MANHATTAN, Kan. – Twenty high school students participated in Kansas State University’s Animal Sciences Leadership Academy June 6-9 in Manhattan.

Participants were selected based on school activities, grade point average, and community involvement through an application process. Three K-State students helped with the academy as counselors. The four-day event gave the students an opportunity to evaluate real life livestock situations, gain familiarity with college life, explore livestock related companies in the industry, and tour many facilities within the animal sciences industry in Kansas, according to Kristine Clowers, youth livestock coordinator in K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. 

As part of the academy, the group toured the Cargill Innovation Center, Mid-America Ag Network, and Grandview Equestrian Center – all in Wichita, Kan. – in order to give participants a glance at where their future could possibly lie after college graduation, Clowers said.

“Youth are not always aware of the different avenues they can take in the livestock industry and by seeing first-hand what these companies do, the participants can now broaden their future plans and goals,” she added.

In Manhattan, the students toured the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and worked on current event projects, such as “Pink Slime”/Lean Finely Textured Beef; the 2011 U.S.  Department of Labor Child Labor Rule; Anesthesia Use on Minor Farm Surgeries; and Rising Feed Costs. The students presented their topic at a formal reception in front of three K-State faculty members, Livestock and Meat Industry Council (LMIC) executive members, and their families. The presentations were evaluated and scored based on content, delivery, knowledge of the topic, and ability to answer questions.

The LMIC sponsored the academy.

Academy participants in alphabetical order by last name, followed by their hometowns included:
Tanner Aherin, Phillipsburg
Sarah Brend, Bucryrus
Carl Clawson, Englewood
Cory Craver, Gypsum
Thomas Feldhausen, Frankfort
Blake Foraker, Burrton
Addison Gauthier, Wichita
Callahan Grund, Wallace
Travis Hoch, Medicine Lodge,
Michael McKinney, McPherson
Taylor Ohlde, Winchester
Trint Peine, Parker
Tyler Pederson, Emporia
Karl Riffel, Tampa
Jaid Runft, Scandia
Tricia Schmitz, Axtell
Tracy Schmitz, Axtell\
Reid Shipman, Manhattan
Emma Stewart, Baldwin City
Conner Traxson, Coffeyville

In addition to Clowers, three K-State students who served as group counselors included:
Alissa Berger, Wichita
Colin Kirchhoff, Phillipsburg
Kurtis Clawson, Santanta