WOOSTER, Ohio — Some things make better sense together: peanut butter and jelly, grandparents and spoiled grandkids, and finally, Angus cattle and strong women. On March 4-6, 2020, 27 Angus Cattlewomen from across the country gathered for the 5th biennial Women Connected Conference at the Certified Angus Beef Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio.
Hosted by the American Angus Auxiliary and underwritten by the Angus Foundation, the conference was started in 2012 with the purpose of bringing women involved in the Angus breed together to engage in learning about the industry and to network with other breeders. ladies are selected, based on a written application, to attend the conference, which is held on even-numbered years in either St. Joseph, Missouri, at the American Angus Association® headquarters or in Wooster at Certified Angus Beef (CAB®).
The conference kicked off at the Certified Angus Beef Culinary Center with a warm welcome from the conference organizer and Women Connected chairman, Anne Lampe, as well as Gina Hope, American Angus Auxiliary president. The evening set the scene for a great few days as CAB Executive Chef Ashley Breneman and her culinary team led attendees through a wine and dine dinner experience, complete with five wine and Certified Angus Beef brand dish pairings.
“Participants learned more about the Certified Angus Beef brand by attending interactive sessions led by CAB staff including meat scientists, chefs, marketing specialists and legal experts,” Lampe said. “As Angus producers, the sessions gave the attendees information to go back to their farms or ranches and have conversations that can promote the brand to both consumers and beef producers.”
After an evening of great food and fundraising for the American Angus Auxiliary, Thursday was filled with education, fun and lots of cooking. The foundation of any good dish begins with quality ingredients. This is where Daniel Clark, meat scientist at Certified Angus Beef, explained the ten specifications the Certified Angus Beef â brand uses to qualify on select percent with the trademarked gold shield.
After defining the specs at Certified Angus Beef, attendees suited up in their aprons and divided into four teams to compete in the “Beef Cut Battle.” The teams were led by Chef Breneman and Chef Tony Briggs and were tasked with preparing a specific cut of beef alongside their teammates.
“Our Beef Cut Battle is a session that we love to do at the Culinary Center with groups that just want to dive in and learn more about the different types of cuts that come from the animal,” Breneman said. “We specifically assign very different cuts from each other, so at the end of the competition, everyone gets a taste of something totally different than what they were cooking. I’ve learned their family rubs or family marinades, and I teach them how to grill properly.”
After the winners were crowned, the group toured facilities at Weaver Leather in Mt. Hope, Ohio, as well as the heart of world’s largest Amish settlement in the town of Berlin. The evening was rounded at City Square Steakhouse, a Certified Angus Beef licensee in downtown Wooster.
“Angus Women Connected is an event the Angus Foundation is proud to support to help encourage producer education, opportunity and networking abilities,” said Thomas Martin, Angus Foundation executive director. “The event Anne Lampe and Gina Hope put together with the help of CAB in Wooster was nothing short of exceptional.”
On Friday, the conference wrapped up with learning about how CAB protects the brand and touring the office.
“I am very thankful to the Angus Foundation for supporting this event because let’s face it, we probably would not be here if that was not granted to us,” said Becky Vincent, conference attendee and owner of Tri-Pine Farm in Caton, Ohio. “I’m excited to go home and get on the websites to learn a little bit more about the Foundation and the Angus Auxiliary and how I can become more involved.”
— Karen Hiltbrand, Angus Communications
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