The graduation of the eighth class of the Young Stockmen's Academy, an educational outreach of the Kansas Livestock Association, brings the total number of YSA alumni to 159.
The 2013 class completed the final seminar of the annual four-session class during the KLA annual convention which wrapped up Dec. 6. Merck Animal Health was a partner with KLA in offering the class.
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 took part in the policy-making process by attending committee and council meetings where members discussed issues affecting their business interests, including trichomoniasis regulations, water conservation in western Kansas and potential changes to the state's corporate farming laws.
Training in beef advocacy
Immediately prior to the convention, the YSA class received their Masters of Beef Advocacy degrees, following an in-depth spokesperson training session with National Cattlemen's Beef Association Senior Executive Director of Communications Daren Williams.
The first session of YSA took place in Topeka last February when class members 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 the agribusiness and retail beef industries. YSA members went to western Kansas in October to tour beef and dairy operations representing various segments of each industry.
The 2013 class includes Lori Bammerlin, Manhattan; Keith Bergkamp, Pretty Prairie; Kim Cerny, Salina; Garrett Cook, Hardtner; Hyatt Frobose, Manhattan; Nichole Gouldie, Inman; 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.