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K-State Research and Extension News

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.

KASLA 2016Photo and caption available

Released: June 22, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Twenty students from four states gathered on the Kansas State University campus June 8-11 to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills. These participants comprised a cohort of the eighth annual K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy (KASLA) in Manhattan, Kansas.

Hosted by the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry 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: Emily Albright, Delia; Jenae Anderson, Wathena; James Borgerding, Marysville; Greyson Collins, St. John; Conner Cross, Wilkinson, Indiana; Rayli Cunningham, Rosston, Oklahoma; Miranda Depenbusch, Udall; Cara DeTar, Coffeyville; Taylor Dieball, Little River; Makenzie Downes, Council Grove; Grady Hammer, Wallace; Jay Henry, Wasburn, Missouri; Anna Hixon, Belle Plaine; Jake Joeckel, Paola; Campbell Martin, Bucklin; Brooke McNickle, Stafford; Thomas Parsons, Dexter; Rachael Peterson, Leonardville; Carolgene Romans, Higginsville, Missouri; and Andrea Vandever-Moore, McPherson.

During their time at the KASLA, students participated in interactive leadership development and educational sessions led by faculty members from across the K-State campus. Participants realized the college experience by bowling at the K-State Student Union, completing the K-State Challenge Course and staying in Haymaker Hall.

The KASLA also included a full day of livestock industry tours throughout northeast Kansas, with stops including: O.H. Kruse Feed Innovation Center, Manhattan; Flint Hills Discovery Center, Manhattan; Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City; Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Beef Council, Topeka; Bichelmeyer Meats, Kansas City; American Hereford Association, Kansas City, Missouri; and the American Royal, Kansas City, Missouri. They also enjoyed tours of university farms and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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 Department of Animal Sciences and Industry 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 100 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 by visiting the department’s Youth Livestock Program website. For questions, contact KASLA director Sharon Breiner at sbreiner@ksu.edu or 785-532-6533.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

For more information:
Sharon Breiner, KASLA director – 785-532-6533 or sbreiner@ksu.edu