Young Producers Meet In Topeka For First Session

February 20, 2023

(TOPEKA) – A group of 20 young producers from across the state met in Topeka February 14-15 for the first installment of the 2023 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 livestock industry. A series of four seminars will be held throughout the year at various locations at Kansas.  

During this 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. As part of an interactive training session led by KLA staff 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. 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 Pinion.     

Members of the 2023 YSA class are Jack Adams, Plains; Erica Auchard, Cimarron; Cole Baumgartner, Westmoreland; Tara Bina, Halstead; Eric Blythe, White City; Allison Castilleja; Satanta; Emily Grund, Wamego; Logan Hoobler, Perry; Cody Howell, Chanute; Cooper Imthurn, Maple Hill; Kyler Jost, Spring Hill; Arlan Newby, Haven; Garret Otter, Almena; Cole Renner, Monument; Garret Smith, Great Bend; Leslie Smith, Ashland; Bubba Sullivan, Sublette; Brody Thayer, La Cygne; Jose Woolfolk, Hugoton; and Jay Ziegelmeier, Hays.           

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 representing the business interests of 5,700 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 are (L to R, front row) Cooper Imthurn, Maple Hill; Allison Castilleja, Satanta; Erica Auchard, Cimarron; Emily Grund, Wamego; Leslie Smith, Ashland; Tara Bina, Halstead; Jack Adams, Plains; Brody Thayer, La Cygne; (L to R, middle row) Garret Smith, Great Bend; Logan Hoobler, Perry; Bubba Sullivan, Sublette; Cole Baumgartner, Westmoreland; Kyler Jost, Spring Hill; Eric Blythe, White City; Jose Woolfolk, Hugoton; (L to R, back row) Cole Renner, Monument; Jay Ziegelmeier, Hays; Garret Otter, Almena; Arlan Newby, Haven; and Cody Howell, Chanute.