YSA members gain insight into agribusiness, retail industries

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The 2013 KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) gathered for its second educational tour of the year this week. The group, consisting of 18 KLA members from across the state, spent three days in Kansas City learning more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries.

Merck Animal Health hosted the class at its office in Desoto. Merck is the exclusive sponsor of the YSA program. Staff gave the class an inside look at the animal health industry and explained how this segment of agribusiness is working to help beef producers improve efficiency in food production.

To gain a better understanding of the link between the processing plant and the consumer’s plate, the group toured Kansas City Steak Company and SYSCO Food Services. Both companies distribute high-end beef cuts to restaurants across the U.S. For a firsthand look at how beef is marketed in the meatcase and on the dinner plate, stops were made at Whole Foods Market and Applebee’s cooperate offices.

In addition, the class had the chance to visit with consumers about the beef they produce on their farms and ranches while distributing top sirloin samples at HyVee and Hen House grocery stores. These young producers answered questions about animal health, beef nutrition and proper cooking methods.

YSA members also heard from staff at Bartlett and Company about how they use strict risk management practices when buying and selling cattle and grain.

The third installment of the YSA class will be held in October. Members will tour Kansas beef and dairy operations to gain a better understanding of each industry segment.

For more information visit www.kla.org.

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