ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — While the life of a herdsman is one many dream about, the reality of the job is more physically and mentally challenging than most realize. To recognize those in the Angus family committed to ranching day in and day out, The American Angus Association® created the annual Herdsman of the Year Award. It honors Angus enthusiasts who dedicate themselves to the management, decision making and improvement of a specific herd.
This year, the events and education committee approved a new process of electing the Herdsman of the Year recipient. Candidates were selected by a committee consisting of past winners of the award and the Events and Education Committee Chair. In addition to the new selection process, a new, online voting system will be used to tabulate the winner.
Voting will be conducted starting December 15 and all votes must be submitted by noon Thursday, January 5 (CST). To be eligible to vote, exhibitors must have entered at least one of the following shows in 2022: Cattlemen’s Congress, National Western Stock Show, Western National Angus Futurity, Atlantic National, American Royal or NAILE. These exhibitors will receive an email with a unique login and password from the Election Runner platform to vote. Only one vote per member code will be allowed.
Nominated for this year’s award are Tyler Cates and Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates, Sunrise Sunset Farm; Jeff and Kathi Creamer, Lazy JB Angus; Miles Shout, Express Ranches; and Dillon Stertzbach, Stertzbach Cattle Company.
Read more about the nominees and prepare to cast your vote December 15, 2022 through January 5, 2023.
Tyler Cates and Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates | Sunrise Sunset Farm
Tyler and Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates own and operate Sunrise Sunset Farm in Modoc, Indiana. Their herd consists of approximately 75 head of registered Angus and they aim to breed and produce quality show cattle. They annually market their cattle through their spring online sale and fall Star Search Sale at the farm.
Cortney’s involvement in the Angus industry began in 1997 when she became a member of the NJAA. In 2002, she was crowned Miss American Angus and went on to be elected president of the American Angus Auxiliary in 2013. Cortney currently serves as co-chair of the Miss American Angus Contest and chairman of the Indiana Royalty contest. She is a member of the Atlantic National and Indiana Angus Association board of directors and sits on the Indiana Preview Show Committee.
Tyler, a third generation Shorthorn breeder, became involved in Angus breed when he and Cortney started dating fifteen years ago. He quickly embraced the Angus breed, started making the breeding decisions and now continuously works to grow and improve their herd.
Together through the years, they have served as junior advisors to the Indiana Junior Angus Association. The couple bred the 2022 Angus ROV Show Heifer of the Year as well as partnered and exhibited the 2022 Reserve ROV Show Bull of the Year.
As a product of Angus junior programs, Cortney said the plethora of opportunities the breed offers future generations is bar none.
“As the parents of an eight-year-old, we are excited for her to have the opportunity to be involved in the NJAA and develop friendships and enjoy the experiences this organization provides,” Cortney said. “No other organization offers the opportunities, programs and resources that the Angus breed provides for its youth and membership.”
The couple credits Angus dominance in the industry and the opportunities it provides future generations as their drive to remain involved.
“Angus is the most dominant breed in the cattle industry and on the forefront of providing technology and resources that are an invaluable asset to the breeder to improve the quality of our cattle,” Cortney said. “We have a passion for the Angus breed and strive to contribute to its advancement.”
Jeff and Kathi Creamer | Lazy JB Angus
Jeff and Kathi Creamer own and operate Lazy JB Angus in Montrose, CO. The couple took over management of the operation from Kathi’s father in 1999 but had been assisting since 1984. Kathi was born into the Angus breed, served as the 1974 Colorado Angus Queen, competed and placed in the Top 15 of the 1975 National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest and held many state offices in the Colorado Junior Angus Association and her local 4-H club. This, all while fitting and clipping cattle for prestigious Angus operations around the country. Jeff’s love for the Angus breed was fostered through his marriage to Kathi. Prior to their union, Jeff was actively involved in his local 4-H and FFA organizations in Laurel, NE.
The couple manages over 300 registered Angus cows with a focus on artificial insemination, embryo transfer and PAP testing. They are most passionate about high-altitude genetics and bridging the gap between the show ring and the other registered and commercial sectors of the industry. Jeff and Kathi, along with their adult children, market 60 bulls annually through their spring bull sale, 15 to 20 show heifers through an online sale in the fall as well as private treaty and frozen genetic sales throughout the year. Their roles include everything from breeding, feeding, marketing, shearing, daily show cattle care, secretarial work, irrigation, harvesting hay, fencing and anything else that needs to be done on the ranch. Their ranch is entirely family-owned and operated with no other full-time employees.
Jeff and Kathi have held numerous leadership positions, served as Annual Convention of Delegates voting delegates or alternates since 2005 and raised many ROV animals of the year. They have also had numerous grand and reserve champions at Super ROV shows including but not limited to the National Western Stock Show, Western National Angus Futurity and the Atlantic National.
The couple said their sincere passion for Angus cattle and forward progress in the industry keeps them driven to push the envelope.
“We love our job! The Angus breed provides us with the tools and support that enable us to pursue our goals. Goals of being among the best seedstock operations in the world, a source for productive, functional livestock and seeing Lazy JB Angus genetics intertwined into every Angus herd in the U.S. in some fashion,” Kathi said. “Over the past 37 years, we have experienced the ever-changing trends of the show ring and the breed, but what hasn’t changed is the quality of Angus cattle, the versatility of the Angus cow, the support of those involved in the breed and the continuous demand for Angus genetics.”
For the Creamers, family and Angus cattle drive their motivation.
“This breed provides us with a purpose for rising each morning and an opportunity to work side by side with our children in a genuine family-owned and-operated business,” Kathi said.
Miles Shout | Express Ranches
Miles Shout hails from Oklahoma where he began working at Express Ranches in January 2000 and currently serves as their Yukon Cattle Manager. His role includes involvement in all aspects of the ranch’s daily operations. Express Ranches holds six sales yearly and exhibits cattle at all major stock shows throughout the country.
Miles and his wife, Amy, have three children; Madison, Maddox and Mason, who are all extensively involved in 4-H and FFA activities and exhibit livestock at a national and state level. Miles and his wife enjoy giving back to the youth programs which helped establish where they are today.
“It is rewarding to see our kids follow that same path,” Shout said. He has built his and his family’s life in this industry and is grateful for his children’s shared love for the cattle.
Miles said his devotion to the Business Breed isn’t just because of the cattle, but more so the people who raise them.
“The Angus breed is the business breed,” Shout said. “Being at Express for the timeline I have under the mentoring and leadership of Jarold Callahan has taught me a lot about this great breed of cattle. However, ultimately, it is the people and the breed association involved with Angus cattle that make it what it is.”
Shout said it’s an honor to be considered for an award of this caliber.
“It is an extreme honor to be selected as a finalist for this award and I am humbled to be considered,” Shout said.
Dillon Stertzbach | Stertzbach Cattle Company
Dillon Stertzbach serves as the herdsman of Stertzbach Cattle Company (SCC), a family-owned and operated business Dillon’s parents, Bruce and Amie, started in 2004. Prior to starting their own herd, the Stertzbaches were the herdsmen at Champion Hill, making Dillon a lifelong Angus affiliate.
SCC breeds and exhibits Angus cattle on the state, regional and national levels. SCC has been honored to have a female hold the title of grand or reserve champion at every national show across the country. At the 2021 All-American Angus Breeder’s Futurity, SCC was selected as Master Breeder.
Stertzbach said his love for the industry, love of competition and love for people keep him driven to stay involved in the Angus breed.
“I truly love the Angus industry; the competitiveness of this breed drives me to work hard plus the connections made in this industry are second to none,” Stertzbach said. “Our valuable customers’ relationships make me strive to have our cattle looking the best they can. Seeing our genetics throughout the industry continuing to create top cattle for our customers is pretty special to my family and me.”
The Association’s 2023 Herdsman of the Year will be announced January 6 at the Angus Foundation’s 150 Years of Angus Celebration held in conjunction with Cattlemen’s Congress. The event will be held at the Cowboy Bar in Barn 3 with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. and is free for all to attend. It will feature a group of exciting auction and raffle items, food, refreshments and Angus family camaraderie. Visit www.angus.org for more information.
–Briley Richard, Angus Communications