BOZEMAN, Mont. — The American Simmental Association (ASA) membership recently concluded its election, voting six cattle producers from across the country to their board of trustees. The ASA Board of Trustees is the Association’s governing body, consisting of 16 members from across the United States. Each was formally sworn in during ASA’s Annual Meeting, held the last week of January, 2023.
Troy Marple, Westmoreland, Kan., and Matt Aggen, Harmony, Minn., will begin their term representing the North Central region; Brandi Karisch, Starkville, Miss., and Scott Trennepohl, Middletown, Ind., will represent the Eastern region; Quin LaFollette, Powell, Wyo., will represent the Western region; and Greg Burden, Canton, Texas, will represent the South Central region.
North Central region
Marple owns and operates M4 Simmentals alongside his wife, Nicole, and children, Logan and Laney. M4 Simmentals runs Simmental and SimAngus females, bred exclusively by ET or AI. Calving ease, growth, maternal strength, and carcass traits are a priority. Females are either retained or sold through fall sales. Bulls are marketed each spring as a part of the Gold Bullion Group’s annual sale, held the first Sunday of March. M4 focuses on raising bulls that appeal to registered breeders while also meeting the needs of the commercial customer. The Marples have been advisors for the Kansas Junior Simmental Association for the last four years. Having grown up in the AJSA himself, Marple is committed to supporting youth and has been involved in leading a variety of events. He received a masters degree from Kansas State University focused on beef cattle reproduction. Marple is also involved in a number of local agricultural and youth organizations.
Aggen owns and operates Oak Meadow Farms alongside his wife, Jessica, sons, Hunter and Garrett, and parents, Dr. Lynn and Barb Aggen. Oak Meadow Farms is focused on consistently improving genetics through AI and ET, and is committed to herd health and quality management. Select bulls are marketed through their annual production sale in February. Aggen has been on the Minnesota Simmental Association Board of Directors for two terms, serving a year as president. Oak Meadow Farms has hosted state field days and donated heifers to the Minnesota Youth Beef Experience program as a part of the Minnesota Beef Expo. Aggen’s sons participated in the AJSA; Hunter was on the AJSA Board of Trustees and has won Herdsman of the Year. Oak Meadow Farms exhibited the Grand Champion Pen of 3 purebred Simmental Bulls at the 2022 National Western Stock Show.
Karisch owns and operates MBK Cattle alongside her husband, Matt, and children, Mason and Miles. Karisch is the Beef Extension Specialist at Mississippi State University, with special interest in applied beef cattle management and improving efficiency in beef production. She has been involved in the Simmental breed her entire life, growing up on her family’s Bourg Farms and participating in the AJSA. MBK Cattle focuses on providing functional females that work in the show ring and the pasture. Cattle are marketed through several consignment sales and by private treaty. The Karisch family recently started a direct-to-consumer beef business, MK-Beef. Karisch is involved in a long list of state and national organizations, holding a number of leadership positions. Her work in Extension and involvement in agriculture have been recognized through a number of awards, including the 2022 Southern Section Animal Science Extension Award and the 2020 Mississippi Farm Bureau Farm Woman of the Year.
Trennepohl owns and operates Trennepohl Farms with his brother Jeff. He and his wife, Judy, have two daughters, Adrianne and Claire. The family runs SimGenetics cattle, producing bulls and females that are marketed through four annual sales. Each sale is catered to a variety of customers, from commercial producers seeking bulls to youth looking for a show heifer prospect. Trennepohl has been involved in state and national events for many years, including the Indiana Simmental Association Board, and the Simmental Breeders Sweepstakes Board. Trennepohl Farms has hosted educational field days and supports the AJSA and ASF. As a district director of the Indiana Farm Bureau State Board and longtime member of the organization, Trennepohl has been involved with a number of educational and advocacy efforts for state agricultural policies. He has served on his church board, and has been on the Shenandoah School Corporation Board of Trustees for the past 23 years, with 19 as president.
LaFollette owns and operates Black Summit Cattle alongside his wife, Tracy, and son Gavin. They raise SimAngus cattle with a focus on producing functional, high-performance cattle that fit their environment. All females are DNA tested through the Cow Herd DNA Roundup and bulls are DNA, performance and PAP tested. Black Summit Cattle holds an annual bull sale the third Friday in March. They frequently purchase and feed customer calves in order to acquire carcass data, sharing that data in order to help customers and guide their own genetic decisions. LaFollette is an active member of the Montana Simmental Association, is a member owner of All Beef, LLC., a member of Allied Genetic Resources, and served as a collegiate judging and show team coach for 15 years. LaFollette purchased his first show heifer at eight, and has been deeply involved in the beef industry through youth organizations, college, and beyond. The LaFollette family supports a variety of youth and community organizations through the cattle company and their title companies in Park and Bighorn counties.
South Central region
Burden operates GB Cattle alongside his wife, Shelly, and daughter, Presley. His grown children, Colton and Kayla, raise Simmental cattle with their grandfather at Cabin Creek Farms. He has been involved with the Simmental breed for 33 years. GB Cattle utilizes ET and AI to raise elite show heifers and emphasizes EPD in their genetic selections. Burden oversees the day-to-day operation of GB Cattle as well as marketing. Cattle are marketed through national sales, including the North American International Livestock Exposition, and through private treaty. Burden has been on the Oklahoma and Texas Simmental Associations board of directors, including time as president. He is currently on the American Simmental-Simbrah Foundation board. Burden was raised in Oklahoma, attending Oklahoma State University. Burden founded GB Marketing in 2019, and has since managed many Simmental sales including the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, and the Bricktown National Sale in Oklahoma City. Burden’s children have all participated in the AJSA.
Founded in 1968, the American Simmental Association is headquartered in Bozeman, MT. ASA is committed to leveraging technology, education, and collaboration to accelerate genetic profitability for the beef industry. In keeping with its commitment, ASA, along with its partners, formed International Genetic Solutions — the world’s largest genetic evaluation of beef cattle. Learn more at www.simmental.org.
— American Simmental Association