze chute and head gate as a prize for one member who joined or renewed KCA by January 1st. This year 8,254 members were entered in for the drawing. The winner of the Priefert S0191 Squeeze Chute was David Weisbrodt from Allen County.


The Kentucky Junior Cattlemen’s Association had their annual membership meeting during the Convention. They had a large crowd with over 50 in attendance and had a full day of educational activities such as touring Blue Grass Stockyards and sitting in a mini auctioneer class. After returning to the Convention center they attended the KCA Closing Session where they heard KJCA year in review report. The day ended with the election of new officers and directors. They will be meeting soon to plan out events for the upcoming year



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