High School Students Learn To Lead the Animal Science Industry

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


Twenty students gathered on the Kansas State University campus in early June to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills. These participants comprised a cohort of the annual K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy (KASLA) June 5-8 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Hosted by the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) and sponsored by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council, 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: Dustin Denton, Blue Rapids; Anna Doyon, Wichita; Clay Guttery, Alton; Brady Hoffman, Derby; Claire Janssen, Amber, Oklahoma; Alexandria Kester, Hoyt; Walker Koons, Meade; Maddy Krueger, Bennington; Josie Kueser, Ellsworth; Erin Livingston, Ottawa; Cameron Madsen, Kansas City; Isom Marston, Canton; Will Meinhardt, Onaga; Abe Noll, Winchester; Ashley Peters, Lehigh; Joe Schohr, Oroville, California; Reygan Schrock, Brookville; Madison Seyb, Johnson; Ariana Vogel, Galesburg; and Genayla Warnken, Manhattan.

During their time at KASLA, students participated in interactive leadership development and educational lab sessions led by faculty members from across the K-State campus. The KASLA included a day of livestock industry tours with stops including Kansas Department of Agriculture, Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Kansas Livestock Association, Bichelmeyer Meats and the American Royal. They closed the evening with a panel discussion with Kansas City area ASI alumni before enjoying evening entertainment. Students also toured university farms and K-State facilities as well. Participants completed the college experience by staying on campus in Ford Hall.

For their final project, the students were divided into groups during the week to focus on current issues affecting the livestock industry. Faculty mentors from the K-State ASI 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 Youth Livestock Program. For questions, contact academy director Sharon Breiner at sbreiner@ksu.edu or 785-532-6533.