Farm Progress

Young Stockmen's Academy class learns about beef distribution and sales at retail level.

June 2, 2017

2 Min Read
YOUNG STOCKMEN: Pictured left to right are (back row) Klay O’Brien, Hepler; Blake Jones, Waverly; Derek Puthoff, Kinsley; Luke Knight, Lyons; Heath Bergkamp, Arlington; Tony Winkler, Ulysses; Dustin Nattier, Newton; Kaid Baumann, Kensington; (middle row) Garrett Ochs, Jetmore; Colby Brownrigg, Welda; Jake Renner, Kingman; Joseph Hubbard, Houston Lake, Mo.; Russell Rezac, Emmett; Dustin Wootten, Oskaloosa; (front row) Sara Struthers, Milton; Kayla Josefiak, Burdett; Katelyn Meiwes, Moran; Kayla Sandoval, Ashland; Cassie Kniebel, White City; and Kashley Schweer, Garden City.

By Scarlett Hagins

Beef producers from across the state participating in this year’s KLA Young Stockmen’s Academy gathered in the Kansas City area May 8-10. The class of 20 spent three days learning more about the agribusiness and retail beef industries.

Merck Animal Health, the exclusive sponsor of the program, hosted the group at its office in DeSoto. Merck staff gave attendees an overview of the animal health industry, provided a tour of the company’s research farm and led a discussion on how to connect with others, based on various personality types, to create strong and effective relationships.

To gain a better understanding of the link between the processing plant and the consumer’s plate, the group toured Kansas City Steak Co. and SYSCO Food Services. Both companies distribute high-end beef cuts to restaurants across the U.S. Kansas City Steak Co. also has a mail-order business and sells beef products on QVC, a home shopping channel. The class visited Bichelmeyer Meats, Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market to get a firsthand look at how beef is sold in the meat case.

While distributing top sirloin samples at two HyVee grocery store locations, YSA members visited with customers about how beef is produced. The young ranchers answered questions about animal health, beef nutrition and proper cooking methods.

In addition, YSA members heard how Bartlett and Co. uses strict risk management practices when buying and selling cattle and grain.

Members of the 2017 YSA class are Kaid Baumann, Kensington; Heath Bergkamp, Arlington; Colby Brownrigg, Welda; Joseph Hubbard, Houston Lake, Mo.; Blake Jones, Waverly; Kayla Josefiak, Burdett; Cassie Kniebel, White City; Luke Knight, Lyons; Katelyn Meiwes, Moran; Dustin Nattier, Newton; Klay O’Brien, Hepler; Garrett Ochs, Jetmore; Derek Puthoff, Kinsley; Jake Renner, Kingman; Russell Rezac, Emmett; Kayla Sandoval, Ashland; Kashly Schweer, Garden City; Sarah Struthers, Milton; Tony Winkler, Ulysses; and Dustin Wootten, Oskaloosa.

The class will meet again in September to tour beef and dairy operations across the state. More information about YSA can be found at

KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of members at both the state and federal levels. Voluntary dues paid by producers are used for programs that benefit KLA members in the areas of legislative representation, regulatory assistance, legal troubleshooting, communications and the advancement of youth.

Hagins is communications program manager for the Kansas Livestock Association.

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