Dr. Mike Apley

Dr. Apley is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.  His areas of emphasis include beef production medicine, clinical pharmacology and antibiotic resistance.



Session: The Future of Pharmaceuticals in Cattle Production

We use pharmaceuticals in cattle production to treat and control disease as well as improve production. Multiple issues will affect our ability to continue doing so. This session explores these issues and provides ways we can all help to preserve our ability to use these tools.

Dr. A.J. Tarpoff

Dr. A.J. Tarpoff works with and serves the beef industry in every aspect of production, from pasture to plate. He attended Kansas State University, earning his bachelor’s degree from the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, followed by his D.V.M. and M.S. degrees from the College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation in 2012, he practiced feedlot production medicine in Alberta, Canada. In 2016, he returned to the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University, where he serves as an associate professor and the beef Extension veterinarian. Tarpoff has a 70% extension, 20% research and 10% teaching appointment. He works closely with producers, practicing veterinarians and members of industry to bring relevant extension and education that improve cattle health and the productivity of the beef industry.



Session: Beef Quality Assurance Certification: Answering The Call From Our Consumer

BQA is a voluntary, nationally-organized, state-implemented continuing education certification for cattle producers. The certification is good for three years, and it keeps producers up to date with best management practices backed by research and set forth by the industry.

Dr. Jason Warner

Dr. Jason M. Warner is a faculty member in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University as an assistant professor and Extension cow-calf specialist.  His objective is to help support the mission of the land-grant system by serving people through extension and research as part of the K-State beef extension team.  Warner’s specific focus is to help provide leadership for state extension beef programming efforts, disseminate information to the industry, collaborate with allied industry personnel and stakeholders, conduct applied cow-calf systems research and serve as a point of resource for area specialists and county extension agents.


Session: Cowherd Management Considerations for 2024: Where We’ve Been and Where We Are Headed

This session will focus on key management factors for cow-calf producers to consider this year to help minimize costs and optimize production in an era of production and price volatility.

Mark Gardiner

Mark Gardiner is a fourth-generation rancher and president of the Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kansas. He assumed management of the 48,000-acre ranch in 2000 and works closely alongside his brother, Greg, his sons, Ransom and Cole, and his nephew, Grant. Besides running the 4,500-head registered and commercial cow herd, Gardiner is also chairman of U.S. Premium Beef and president of U.S. CattleTrace. He is also the former president of the Kansas Angus Association.


Member of the Producer Panel Discussion
Understanding what makes money in an effort to have a greater chance at profitability.

Terrel Platt

Terrel Platt grew up in eastern Oregon on his family’s commercial cow/calf operation. He attended Colorado State University, receiving bachelor’s degrees in animal science and agribusiness in 2019. While at CSU, Platt was a member of the meat, meat animal evaluation and livestock judging teams. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he worked in Australia on a large-scale cattle operation in central Queensland before returning stateside to work for a Red Angus seedstock operation in Montana. Platt received his master’s degree in agricultural economics from CSU in spring 2022. His research focused on risk management and price analysis in the stocker cattle sector. Platt joined CattleFax as an analyst in January 2022. His responsibilities include beef research and analysis and serving the cow/calf and stocker membership in the North Plains region.


Session: Cattle Market Outlook

This session will provide an update on cattle market supply and demand fundamentals and implications to cattle prices and profitability. Discussion will center on industry prospects of herd stabilization and expansion as well as beef demand trends and growth drivers.

Dr. Cassandra Olds

Dr. Cassandra Olds is a veterinary entomologist in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. Her research focuses on the impacts and management of external parasites like ticks and flies as well as the pathogens they transmit. In addition to her research and extension appointment she teaches multiple courses on animal health entomology and vector biology.


Session: Get the Upper Hand on Your Fly Problems

Being able to identify which fly species you have and knowing a little bit about their biology is the most important step in significantly improving your fly problems. In this session we will talk about the most common fly species affecting your operation. You will learn how to identify them, locate their breeding areas and develop a robust integrated pest management program to control them.

Clay Burtrum

Clay Burtrum – Burtrum Cattle/ Farm Data Services, Inc. – Stillwater, Oklahoma. Having grown up on a cattle and swine farm just outside of Stillwater, near Glencoe, it was natural for Clay Burtrum to pursue an ag-related degree at Oklahoma State University. He graduated from OSU in May 1995 with an animal science biotechnology degree. A college internship during his senior year at a feedlot helped Burtrum recognize his interest in cattle feeding. Upon college graduation, he landed a role at Five Rivers Cattle Feeding near Keyes, Oklahoma, where he entered the management trainee program. In 2000, Burtrum chose to bring his experiences back to Stillwater and work for Farm Data Services, a managerial accounting firm serving the needs of farmers, ranchers and rural businesses in a five-state region. Farm Data Services was started by Burtrum’s dad, Mike, in 1982; he also partners in Burtrum Cattle, LLC, a 500-head cow/calf and stocker operation in Payne and Pawnee counties.

Burtrum is passionate about agriculture and is active in both state and national beef leadership. He has served as chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council and as a district director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. Through his state activities, he became involved with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, serving as the Region IV federation vice president and on the Finance and Audit Committee. Most recently, he served on the NCBA officer teams as chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. Burtrum also has served as the north central representative for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry since 2020, appointed by the governor. A true advocate of all things agriculture, Burtrum’s peers recently described him as a strategic and insightful leader, an effective communicator and one who encourages open and honest discussion. He has dedicated himself to serving the industry that he holds in the highest regard, doing his best to make an impact. Burtrum lives in Stillwater with his 3 daughters on the ranch and is married to Kendra, who works for Eskimo Joes and has 2 daughters as well.


Session: Risk Management Strategies – Making LRP work for you!

In today’s volatile cattle market, learn the basics of livestock risk protection, the easy-to-use risk management program for today’s cow-calf, stocker and backgrounder operators.

Mark Diederich

Mark Diederich has a cow/calf to finish operation in Washington County, Kansas, with grazing on native grass, cover crops, grazers and crop residue. He also raises corn, soybeans and hay alongside his son, Ryan, who farms and ranches with him full time. Diederich has a strong interest in production agriculture, and some of his beef is sold directly to consumers. He received his degree in animal science from Kansas State University in 1984.



Member of the Producer Panel Discussion
Understanding what makes money in an effort to have a greater chance at profitability.

Dr. Kirsten Nickles

Dr. Kirsten Nickles’ passion for agriculture began early in life on her family’s beef cattle and grain farm in Ohio. She took that passion and obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees in animal sciences at The Ohio State University, focusing on beef cattle production and management. After graduation, she immediately joined Certified Angus Beef in early 2022. Nickles leads the brand’s sustainability initiatives and serves as a technical expert, encouraging the company and its American Angus Association farmer/rancher owners to confront industry-wide challenges and find ways to have a positive effect on the future of beef production and beef demand. She leads the brand’s efforts in validating the supply chain’s commitment to cattle care, measuring environmental impact and sharing ranchers’ dedication to better beef with consumers.

Session: Beef Quality Assurance Certification: Growing Consumer Demand Beyond Quality
This session will dive into consumer trends and how Certified Angus Beef is using the Beef Quality Assurance program to grow consumer demand for beef beyond the traditional quality and consistency attributes.

Sean "Monty" Montgomery

Monty earned both his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from Kansas State University in ruminant nutrition. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Monty worked in the cow-calf and stocker cattle industries in south central Kansas as well as a large-scale commercial feedlot in southwest Kansas. Monty’s practical experience in the beef cattle industry combined with his scientific training provides him the tools to develop and implement programs to improve the efficiency of beef cattle production. In addition to working with beef cattle producers in the United States, Monty has also provided consulting services to beef cattle producers in South America, North Africa, Russia, and Turkey. Monty is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Plains Nutrition Council. Monty also serves as an adjunct professor with Kansas State University.


Session: From Harvest to Feed: Silage Harvesting, Storing, and Feeding Considerations
Thi s session will focus on the ensiling of forages and effects on beef cattle production. Harvesting, preserving, and feeding.

Tyler Burkey

Tyler Burkey is co-owner of 1901 Trading Co., a reality and media company. He owns Burkey Hay Co., a livestock and resource management company, along with his wife Megan and two children, Sydney and Luke. They live in an irrigated farm country in Southeast Nebraska and run a diverse cattle operation.


Member of the Producer Panel Discussion
Understanding what makes money in an effort to have a greater chance at profitability.

Ashlee Westerhold

Ashlee Westerhold earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Westerhold currently serves as the Director of the Office of Farm and Ranch Transition at Kansas State University. She assists Kansas farmers and ranchers in their decisions regarding transitioning the farm to the next generation. Westerhold meets with individual families to help facilitate family discussions, determine options available and suitable for the transition, explore additional educational resources for future generations, and correspond with professionals to provide the best service possible. Ashlee manages the Kansas Land Link program.


Session: Protecting Your Agricultural Legacy: A Succession Planning Conversation

Ashlee will provide families with tools to approach the conversation about transitioning the farm with your family and your team of professionals. Additionally, participants will learn the first steps in the transition planning process in hopes of feeling motivated to start, i.e. how to identify goals and values that will help navigate the planning process.

Bill Rishel

Bill Rishel is the former owner of Rishel Angus and Rishel Livestock Services, Inc. in North Platte, Nebraska. He is a former Nebraska Cattlemen president and served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for six years. He has served as chairman of the Certified Angus Beef Board of Directors and served on the American Angus Association Board of Directors. He has continued to give back to the industry. Rishel has served on several industry long-range planning task forces. He was a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s working group on beef grading. In 2008, he was named a distinguished alumnus of the Department of Animal Science at Penn State and an honoree of the University of Nebraska Block and Bridle Club. In 2015, he was an inductee into the University of Nebraska Animal Science Department Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in animal breeding.


Member of the Producer Panel Discussion
Understanding what makes money in an effort to have a greater chance at profitability.