New YSA class gathers in Topeka for first session
Twenty young livestock producers from across the state met in Topeka Feb. 18-19 for the first installment of the 2013 Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA). Merck Animal Health partnered with the association to host these members for an in-depth look into KLA and the beef industry. A series of four seminars will be held throughout the year in various locations in Kansas.
During the two-day session, attendees were exposed to advocacy training, the legislative process, and services provided by KLA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. As part of an interactive training session led by KLA staff, White City rancher and beef advocate Debbie Lyons- Blythe and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcasters Kelly Lenz and Greg Akagi, the group was given an overview of the various media outlets available to help tell the beef production story. Lyons-Blythe shared how she has implemented advocacy into her daily routine through the use of her blog, “Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch,” Facebook and Twitter. Lyons-Blythe is reaching consumers all across the U.S.
In addition, YSA members attended a Senate Agriculture Committee meeting at the Capitol and participated in a financial planning seminar conducted by Kennedy and Coe, LLC, that focused on debt management and planning for the future of the family business. Attendees also took part in KLA’s legislative meeting, where they and other members determined positions on individual bills under consideration by the Kansas Legislature.
The 2013 class includes Lori Bammerlin, Manhattan; Keith Bergkamp, Pretty Prairie; Kim Cerny, Salina; Garrett Cook, Hardtner; Hyatt Frobose, Manhattan; Nichole Gouldie, Wamego; Hattie Hartschuh, Manhattan; Justin Keith, Allen; Flinton McCabe, Elk City; Derick McGhee, Baldwin City; Blaze Mollhagen, Lorraine; Christine Mushrush, Strong City; Clarke Nelson, Long Island; Cody Nichols, Wichita; Ty Riggs, Sedan; Garrett Rolland, Norton; Suzanne Ryan, Platte City, MO; Austin Sexten, Wamego; Sydney Shepheard, Pomona; and Kathryn Taylor, Manhattan.
The second installment of 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 www.kla.org.
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. — WLJ