ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Staying progressive takes work and assuming a consistent posture to learn. On June 14-17, 16 young American Angus Association members from across the country gathered for the 2021 Beef Leaders Institute hosted by American Angus Association and funded by the Angus Foundation and Certified Angus Beef®. The program’s goal is to provide the complete pasture to plate experience from the selection of genetics, to breeding, registration, packing and retail.
“We believe there is no better learning opportunity then through hands-on learning,” said Caitlyn Brandt, events and industry partnership manager at the American Angus Association. “BLI is a great opportunity for young cattlemen and women to network and really get to learn about how the moving parts of the industry intertwine.”
Starting Monday, June 14, participants began the program at the American Angus Association in Saint Joseph. While at the Association, the BLI class had the chance to meet with staff and learn about various departments and programs offered at 3201 Frederick Avenue. From visiting with Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) president, Kelli Retallick-Riley, and learning about the genetic evaluation, to meeting with director of verification services, Ginette Gottswiller, and learning how to add value to your commercial herd, the education spanned to cover each sector of the beef industry.
“This week was an incredible deep dive and allowed me to catch up on the current state of technology and breeding of Angus cattle,” said Bradley Wolter of Aviston, Illinois. “I am aware of significantly more resources available to me as a breeder and looking forward to leveraging those and pushing them to customers.”
Participants had the chance to hear from professionals on the retail side of the industry and dive into how the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) brand brings extra value to producers. While at the brand headquarters in Wooster, Ohio, the on-staff meat scientist communicated how to fabricate wholesale cuts and the in-house chef prepared an eating experience fit for a king.
A huge benefit of BLI is the networking opportunities the experience offers. Attendees from all regions of the United States brought their individual skill sets and knowledge together to learn from each other.
“Networking was huge. The opportunity to spend a full week with some of the most talented up-and-coming breeders was second to none,” Wolter said. “What makes the beef industry so unique is we are creating this protein from a diverse set of producers. “The participants in the group were every bit as important of resources as the Association was.”
Providing continued education for the Angus membership is a priority of the Association. BLI is designed to provide members ages 24 to 45 with the resources to seek insight into all segments of the beef industry. Attendees will be stronger, more effective leaders for the Angus breed and beef industry now and in the future. For more information on BLI and applying to be a part of the Class of 2022, visit https://www.angus.org/Event/BLIEntryForm. Look for the 2022 application to be available in early November.
–Karen Hiltbrand, Angus Communications
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