NIAA’s Animal Agriculture Leaders Kick Off Cohort 2

The second cohort of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s (NIAA) Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders completed their first in-person leadership training session in Kansas City, Missouri.

In January, NIAA announced the second cohort of the Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders. This leadership training course is sponsored by the United Soybean Board and was created by NIAA to empower animal agriculture professionals to strengthen previous leadership development experiences and collaborate with peers across the industry.

During their time in Kansas City, Cohort participants met with Kansas City-based leaders in multiple sessions:

Innovation & Investment in Animal Agriculture


Federal Courthouse Tour
This visit outlined the role of the Courts and insights into food and agriculture from a legal perspective.

Building on our Traditions
Celebrating agriculture’s history as a foundation for our future.

  • Kerryann Kocher, CEO of Vytelle
  • Eric Moore, Director of Technical Services – North America at Noorbrook, Inc. and NIAA Chairman of the board
  • Jared Wareham, North America NuEra Business Development Manager at Genus ABS

The second day of the training focused on strengths-based leadership development.

“Our first training session was extremely valuable. The time we spent collaborating and learning from our peers, understanding our personal strengths, and learning more about the rich agricultural history Kansas City boasts, gave us all excitement and anticipation for what’s still to come over the next 16 months.” said Kayla Rink, Senior Manager, Dairy Science and Farm Practices at Dairy Farmers of America and cohort member.

The second cohort of the Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders represents a range of agricultural sectors to advance animal agriculture’s role in today’s food system. Participants include Tressa Lacy, TransOva Genetics; Jared Bramer, Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health – North America; Amanda Butterfield, North American Meat Institute; TJ Flax, Dexer; Trisha Klement, Datamars Livestock; Phillip Lancaster, Kansas State University; Miriam Martin, North American Meat Institute; Chandler Mulvaney, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Jake Renner, American Gelbvieh Association; Jennette Rietcheck, Norbrook; Kayla Rink, Dairy Farmers of America; Grant Sardella, ABS Global; Jennifer Schmitt, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota; Austin Snook, Merck Animal Health; Sarah Thomas, The Ohio State University; Brandon Treichler, Treichler Consulting Services; Stephanie Ward, NC State University; Jonathan White, United Producers NC; Tim Bardole, United Soybean Board; and Shannon Ellis, United Soybean Board.

Learn more about the leadership program, its sponsors, and see pictures of Cohort 2’s visit to Kansas City, visit

National Institute for Animal Agriculture to Host Equine Industry Leaders

Equine leaders will discuss the importance and sustainability of the working ranch horse at NIAA’s Annual Conference in April.


The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) will welcome an in-depth discussion during the council meeting for the reestablished Equine Working Group regarding the sustainability of the working ranch horse and the significant investment required to have these animals on the ranch.

Supply chain bottlenecks and downed manufacturing plants during the early days of Covid-19 have led to significant price increases for on-farm machinery and the investment costs for the working ranch horse has steadily followed the machinery trends.

“Anyone who has worked on a large ranch or feedlot knows the importance of having a well-trained horse to move and work the cattle,” said Jared Wareham, NuEra Business Development Manager for Genus/ABS Global who also serves as NIAA board member and on the annual conference planning committee. “Various factors are leading to the increased cost of investment, and it is starting to price the animal out of reach for smaller farms and ranches.”

Tyson Johnson, Sooner Cattle Company will moderate the Council panel on April 20. Panelists include Jed Roark, O RO Ranch; Turner Armitage, A Bar Ranch and AQHA Ranching Committee Chair; and Shawn Tiffany, Tiffany Cattle Co. Additionally, Joe Leathers, general manager of the 6666 Ranch of Yellowstone fame will serve as the opening keynote on the second day of Annual Conference. Leathers has been with the Guthrie, Texas ranch for more than two decades. His keynote will discuss the significance of the ranch horse and how important they are to the success of each ranch.

Join our equine and fellow animal agriculture leaders at NIAA’s Annual Conference to learn more about Climate-Smart Animal Agriculture. Receive the extended early bird registration rate by using the code HORSE23 at checkout. For more information about the 2023 Annual Conference, visit For registration questions or to receive a media pass, please contact Morgan Young, Director of Communications and Outreach for NIAA at