TOPEKA, Kan. — The 12th class of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) graduated December 1 at the close of the KLA Convention. Merck Animal Health partnered with KLA to host 20 members for a series of four seminars throughout 2017. This class brings the total number of YSA alumni to 240.
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 modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement, improving livestock disaster programs and state water plan funding. Immediately prior to the convention, the YSA class received their Masters of Beef Advocacy degrees, following an in-depth spokesperson training session with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Director of Grassroots Advocacy and Spokesperson Development Ryan Goodman.
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 2017 YSA class are Kaid Baumann, Kensington; Heath Bergkamp, Arlington; Colby Brownrigg, Welda; Joseph Hubbard, Houston Lake, MO; Blake Jones, Waverly; Kayla Josefiak, Burdett; Cassie Kniebel, White City; Luke Knight, Lyons; Katelyn Meiwes, Moran; Dustin Nattier, Valley Center; Klay O’Brien, Hepler; Garrett Ochs, Jetmore; Derek Puthoff, Kinsley; Jake Renner, Kingman; Russell Rezac, Emmett; Kayla Sandoval, Ashland; Kashly Schweer, Garden City; Sarah Struthers, Milton; Tony Winkler, Ulysses; and Dustin Wootten, McLouth.
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.
— Kansas Livestock Association
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