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KLA Young Stockmen's Academy meets in Topeka


Pictured are (back row, L to R) Kyle Casey, Leoti; Mitch Mayer, Alma; Derik Klaassen, Newton; Brandon Greenwood, Wamego; Paige Alexander, Satanta; Erik Peterson, Lindsborg; Clint Bryant, Arkansas City; Clem Neely, Chanute; (middle row, L to R) Abbie Grossnicklaus, Mound City; Trisha Janssen, Geneseo; Sharon Breiner, Manhattan; Tiffany Lee, Leavenworth; Elissa Mullinix, El Dorado; Caleb Strauss, Junction City; Chris Boyd, Isabel; (front row, L to R) Garet Farney, Sterling; Spencer Jacobs, Manhattan; Parry Briggs, Emporia; and Travis Bryant, Penokee. (Courtesy photo.)

A group of 20 young producers from across the state met in Topeka in March for the first installment of the 2009 Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockmen's Academy. Fort Dodge Animal Health is partnering with the association to host these members for an in-depth look into KLA and the cattle business. The class will participate in four seminars throughout the year, which will be held in various locations across Kansas.

During the first session, attendees were exposed to the legislative process, media and services provided by KLA. Spokesperson training, presented by KLA staff and WIBW-Topeka farm broadcasters Kelly Lenz and Greg Akagi, highlighted the importance of taking advantage of opportunities to convey a positive message on behalf of the agriculture industry. As part of the presentation, the group was provided interview tips and techniques. Attendees visited KLA headquarters and participated in a financial planning seminar, led by Kennedy and Coe, LLC, that focused on debt management and planning for the future of the family business. In addition, the class had the opportunity to visit the Capitol and attended a Senate Agriculture Committee meeting. 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 Kansas Beef Council provided information on how checkoff dollars are used to develop and market new products that have helped increase beef demand. KBC staff also explained efforts to educate consumers about the benefits of eating beef.

The 2009 class includes Paige Alexander, Satanta; Chris Boyd, Isabel; Sharon Breiner, Manhattan; Parry Briggs, Emporia; Clint Bryant, Arkansas City; Travis Bryant, Penokee; Kyle Casey, Leoti; Garet Farney, Sterling; Brandon Greenwood, Wamego; Abbie Grossnicklaus, Mound City; Spencer Jacobs, Manhattan; Trisha Janssen, Geneseo; Derik Klaassen, Newton; Tiffany Lee, Leavenworth; Mitch Mayer, Alma; Elissa Mullinix, El Dorado; Clem Neely, Chanute; Erik Peterson, Lindsborg; Caleb Strauss, Junction City; and Andrew Sylvester, Wamego.

The second installment of the YSA class will be held in July. Members will tour operations representing various segments of the Kansas beef industry. 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.

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