NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. — In a typical year, Angus juniors from across the nation would have attended the annual Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference this summer. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) and the Events and Education department at the American Angus Association® had to adapt this well-attended event from its initial venue in Orlando, Florida. Camp Angus, hosted August 4-6, 2020 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, served as an enjoyable alternative to the usually highly anticipated LEAD conference.
Madeline Bauer, events coordinator for the American Angus Association®, shared that the objective of Camp Angus is to provide juniors with opportunities to meet fellow Angus youth, engage with industry leaders and take part in activities, promoting growth and personal development. She spoke about unlocking the potential each junior has within them to succeed.
“Camp Angus was a success as we could see the passion and fire that are in these juniors’ eyes,” said Bauer. “The goal was to ignite that fire, and we hope the juniors keep the flame going as they navigate through their junior years.”
Juniors spent the first evening in Nebraska City hearing from keynote and industry speakers whose content laid the foundation for the rest of Camp Angus. Each speaker emphasized the importance of having a plan and being able to pivot when the plan no longer works, especially in the uncertain times we face today. Wednesday started with a trip to Bruning Farms to visit their operation and learn from camp sponsor Allflex®, whose technology has been implemented by the Bruning family. Juniors then participated in personal development workshops, a tree course and ended the day with lawn games, line-dancing and a campfire. On the final morning, experts from Vytelle, Certified Angus Beef ® and Sullivan Supply Inc. brought Camp Angus full circle, bringing insight on being successful and adaptable in the livestock industry. Throughout their time in Nebraska, juniors also heard final thoughts and acknowledgments from each of the six retiring NJAB members.
Paige Lemenager, an Angus junior from Illinois, expressed her excitement to still be able to attend an event like Camp Angus in a year when opportunities have been limited.
“I was thrilled to have another chance to see my Angus family,” said Lemenager. “After seeing a location change, I was proud to be a part of this association that stepped up to host such a fun event in these uncertain times.” Lemenager is confident that the knowledge and relationships gained at Camp Angus will serve her well in the future, especially as a young Angus breeder. While she hopes to be able to attend a traditional LEAD conference next year, Camp Angus served as an alternative opportunity for juniors to connect, learn and grow with fellow Angus friends in a summer when events of its kind have been few and far between.
–Peyton Schmitt, Angus Communications Intern
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