February 24, 2022

(TOPEKA) – A group of young producers from across Kansas met in Topeka February 15-16 for the first session of the 2022 Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA). Merck Animal Health continues to be the exclusive sponsor of the program, which gives these members an in-depth look into KLA and the beef industry. The class of 20 will participate in a total of four seminars throughout the year that will be held in various locations across the state.  

During this 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 the Legislature in action at the state Capitol and took part in the KLA Legislative Meeting and Dinner. While at the Statehouse, YSA members attended a House Agriculture Committee hearing where they witnessed KLA lobbyists testify in support of HB 2350, which would require more accurate labels on fake meat products. They also went to a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee meeting. In addition, the class participated in a financial planning seminar conducted by K-Coe Isom.    

As part of an interactive session led by KLA staff, rancher and agricultural advocate Brandi Buzzard Frobose of Greeley and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcaster Greg Akagi, the group was given an overview of various ways to tell the beef production story and took part in mock interview training. Buzzard Frobose shared with the group that when it comes to advocacy, it is important to know your audience and be authentic.  

Members of the 2022 class are David Allen, Tribune; Payden Barrett, Grantville; Cece Blythe, White City; Maggie Brakeville, Manhattan; MariKate Crouch, Scott City; Kyle Cure, Cimarron; Mitch Duer, Onaga; Dakota Ferguson, Williamsburg; Blaise Fountain, McPherson; Brandon Frederick, Hutchinson; Grant Glaser, Marion; Dylan Hamilton, Sublette; Michael Olson, Olsburg; Spencer Paul, Manhattan; Shelby Schultz, El Dorado; Nate Smith, Pratt; Issa Sommer, Cimarron; Tyler Wells, Great Bend; Ethan Wilke, Scott City; and Kristina Zerger, Cheney.  

The second installment for the class will be in May. Members will travel to Kansas City for a look at the agribusiness and retail beef industries.                

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) Shelby Schultz, El Dorado; MariKate Crouch, Scott City; Kristina Zerger, Cheney; Maggie Brakeville, Manhattan; Cece Blythe, White City; Issa Sommer, Cimarron; (middle row, L to R) Kyle Cure, Cimarron; Grant Glaser, Marion; Nate Smith, Pratt; Blaise Fountain, McPherson; Mitch Duer, Onaga; Payden Barrett, Grantville; Dylan Hamilton; Sublette; Michael Olson, Olsburg; (back row, L to R) David Allen, Tribune; Spencer Paul, Manhattan; Dakota Ferguson, Williamsburg; Brandon Frederick, Hutchinson; Tyler Wells, Great Bend; and Ethan Wilke, Scott City.