MANHATTAN – Students from across the country with an interest in the livestock industry and related careers can apply now for the Kansas State University Animal Sciences Leadership Academy. The academy is an intensive four-day educational experience designed to enhance the leadership skills and animal science knowledge of students in ninth through 12th grades.

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.

“The experiences gained through KASLA will help develop your understanding of the industry and ignite your potential as a young leader in agriculture,” said 2015 participant Molly Bertz of Mayview, Missouri. “I would highly recommend participation. Whether you come from a strong agricultural background or are curious to learn more about the industry, KASLA is providing students with an inside view of the food production system.”

Sessions will take place June 8-11 and June 29-July 2 in Manhattan. Students may apply for one or both dates as their schedule allows. Applications are due April 1, and can be found at http://www.YouthLivestock.KSU.edu.

The program’s itinerary will feature interactive workshops, tours and faculty mentor time with animal science professors. Industry leaders will also join the participants frequently to share their knowledge and expertise. Throughout the week, participants will work in teams to evaluate current events within the animal science industry and educate others. This experience will culminate with team presentations and a closing reception on Saturday morning.

The program also focuses on developing personal leadership skills through workshops and activities.

“One of my favorite parts of KASLA was learning more about our individual strengths through the StrengthsFinder assessment,” Bertz said. “As we learned more about our strengths, we were also able to learn how to capitalize on them and use them effectively in group settings, such as the agriculture issues team project. KASLA truly developed us as leaders in the agriculture industry.”

Only 20 students will be accepted for each session to ensure individualized attention from counselors, professors and industry leaders. Participants will stay on campus in university housing with program staff for the duration of the event. Transportation to and from the event is the responsibility of the participant, along with a $50 deposit to reserve his or her space. The Livestock and Meat Industry Council generously provides all other sponsorships. Please contact academy director Sharon Breiner with questions at sbreiner@ksu.eduor 785-532-6533.