Kansas Department of Agriculture News Releases

KJLS LEAD Challenge Results

In addition to feeding, caring for and showing cattle, goats, pigs or sheep at the recent Kansas Junior Livestock Show, more than 120 young Kansas agricultural leaders competed at the first-ever KJLS LEAD Challenge. The competition is designed to provide a competitive learning opportunity related agricultural issues.
In addition to feeding, caring for and showing cattle, goats, pigs or sheep at the recent Kansas Junior Livestock Show, more than 120 young Kansas agricultural leaders competed at the first-ever KJLS LEAD Challenge. The competition is designed to provide a competitive learning opportunity related agricultural issues.

Out of nearly 90 junior participants, the following youth earned top scores: Luke Falkenstien, Oswego; James Derouchey, St. Marys; Hannah Dechant, Goodland; Brody Nemecek, Iola.

In the senior division, the following youth earned the top scores: Caitlin Dreher, Iola; Cale Hinrichsen, Westmoreland; Jade Edwards, Hamilton.

In its first year, the KJLS LEAD Challenge included an educational session with agricultural industry leaders presenting on topics related to animal care and quality assurance programs, the role of protein in a healthful diet, and the impact agriculture has on the Kansas economy. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey said the goal of the LEAD Challenge is to provide Kansas youth an opportunity to learn about some of the most important issues facing the industry and to develop important leadership skills in a multi-event competition.

“Youth who compete in livestock shows like KJLS learn incredibly important lessons about raising and caring for livestock,” said Secretary McClaskey. “The KJLS LEAD Challenge builds upon that animal husbandry knowledge by focusing on some of the biggest issues that affect the ability of farmers and ranchers to do their jobs and challenging youth to further develop public speaking and leadership skills. This complementary competitive learning experience not only provides an important opportunity for Kansas youth, but it also will be critical in developing tomorrow’s leaders for agriculture, our state’s largest industry and economic driver.”

In addition to participating in the educational session, all participants also competed in showmanship and an interview competition. The senior division participants also demonstrated their knowledge of agricultural issues through completing a written exam. Additional competitive experiences will be incorporated in 2017 and 2018.

The KJLS LEAD Challenge was sponsored by Cargill, Merck Animal Health and Seaboard Foods.