High school students get lessons in livestock leadership

Twenty students from across Kansas and beyond came together to build their knowledge and leadership skills in the livestock industry during the 13th annual K-State Animal Science Leadership Academy June 22 to 25 at Kansas State University.

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

Breiner said students participated in interactive leadership development and educational lab sessions led by faculty members from across the K-State campus. KASLA included several livestock industry tours, with off-campus stops at Hildebrand Farms Dairy (Junction City) and the Kansas Department of Agriculture (Manhattan). Students also were given tours of university farms and department facilities.

For their final project, the students were divided into groups to focus on current issues in the livestock industry, assisted by K-State faculty mentors. Using information they learned throughout the academy, the groups were asked to present their subject as part of the closing reception on the final day.

This year’s class included:

  • Madison Baker, Union City, Michigan;

  • Hailey Butler, Wamego;

  • Creed Caldwell, Parker;

  • Emma Deghand, Mayetta;

  • Nick Doering, Basehor;

  • Jenna DeRouchey, Wamego;

  • Carly Dreher, Iola;

  • Trinadee Fetters, Council Grove;

  • Adelle Higbie, Overbrook;

  • Bryce Hoeltzel, Olsburg;

  • Brianna Hula, Manhattan;

  • Kaylen Langhofer, Plains;

  • Strid Loudon, Goodland;

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  • Kaylee Noll, Oskaloosa;

  • Paisley Palmer, Satanta;

  • Ainsley Pecenka, Spring Hill;

  • Lacey Rust, Hartford;

  • Grace Schmeidler, Hays;

  • Katrina Turner, Derby; and

  • Kaden Weltmer, Smith Center.

More information about the academy and future programs is available on the K-State youth livestock program website. Additional questions can be directed to Breiner at [email protected] or 785-532-6533.