Young Stockmen Tour Beef and Dairy Industries

September 23, 2022

(TOPEKA) – The third installment of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen's Academy (YSA) was held September 19-21. The group of young producers spent three days 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.   

El Dorado Livestock Auction was the first tour stop. The group heard from co-owner Josh Mueller about the modern facility, where more than 50,000 head of cattle are sold per year. Frank Harper hosted the class for a tour of his new backgrounding facility near Sedgwick, where both home-raised and purchased calves are grown before being sent to a feedyard. During a stop near Lindsborg, Erik Peterson explained how they use high-accuracy sires and cow families at Smoky Valley Angus to raise bulls that meet the needs of their commercial cow-calf customers. Sam Hands and Marissa Kleysteuber, managing partners of Triangle H, gave the group an inside look into their fifth-generation operation, which consists of a cow-calf, stocker and cattle feeding program, as well as a farming business. 

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. Luke Knight, manager of Knight Feedyard near Lyons, highlighted various aspects of the feedyard, including a newly built mill, which is used to customize feed rations for each pen of cattle. In addition, the group toured the National Beef packing plant in Dodge City. 

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, Miltonvale; Nate Smith, Pratt; Issa Sommer, Cimarron; Tyler Wells, Lyons; Ethan Wilke, Scott City; and Kristina Zerger, Cheney. The 2022 YSA class will gather for their final session at the KLA Convention November 30 to December 2 in Wichita. More information about YSA can be found at              

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. 


Pictured front row (L to R) Issa Sommer, Cimarron; MariKate Crouch, Scott City; Kristina Zerger, Cheney; Maggie Brakeville, Manhattan; Shelby Schultz, Miltonvale; Cece Blythe, White City; back row Nate Smith, Pratt; Michael Olson, Olsburg; Tyler Wells, Lyons; Ethan Wilke, Scott City; Dakota Ferguson, Williamsburg; Mitch Duer, Onaga; Spencer Paul, Manhattan; Kyle Cure, Cimarron; Dylan Hamilton, Sublette; Brandon Frederick, Hutchinson; Grant Glaser, Marion; Payden Barrett, Grantville. Not pictured David Allen, Tribune and Blaise Fountain, McPherson.