High School Students Learn to Lead the Animal Science Industry

Eleven students from four states gathered on the Kansas State University campus and online to gain livestock industry knowledge and develop leadership skills during the K-State Animal Science Leadership Academy held June 15-18.

The hybrid format included virtual instruction, followed by a closing, one-day, in-person experience on campus.

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 Emma Aufdemberge, Leavenworth; Jodee Borgerding, Marysville; Brynn Collier, Mound City; Lucie Dolenc, Boulder, Colo.; Helaina Fowler, Lewistown, Mont.; Lane Fritz, Gypsum; Ashtyn Jolly, Lancaster; Kyanna Lankton, LeRoy; Logan Ohlde, Winchester; Calley Stubbs, Wallace; and Lauren Thompson, Woodville, Wis.

During their time at KASLA, students participated in interactive leadership development and educational sessions led by faculty members from across the K-State campus.

“I not only learned about the vast Kansas agriculture industry, I learned my leadership strengths and how I can best use them to advocate for the industry in the future,” Thompson said.

“I now have a potential toolbox full of career paths and a network of industry professionals to help me make decisions about my future along the way. Wonderful mentors, speakers, and members of the K-State faculty, and current K-State students made my time at KASLA a very positive and educational experience.”

KASLA also included two days of virtual livestock industry tours hosted by Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City; Kansas Livestock Association, Topeka; Bichelmeyer Meats, Kansas City; Gardiner Angus Ranch, Ashland; and Blythe Family Farms, White City.

Student also toured university farms, department facilities and the K-State campus. Evening activities included game night and a virtual escape room to help students get to know each other and use their problem-solving skills.

Learn more 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 [email protected]or 785-532-1267.