Young Producers Meet In Topeka For First Session

February 25, 2020

2020 YSA Class

Pictured is the 2020 YSA class from left to right: (back row) Matthew Harrison, White City; Trent Johnson, Fort Scott; Colton Lowry, Almena; Josh Johnson, Saint Francis; Justin Shields, Colby; Chris Mushrush, Strong City; Matthew Rezac, Onaga; Derek Neal, Wamego; Cayden Daily, Great Bend; Clayton Kershner, Rush Center; Brandt Skinner, Leonardville; (front row) Trevor Haun, Fall River; Katie Campbell, Leoti; Darcy Reeve, Garden City; Clara Cross, Minneapolis; Brian Carlton, Larned; Julie Hiesterman, Palmer; Austin Pacey, Salina; and Audrey Schultz, Andover.  Not pictured Brooke Boulware, Scott City.

A group of young producers from across the state met in Topeka February 18-19 for the first installment of the 2020 Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA). Merck Animal Health is again partnering with the association to host these members for an in-depth look into KLA and the beef industry. The class of 20 will participate in four seminars throughout the year, which will be held in various locations across the state.

During the first session, attendees learned about the array of member services provided by KLA, heard about the importance of being an advocate for the livestock industry, saw KLA lobbyists in action at the state Capitol and took part in the KLA Legislative Meeting. In addition, YSA members attended a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee meeting at the Capitol and participated in a financial planning seminar conducted by K-Coe Isom.  

As part of an interactive training session led by KLA staff, Alma ranchers and beef advocates Arturo and Wrenn Pacheco and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcaster Greg Akagi the group was given an overview of various media outlets available to help tell the beef production story. The Pachecos shared how they have implemented advocacy into their daily routine through the use of their blog, “Cooking with the Cowboy.”

Members of the 2020 YSA class are Brooke Boulware, Scott City; Katie Campbell, Leoti; Brian Carlton, Larned; Clara Cross, Minneapolis; Cayden Daily, Great Bend; Matthew Harrison, White City; Trevor Haun, Fall River; Julie Hiesterman, Palmer; Josh Johnson, Saint Francis; Trent Johnson, Fort Scott; Clayton Kershner, Rush Center; Colton Lowry, Alemna; Chris Mushrush, Strong City; Derek Neal, Wamego; Austin Pacey, Salina; Darcy Reeve, Garden City; Matthew Rezac, Onaga; Audrey Schultz, Andover; Justin Shields, Colby; and Brandt Skinner, Leonardville.            

The second session for the YSA class will be held in May. Members will have the opportunity to learn more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries. More information about YSA can be found at            

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.