High School Students Learn To Lead the Animal Science Industry

Students from across Kansas and beyond participated in an immersive livestock and leadership learning experience at Kansas State University.

KASLATwenty students gathered on the Kansas State University campus last week to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills. These participants comprised a 20-person cohort of the 13th annual K-State Animal Science Leadership Academy (KASLA) June 22-25 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Hosted by the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and sponsored by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council Inc., the academy’s goal is to develop young leaders within the livestock industry and prepare them for a successful future in this field.

This year’s class included: Madison Baker, Union City, Michigan; Hailey Butler, Wamego, Kansas; Creed Caldwell, Parker, Kansas; Emma Deghand, Mayetta, Kansas; Nick Doering, Basehor, Kansas; Jenna DeRouchey, Wamego, Kansas; Carly Dreher, Iola, Kansas; Trinadee Fetters, Council Grove, Kansas; Adelle Higbie, Overbrook, Kansas; Bryce Hoeltzel, Olsburg, Kansas; Brianna Hula, Manhattan, Kansas; Kaylen Langhofer, Plains, Kansas; Strid Loudon, Goodland, Kansas; Kaylee Noll, Oskaloosa, Kansas; Paisley Palmer, Satanta, Kansas; Ainsley Pecenka, Spring Hill, Kansas; Lacey Rust, Hartford, Kansas; Grace Schmeidler, Hays, Kansas; Katrina Turner, Derby, Kansas; and Kaden Weltmer, Smith Center, Kansas.

During their time at the KASLA, students participated in interactive leadership development and educational lab sessions led by faculty members from across the K-State campus. Participants completed the college experience by dining at the K-State Alumni Center, completing the K-State Challenge Course and staying in Marlatt Hall.

KASLA also included several livestock industry tours, with off-campus stops including: Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City, and Kansas Department of Agriculture, Manhattan. They also enjoyed tours of university farms and ASI department facilities.

For their final project, the students were divided into groups during the week to focus on current issues affecting the livestock industry. ASI faculty mentors assisted each group. Using information they learned throughout the academy, the groups were asked to present their subject as part of the closing reception on the final day. About 75 family, friends and members of the K-State community gathered for the closing reception to honor the graduates and hear their thoughts on these important livestock issues.

You can find out more information about the academy and future programs by visiting the K-State Youth Livestock Program website, asi.ksu.edu/youthlivestock. For questions, contact academy director Sharon Breiner at sbreiner@ksu.edu or 785-532-6533.