Prescribed Burning Debate Highlights KLA/K-State Field Day

First KLA/K-State Ranch Management Field Day will be on Medrum Ranch near Dexter; burning regulations update will be presented.

Published on: Aug 16, 2010
A session about how state regulations on prescribed burning in the Flint Hills may change will be the highlight presentation of the first Kansas Livestock Association/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day in Cowley County on Sept. 19.

The event will take place on the Meldrum Ranch, owned by J.J. Gilliland of Leon, a nephew of Mike and Brady Meldrum, who inherited the ranch from their uncle, J.J. Wilson in the early 1900s.

Today's operation revolves around a commercial cow-calf herd and custom grazing business. Gilliland's stepsons, Shane and Scott Tracy, are responsible for the day-to-day management of the ranch.

Smoke from prescribed burning in the Flint Hills, in recent years, has been blamed for air quality violations for population centers such as Kansas City and Wichita. This has led the Environmental Protection Agency to request Kansas adopt a "smoke management plan."

 Kay Johnson, Wichita's manager of environmental initiatives, will explain how smoke from the Flint Hills occasionally can impact the EPA's regulation of Wichita businesses. KLA Senior Vice President Mike Beam will provide an update on the state's current efforts to craft new burning regulations.

Also on the agenda for the day is a update on a new direction for an animal traceback system for the reproductive disease, trichomoniasis, utilizing Environmental Quality Incentives Program for grazing land improvement and managing stocking rates for the best utilization of pasture lands.

The Dexter field day will begin with registration at 3:30 p.m. and conclude with a free beef dinner at 7 p.m. It is open to all livestock producers and others interested in the business.

The Meldrum Ranch is located on 291 Road. From Dexter, go east 4 miles on County 14 Road. At the intersection of 14 Road and 291 Road, go south 2 miles on 291 Road to the ranch headquarters. From the intersection of Highway 166 and 291 Road, west of Cedar Vale, go 2 miles north on 291 Road. Directional signs will be posted.