The third installment of the 2017 KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) was held September 18-20, with the group touring various segments of the beef and dairy industries in central and western Kansas. Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program.
     The first stop was at Cow Camp Beef, which is owned by the Brunner family and is comprised of a feedyard and seedstock operation. Past NCBA and KLA president Tracy Brunner took the group on a tour of the feedyard near Ramona. Kent and Nolan Brunner of Lost Springs discussed the multi-breed seedstock operation, consisting of Angus, Red Angus and Simmental genetics. The Brunner family focuses on producing cattle that function efficiently and that will produce a high-quality end-product. Stops also were made at Clover Cliff Ranch near Elmdale and Mundhenke Beef of Lewis. Clover Cliff ranch manager Spencer Harshman talked about their backgrounding operation, highlighting the animal health and feeding programs used to enhance cattle performance. John and Gina Mundhenke each represent the fourth generation of their respective families to work in the livestock industry. Their operation includes an Angus-based cowherd, a backgrounding yard and farming business. In addition, they raise registered Angus bulls. The Mundhenkes explained how they use high-quality genetics from proven bulls to produce calves that deliver the highest grading carcasses possible.
     During a visit to Noble Dairy near Plymell, manager Will Basham discussed the protocols used to manage 2,500 dairy cows and took the class on a tour of the facility, including the milking parlor. At Hy-Plains Feedyard, manager Tom Jones highlighted the new education and research center recently opened onsite. Jones said the facility will provide a controlled environment necessary to conduct science-based research and the capacity to educate through consumer outreach. The group also toured the National Beef packing plant in Dodge City.
     The 2017 YSA class will gather for their final session at the KLA Convention November 29 through December 1 in Wichita.



KLA Communications Program Manager Scarlett Hagins reports an ongoing beef council campaign has reached more than one million millennials so far.