MANHATTAN, KAN. — Kansas State University recently received a $500,000 grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture to develop resources to help small- and medium-sized beef producers in Kansas. 

The goal of the project is to develop and improve communications between producers, processors and customers as local beef demand continues to grow. The focus of the Kansas State project includes financial management, cost control, benchmarking and marketing resources for producers. 

Results from the initial survey by the group showed beef producers did not fully utilize standardized farm financial management techniques to maximize profitability. 

“As more direct transactions occurred among producers, processors and customers of local beef, challenges surfaced due to uncertainties and lack of communication among stakeholders,” said Junehee Kwon, professor of hospitality management at Kansas State.

The project will also provide information pertinent to processors including beef yield and quality, purchasing considerations and an interactive decision-making tool to determine beef cut orders.

"Once developed, these free resources will be made available to all Kansas beef producers who wish to establish or improve their direct-to-consumer sales," Kwon said. "In the end, we hope to help producers better manage and benchmark their data, effectively communicate with their consumers about the quality local beef and strengthen the Kansas economy by enhancing the business-to-consumer network."

Several other professors and departments at the university are involved in the project including Gregory Ibendahl in agricultural economics, Travis O’Quinn in animal sciences and Yue Teng-Vaughan in hospitality management.