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High School Students Learn to Lead the Livestock Industry

Farm & Ranch Life | KS

Posted on: Jun 17th 2019

Source: Kansas State University

Group picture, 2019 Animal Sciences Leadership Academy

K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy attendees June 5-8 in Manhattan, Kansas, (front row, l to r) are: Trent Johnson, staff; Kaylee Davis, Hyannis, Nebraska; Tyler Loudon, Creston, Iowa; Gracye Wilmurth, LaCygne; Krista Allscheid, Waterloo, Illinois; Kenzie Eastwood, Parker; Cassie Allscheid, Waterloo, Illinois; Mallory Beltz, Sterling; Alicia Bohren, Longmont, Colorado; Kaylynn Vogts, Waverly; and Ashley Hartman, staff. Back row (l to r) are: Esther McCabe, staff; Zach Schoelerman, Everly, Iowa; Zach Meier, Beloit; Aidan Yoho, Yates Center; Madison Wooderson, Benton; Gavin Beesley, Conway Springs; Tobyn Smith, Grabill, Indiana; Kade McGinn, Sedgwick; Colleen Decker, LeRoy; Brooke Finnerty, Hartford; Aaron Campbell, Ottawa; Gavin Fry, staff; and Sharon Breiner, staff. 


Twenty students from six states gathered on the Kansas State University campus in early June to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills as part of the 11th annual K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy.

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.

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 dining at the K-State Student Union, completing the K-State Challenge Course and staying in a campus dorm.

By hometown, this year’s class included (towns listed are from Kansas, unless otherwise noted):

Beloit -- Zach Meier

Benton -- Madison Wooderson

Conway Springs -- Gavin Beesley

Creston, Ia. -- Tyler Loudon

Everly, Ia. -- Zach Schoelerman

Grabill, Ind. -- Tobyn Smith

Grand Ridge, Ill. -- Alyson Utegg

Hartford -- Brooke Finnerty

Hyannis, Neb. -- Kaylee Davis

LaCygne -- Gracye Wilmurth

LeRoy -- Colleen Decker

Longmont, Colo. -- Alicia Bohren

Ottawa -- Aaron Campbell

Parker -- Kenzie Eastwood

Sedgwick -- Kade McGinn

Sterling -- Mallory Beltz

Waterloo, Ill. -- Cassie Allscheid and Krista Allscheid

Waverly -- Kaylynn Vogts

Yates Center -- Aidan Yoho.

The KASLA also included a half day of livestock industry tours throughout northeast Kansas, with stops at

  • Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City
  • Kansas Livestock Association, Topeka
  • Bichelmeyer Meats, Kansas City, and
  • American Royal, Kansas City.

They also enjoyed tours of university farms and animal science department facilities.

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 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 by visiting For questions, contact academy director Sharon Breiner at or 785-532-6533.

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