The third installment of the Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockmen's Academy was held Sept. 16-18 when a group of 20 young producers spent three days touring various segments of the beef and dairy industries in central and western Kansas.
El Dorado Livestock Auction was the first tour stop. The group heard from co-owner Josh Mueller about the modern facility where more than 50,000 head of cattle are sold per year.
During a stop near Cottonwood Falls, Trey and Frank Hinkson explained how they use high-accuracy sires and cow families that combine the best of calving ease and performance with maternal efficiency and high-quality carcass traits on their seedstock operation.
C.J. and Russell Blew, brothers who make up the Blew Partnership, hosted the group on their ranch near Medicine Lodge. They use artificial insemination, carcass data and DNA testing to enhance the economic traits of their Red Angus-based commercial cowherd. In addition, the Blews focus a great deal of time on environmental stewardship, including implementing more than 100,000 feet of water line on their Barber County ranch, along with numerous stock water sites, several reservoir tanks and miles of cross-fencing to create rotational grazing paddocks.
During a tour of High Plains Ponderosa Dairy near Plains, co-owner and general manager Greg Bethard discussed the protocols used to manage their dairy cow herd and took the class on a tour of the facility, including the new cross-ventilated, free-stall housing barn.
Reeve Cattle Co. near Garden City also hosted the group. Manager Keith Bryant took the class on a tour of the feeding facility, which also includes an onsite ethanol plant. In addition, the group toured the National Beef packing plant in Dodge City.
The class will gather for its final session at the Kansas Livestock Association convention Dec. 4-6 in Wichita.
Members of the 2019 Young Stockmen's Academy class are Bryce Barnett of Muscotah, Hannah Brass of Medicine Lodge, Carl Clawson of Ulysses, Ashley Fitzsimmons of Pratt, Heather Gibson of Satanta, Grace Hammer of Sharon Springs, Jamie Holeman of Bronson, Taylor Hughes of Pratt, Clayton Jarnagin of Protection, Reed Koop of Abilene, Clinton Laflin of Russell, Socorro Martinez of Liberal, Garrett McKinney of Walton, Michaela Peterson of Dodge City, Cami Roth of Sterling, Dalton Rutledge of Plains, Jessalyn Strahm of Sabetha, Thomas Thayer of LaCygne, Patrick Turner of Ingalls, and Evan Woodbury of Quenemo.