High schoolers learn to lead the animal science industry

Students gathered on the Kansas State University campus to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills as part of the annual K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy.

Hosted by the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and sponsored by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council, the academy’s goal is to develop young leaders within the livestock industry and prepare them for a successful future in this field.

This year’s class included: Rachelle Anderson, Jamestown; Lindsey Ascher, Milford; Tessa Beeman, Hamilton; Clay Brillhart, Fort Scott; Walker Clawson, Mead; Wesley Denton, Blue Rapids; Danika Gordon, Whitewood, South Dakota; Norman Highfill, Atchison; Ben Jensen, Courtland; Kenzie McAtee, LaCygne; Kami McComb, Pratt; Anaya McCune, Benton; Becca Paine, Hutchinson; Abbie Schwab, Goddard; Sarah Sergeant, Lebo; Wyatt Slade, Haviland; Lauren Terry, Nortonville; Shelby Varner, Towanda; and Tray Zabokrtsky, Morrowville.

During their time at the KASLA, students participated in interactive leadership development and educational sessions led by K-State faculty members. Participants completed the college experience by dining at the K-State Student Union, completing the K-State challenge course and staying in Ford Hall.

The KASLA also included a half day of livestock industry tours in northeast Kansas, with stops including Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City; Seaboard Foods, Shawnee; Bichelmeyer Meats, Kansas City; and The American Royal, Kansas City.

They also enjoyed tours of university farms and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

For their final project, the students were divided into groups during to focus on current issues affecting the livestock industry. Faculty mentors from the animal sciences department assisted each group.

Using the information they learned throughout the academy, the groups were asked to present their subject as part of the closing reception on the final day. About 75 family, friends and members of the K-State community gathered for the closing reception to honor the graduates and hear their thoughts on several important livestock issues.

More information about the academy is available online at www.youthlivestock.ksu.edu. For questions, contact academy director Sharon Breiner at [email protected] or 785-532-6533.