The third installment of the 2011 Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Young Stockmen's Academy (YSA) was held October 4-6. The group, consisting of 20 KLA members from across the state, spent three days touring beef and dairy operations to gain a better understanding of the industries. Vista from Merck Animal Health is the exclusive sponsor of this program.
Stops were made at Sandhill Farms near Haviland and Woolfolk Ranch at Protection. Kevin and Vera Schultz, owners of Sandhill Farms, gave the group an inside look into their Polled Hereford breeding program. Kent and Tyler Woolfolk provided the class with an overview of their cow-calf/stocker operation and explained how they manage salt cedar trees on their pastures to improve grazing.
Feedyard manager Ken Burch hosted the group at Beefland near Garden City. Burch discussed animal health practices and feeding rations with the class during a tour of the feedyard and mill. The importance of managing risk in the cattle feeding business also was highlighted during this stop.
he group participated in a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) injection site demonstration and visited the National Beef Packing plant in Dodge City. Merck Animal Health staff gave a product update and helped conduct the BQA presentation, which was held at Ford County Feedyard near Ford. Brian Bertelsen with U.S. Premium Beef, which owns National Beef, gave the group a firsthand look at how beef is processed and readied for delivery to the world's consumers.
YSA members visited Forget-Me-Not Farms in Cimarron. Dairy co-owner Ted Boersma explained the milk production process and cattle management practices used at the family-owned operation. Forget-Me-Not Farms utilizes two rotary milking parlors to produce 12 to 13 truckloads of milk per day.
Partner and Cattle Empire Chief Executive Officer Roy Brown and ranch manager Don Gasper took the class on a tour of Empire Calf Ranch, LLC, near Satanta. The ranch specializes in the care of calves from the time they are born until they are ready to be transferred to one of the Cattle Empire feedyards.
The 2011 class includes Austin Cline, Frankfort; Zach Conine, Scott City; Jessica Ebert, Tescott; Kendra Frasier, Manhattan; Eric Gleue, Le Roy; Chelsea Good, Topeka; Randy Hiesterman, Palmer; Ashley Judd, Quenemo; Karaline Mayer, Paxico; Brock Miller, Leoti; Daniel Mushrush, Strong City; Cody Palen, Dodge City; Anthony Rathbun, Geneseo; Cade Rensink, Ada; Carlie Rooney, Garden City; Abe Shanholtzer, Wamego; Raymond Sproul, Sedan; Jennifer Wellnitz, Neosho Rapids; Clay Wilson, Council Grove; and Katie Yunghans, Leavenworth.
The fourth YSA session will be held during the KLA Convention, November 30 through December 2. Members will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions and help form policy during council and committee meetings that will guide the association in 2012.
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.