(TOPEKA) – The second installment of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) 2021 Young Stockmen's Academy (YSA) was held May 10-12. The group of young producers spent three days touring various segments of the beef and dairy industries in Kansas. Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program.
The first stop on the tour was at Hildebrand Dairy near Junction City. Owner and operator Melissa Hildebrand Reed discussed the protocols used to manage their dairy cows and took the class on a tour of the facility. The group then traveled to Tiffany Cattle Company near Herington to tour the custom cattle feeding operation owned and operated by Shawn and Shane Tiffany. Creekstone Farms Premium Beef packing plant in Arkansas City also hosted the class, who got to see the beef grading process, fabrication floor and state-of-the-art beef distribution center.
During a stop near Sedan, Bill Sproul explained how Sproul Ranch has implemented a three-year, back-to-back fall prescribed burning plan to control sericea lespedeza on their stocker and cow-calf operation. The class learned more about seedstock production and the use of a live auction and private treaty marketing to sell genetics while visiting McCabe Genetics near Elk City. Locke Cattle Company shared how they utilize prescribed burning and double stocking as part of the grazing management plan on their El Dorado ranch.
Additionally, the YSA class visited El Dorado Livestock Auction, where co-owner Josh Mueller took them on a tour of the modern facility that sells more than 50,000 head of cattle per year. While there, the group participated in a Beef Quality Assurance training seminar.
Members of the 2021 class are Brooke Boulware, Scott City; Brian Carlton, Larned; Clara Cross, Salina; Cayden Daily, Great Bend; Matthew Harrison, White City; Julie Hiesterman, Palmer; Josh Johnson, St. Francis; Trent Johnson, Fort Scott; Clayton Kershner, Rush Center; Colton Lowry, Almena; Chris Mushrush, Elmdale; Derek Neal, Wamego; Darcy Reeve, Maize; Matt Rezac, Onaga; Audrey Schultz, Andover; Justin Shields, Colby; and Brandt Skinner, Leonardville. The third session for the YSA class will be held in September. Members will have the opportunity to learn more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries. More information about YSA can be found at www.kla.org.
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.
Picture caption: Pictured are (front row, L to R) Derek Neal, Wamego; Cayden Daily, Great Bend; Audrey Schultz, Andover; Darcy Reeve, Maize; Clara Cross, Salina; Brooke Boulware, Scott City; (back row, L to R) Matthew Harrison, White City; Clayton Kershner, Rush Center; Chris Mushrush, Elmdale; Colton Lowry, Almena; Josh Johnson, St. Francis; Brian Carlton, Larned; and Trent Johnson, Fort Scott. Not pictured, Julie Hiesterman, Palmer; Matt Rezac, Onaga; Justin Shields, Colby; and Brandt Skinner, Leonardville.