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K-State Research and Extension News

Future animal science industry leaders attend K-State training

High school students from across the country participated in an immersive livestock leadership learning experience.

KASLA Group 2016Photo and caption available

Released: July 19, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Twenty students from six states gathered on the Kansas State University campus recently to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills. The students were part of the eighth annual K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy (KASLA) June 29 – July 2 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: Logan Allen, Gardner; Grace Baxter, Dripping Springs, Texas; Reid Beeman, Olpe; Tyler Boss, Richmond, Missouri; Kelsey Bradford, Leavenworth; Leeanna Burton, Drexel, Missouri; Haley Chadwick, Shawnee; Caitlin Dreher, Iola; Jade Edwards, Hamilton; Corbin Gauthier, El Dorado; Emma Jolley, McLouth; Mable Mestagh, McLouth; Elizabeth Mitsch, Andover; Ty Montgomery, Coats; Aaron Mott, Rocheport, Missouri; Shiloh Murray, Pratt; Judd Nelson, Soldier; Lexi Peoples, Prairie Grove, Arkansas; Shelby Smith, Grabill, Indiana; and Mara Weis, Afton, Iowa.

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 completed the college experience by bowling at the K-State Student Union, completing the K-State Challenge Course and staying in Haymaker Hall.

The academy 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; Bichelmeyer Meats, Kansas City; Seaboard Foods, Shawnee; and American Royal, Kansas City, Missouri. The students also toured university farms and K-State’s 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 the important livestock issues.

More information about the academy is available online at Youth Livestock Programs. For questions, contact academy director Sharon Breiner at sbreiner@ksu.eduor 785-532-6533.


The Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry serves students, livestock producers and the animal and food industries through teaching, research and education. The K-State ASI department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science and food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills. For more information, visit K-State’s ASI department.


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.

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For more information:
Angie Stump Denton, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences & Industry Communication Coordinator, angiedenton@ksu.edu or 785-562-6197