TOPEKA, Kan. — The 14th class of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) graduated last month at the close of the KLA Convention. Merck Animal Health again partnered with KLA to host 20 members for a series of four seminars throughout 2019. This class brings the total number of YSA alumni to 280.
Attending the KLA Convention was the final session for this year’s class. The three-day event provided participants the opportunity to gain additional industry knowledge and interact with other KLA members from across the state. YSA members got a firsthand look at the inner workings of the association by attending the KLA Chairmen’s Circle meeting. The group also participated in the policy-making process by attending committee and council meetings where members discussed issues affecting their business interests, including labeling of meat alternatives, animal disease control, traceability and mandatory price reporting. Immediately prior to the convention, the YSA class participated in an in-depth spokesperson training session with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Director of Organizational Communications Kate Maher. The group also heard from NCBA President Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tennesee.
During their first session in Topeka last February, attendees were exposed to advocacy training, the legislative process and services provided by KLA and NCBA. The second installment took the group to Kansas City in May, where they learned about beef marketing and agribusiness. YSA members visited central and western Kansas in September to tour beef and dairy operations representing various segments of each industry.
Members of the 2019 YSA class are Bryce Barnett, Muscotah; Hannah Brass, Medicine Lodge; Carl Clawson, Ulysses; Ashley Fitzsimmons, Pratt; Heather Gibson, Satanta; Grace Hammer, Sharon Springs; Jamie Holeman, Bronson; Taylor Hughes, Pratt; Clayton Jarnagin, Protection; Reed Koop, Abilene; Clinton Laflin, Russell; Socorro Martinez, Liberal; Garrett McKinney, Walton; Michaela Peterson, Dodge City; Cami Roth, Sterling; Dalton Rutledge, Plains; Jessalyn Strahm, Sabetha; Thomas Thayer, LaCygne; Patrick Turner, Ingalls; and Evan Woodbury, Quenemo.
KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of members at both the state and federal levels. Voluntary dues dollars paid by producers are used for programs that benefit KLA members in the areas of legislative representation, regulatory assistance, legal troubleshooting, communications and the advancement of youth.