Students explore animal science opportunities in western Kansas
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Students took part in the K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy Premier Program July 11-13 in southwest Kansas. Six college students made up the group, all of whom had completed the traditional K-State Animal Sciences Leadership Academy hosted annually in June on the K-State campus.
The premier program allows students the opportunity to continue building their personal leadership development and expand their industry knowledge. Students earned a greater appreciation for large scale agricultural production and enhanced their leadership skills through workshops and team building activities.
“The amount of people I have met through networking and tours is astounding,” said Emily Elfers. “This program has helped me grow not only as an individual, but also as a student wanting to learn through others.”
This year’s class included: Emily Elfers, St. Francis; Alyssa Leslie, Inman; Brady McComb, Pratt; Joel Nelson, Soldier; Ryann Allison, Fort Scott; and Shelby Smith, Grabill, Ind.
KASLA Premier kicked off in Greensburg, Kan., with Greensburg Mayor Bob Dixon and community members Dennis McKinney, former state treasurer, and Stacey Barnes. The trio discussed rural leadership with the group and shared insights on the rebuilding of their community following the 2007 tornado. Attendees then travelled to livestock operations in southwest Kansas. The group toured Gardiner Angus Ranch, Cargill Meat Solutions, High Plains Journal, Forget-Me-Not Farms, Finney County Feeders, Reeve Cattle Co., Hi Plains Feeds, and Hy-Plains Feedyard. They also enjoyed a leadership discussion over dinner with Sam and Janet Hands in Garden City, Kan.
“In this program I have gained more than I thought imaginable. I not only gained the confidence to speak in front of a crowd, but also the understanding that everyone in this industry strives to help one another. I love learning and this program exceeds the standard for this,” Elfers added.
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. “Having people like the LMIC to sponsor this makes me so excited to stay in this industry with people who truly care about your education and your drive to be in animal science,” Elfers said.