Twenty young livestock producers joined with members of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Leadership Academy for three days of learning about the agribusiness and retail beef industries as part of the second installment of the Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockmen's Academy.
Merck Animal Health hosted the group at its office in DeSoto. Merck is the exclusive sponsor of the KLA YSA program. Staff from Merck gave attendees an overview of the animal health industry, conducted a cutting demonstration using the loin and led a discussion on the physiological make-up of beef.
Stops were made at Kansas City Steak Company and SYSCO Food Services to provide the YSA group with a better understanding of the link between the processing plant and the consumer's plate. Both companies distribute high-end beef cuts across the U.S. For a firsthand look at the various ways beef is marketed in the meatcase, the class visited Bichelmeyer Meats and a Whole Foods Market. The Bichelmeyer family has been providing hand-cut meat to consumers for almost 70 years.
In addition, YSA members had the chance to visit with consumers about the beef they produce while distributing samples at Hen House and HyVee grocery store locations. Young producers answered questions about animal health, beef nutrition and cooking methods.
YSA members also heard from staff at Bartlett and Company about risk management in the cattle and grain industries and toured the new Johnson County Culinary Institute.
The 2014 class includes:
Bryan Armendariz, Chapman; Sarah Bryant, Winfield; Cody Campfield, St. John; Isaac Carr, Junction City; Neil Cates, Beloit; Kyla Clawson, Satanta; Rachel Collinge, Eureka; Jaymelynn Farney, Parsons; Andrew Froetschner, Larned; Ryan Gasche, Cassoday; Robby Haynes, Abilene; Lindsey Huseman, Ellsworth; Brandy Jones, Wamego; Spencer Jones, Wamego; Ty Josefiak, Rozel; Marisa Kleysteuber, Garden City; Evan Lesser, Palco, Laura Mushrush, Strong City; Jake Pannbacker, Washington; and Chase Thompson, Scott City.
The third installment of the YSA class will be held in October. Members will tour Kansas beef and dairy operations to gain a better understanding of each industry segment.