Leadership Conference A Learning Experience for Participants

February 25, 2020

YSA 2020 Class

Pictured are the 2020 Leadership Conference participants (front row, L to R), Katy Ivey, Dorrance; Andrea Dietel, Madison; Katlynn Bourne, Beeler; Kalli Morland, Horton; Mary Soukup, Ellsworth; Kaytlin Biel, Garden City; Beth Land, Cedar Vale; Hannah Rentz, Ingalls; Trisha Carpenter, Brewster; (back row) Jerry Kuckelman, Manhattan; Blake Thompson, Kincaid; Shane Newton, Manhattan; Chris Dietel, Madison; Nick Zerr, Gove; Jarrett Carpenter, Brewster; Don Land, Cedar Vale; Wayne Carpenter, Brewster; Lucas Maddy, Manhattan; and Jordan Gottlieb, Overland Park.

Beef industry stakeholders from across the state participated in the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Leadership Conference January 20-21 in Topeka. During the two-day event, participants were exposed to services provided by KLA, the legislative process, industry advocacy and various aspects of beef production and marketing.         

While at the Capitol, the group attended a meeting of the House Committee on Rural Revitalization and heard from KLA lobbyists on how they protect member interests during the legislative process. Attendees also had a chance to meet with their respective legislators to discuss important livestock industry issues.       

As a part of the conference, members took part in an interactive advocacy training session led by KLA staff and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcaster Greg Akagi. Participants were given an overview of the importance of being an industry advocate and the various social media outlets available to help them reach consumers who want to know more about how and where their food is produced. Jamie Lindamood, a rancher from Eureka, shared with the group how she has implemented advocacy in her daily routine through social media and by inviting consumers to visit her ranch to better understand agriculture.              

In addition, the Kansas Beef Council provided information on how checkoff dollars are used to promote beef, support important industry research and educate consumers about the benefits of including beef in a healthy diet.            

This year’s class brings the total number of graduates of the leadership training program to over 700 since it was initiated in 1981. Sponsors of the biennial event included the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, K . Coe Isom and the Kansas Livestock Foundation.            

KLA is a trade organization protecting the business interests of independent ranchers, feeders and dairy farmers. Members of the association are involved in all segments of the livestock industry, including cow-calf production, backgrounding, cattle feeding, swine, dairy and sheep. The association's work is funded by voluntary dues dollars paid by its 5,500 members.