ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Beef Leaders Institute provides 20 American Angus Association members from all over the U.S. a unique opportunity to experience a complete pasture-to-plate experience. It’s a premier leadership experience for members 25-45 years old to get an in-depth look at the industry outside their operation. Hosted by the American Angus Association and sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef brand and the Angus Foundation, the tour takes participants on a five-day expedition to study quality genetics, genomic technology, feed yard management, a packing plant, foodservice and retail distribution of CAB and much more.
“From the American Angus Association all the way to Sysco, the whole way down the chain, there are people caring for the animals and caring for the people in the cattle business,” said William Nichols, BLI participant and Angus producer from Pennsylvania. “We’re all in this together. It’s easy for us to pass the blame somewhere else in the chain, but when we have a chance to see and meet everyone in the chain like we do in this program, we all win.”
The yearly event took place June 17-21 and started at the association headquarters in St. Joseph, Mo. Staff gave a look into the interworking of the association and all its departments and entities before continuing onto the other stops. Throughout the week, participants visited Neogen GeneSeek in Lincoln, Nebraska; Feller & Co. Feeders, in Wisner, Neb.; Trans Ova in Sioux Center, Iowa; the Tyson Fresh Meats processing facility in Dakota City, Neb.; Sysco in Cleveland; and a retail store at Giant Eagle’s Market District Supermarket in Strongsville, Ohio, concluding at the CAB headquarters in Wooster, Ohio.
“BLI provides breeders an opportunity to see sectors of the beef industry they may never get another opportunity to see,” said Caitlyn Brandt, association events and education coordinator. “The program expands participants’ knowledge base, builds their leadership skills and helps them network with other breeders from all over the country while gaining a better appreciation for the entire production system.”
Participants were selected through an application process and are exceptional leaders who represent the Angus breed and cattle industry. Thanks to generous support from the Angus Foundation and CAB, this year marked the 12th annual BLI. A complete list of 2019 BLI participants follows.
For more information on how to participate in the leadership event, visit www.angus.org. Applications for the 2020 class will be available online this fall.
Beef Leaders Institute — Class of 2019
Nacona Cook — Cordell, Okla.
Drew Schroeder — Clarence, Iowa
Levi Holt — Livingston, Tenn.
Jesse Thompson — Whitlash, Mont.
Cory Thompson — Willcox, Ariz.
Lacey Sutherlin — Stevensville, Mont.
Luke Mason — Cookeville, Tenn.
Brock Meyer — Curryville, Mo.
Kelsi Retallick — Glen Haven, Wis.
Elizabeth Perkins — Lorraine, Kan.
William Nichols — Tyrone, Pa.
Kassandra Newell — Stillwater, Okla.
Justin Hergenreder — Longmont, Colo.
Clayton Hester — New Sharon, Iowa
Reid Harrison — Ridge Spring, S.C.
John Barnes — Autryville, N.C.
Matthew McBride — Beechgrove, Tenn.
Zac Hall — Bismark, N.D.
Matthew Manbeck — Staunton, Va.
American Angus Representatives:
Ashley Lyle — St. Joseph, Mo.
Jaycee Farmer — St. Joseph, Mo.
Rachel Robinson — St. Joseph, Mo.
Mark Sims — Owens Cross Roads, Ala.
Radale Tiner — College Station, Texas
Jerry Cassady — St. Joseph, Mo.
Emily Vinton — St. Joseph, Mo.
Caitlyn Brandt — St. Joseph, Mo.
Daniel Clark — Wooster, Ohio
Abbie Burnett — Wooster, Ohio
Kara Lee — Leavenworth, Kan.
— Rachel Robinson, Angus Communications
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