Seventeenth Class Of Young Stockmen Graduate At KLA Convention

December 6, 2023

(TOPEKA) – The 17th class of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) graduated December 1 at the close of the KLA Convention. Merck Animal Health again partnered with KLA to host 20 members for a series of four seminars throughout 2023, bringing the total number of YSA alumni to 335.

Attending the KLA Convention was the final session for this year’s class. The three-day event provided participants the opportunity to gain additional industry knowledge and interact with other KLA members from across the state. YSA members got a firsthand look at the inner workings of the association by attending the KLA Chairmen’s Circle meeting. The group also participated in the policy-making process by attending committee and council meetings where members discussed issues affecting their business interests, including private property rights, traceability, land acquisition and increased funding for the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas. Immediately prior to the convention, the YSA class discussed membership opportunities and strategies with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Director of Membership Services Lynn Compton. The group also heard from NCBA President Todd Wilkinson of De Smet, SD.

During their first session in Topeka last February, attendees were exposed to advocacy training, the legislative process and services provided by KLA and NCBA. The second installment took the group to Kansas City in May, where they learned about beef marketing and agribusiness. YSA members visited central and western Kansas in September to tour beef and dairy operations representing various segments of each industry.

Members of the 2023 YSA class are Jack Adams, Plains; Erica Auchard, Cimarron; Cole Baumgartner, Westmoreland; Tara Jo Bina, Halstead; Eric Blythe, White City; Allison Castilleja, Satanta; Emily Grund, Wamego; Logan Hoobler, Maple Hill; 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, Amarillo, TX; Brody Thayer, LaCygne; Jose Woolfolk, Hugoton; and Jay Ziegelmeier, Hays.

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 are (back row, L to R) Cody Doubet, Merck Animal Health; Jose Woolfolk; Cody Howell; Kyler Jost; Arlan Newby; Eric Blythe; Jay Ziegelmeier; Cole Baumgartner; (middle row, L to R) Tim Parks, Merck; Jenna Goetzmann, Merck; Logan Hoobler; Brody Thayer; Jack Adams; Todd Wilkinson, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Lynn Compton, NCBA; Garret Smith; Garret Otter; Cole Renner; (front row, L to R) Erica Auchard; Emily Grund; Cooper Imthurn; Allison Castilleja and Tara Jo Bina.