The 13th class of the Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockmen’s Academy graduated at the close of the recent KLA Convention. Merck Animal Health again partnered with KLA to host 20 members for a series of four seminars throughout 2018. This class brings the total number of YSA alumni to 260.
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 animal disease control, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, water issues and federal tax reform. 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 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 2018 YSA class are Jill Carr, Dwight; Cole Gardiner, Ashland; Ethan Horne, Marquette; Scott Jones, Melvern; Laura Klenda, Marion; Megan Larson, Olsburg; Jacquelyne Leffler, Americus; Bracey Lerner, Manhattan; Megan Ludwig, Pratt; Justin Reeve, Garden City; Marisa Rose, Russell; Jared Seeley, Eureka; Barrett Simon, Beloit; Rochelle Smart, Colony; Katelyn Steffens, Dighton; Rossie Stephens, Grinnell; Gretchen Stroberg, Hutchinson; Linden Stueve, Olpe; Ben Wheaton, Lewis; and Rusty Wiggs, Topeka.
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.