The 2018 KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) gathered September 17-19 for their third tour of the year. Young members 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.
Mushrush Red Angus near Strong City was the first stop. The Mushrush family enterprise consists of about 750 registered Red Angus cows split evenly between spring- and fall-calving herds. They are proponents of data management and performance testing, putting extra focus on calving ease, maintenance energy and stayability, without sacrificing carcass quality. While in the Flint Hills, the class also visited the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and participated in a panel discussion on the importance of prescribed burning to the area's ecosystem.
Poky Feeders Assistant Manager Grant Morgan highlighted various aspects of the feedyard at Scott City, including their water reclamation system and new processing barn. The feedyard was the first in Kansas to recycle overflow water as part of its conservation efforts. Reeve Cattle Company near Garden City also hosted the group. Owner and current KLA President Lee Reeve took the class on a tour of his 46,000-head feeding facility, which includes an onsite ethanol plant. The plant produces about 17 million gallons of ethanol per year, with its byproduct, distiller’s grain, used as part of the feeding ration for cattle in the feedyard. During a visit to Noble Dairy near Garden City, 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. The dairy produces four truck-loads of milk per day.
The class also visited Dodge City Veterinary Clinic where Chad Kerr, DVM, shared the importance of proper animal health procedures and having a good working relationship with a veterinarian. In addition, the group toured the National Beef packing plant in Dodge City.
YSA 2018 will gather for its final session at the KLA Convention, November 28-30 in Wichita.