Junior Members Take on ‘Angus in the Little Apple’
By Karen Hiltbrand
Angus juniors have many opportunities to travel the country with the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) and learn from knowledgeable experts in the beef cattle business throughout the year. Most recently, NJAA members met March 21–24 in Manhattan, Kansas, to participate in a Raising the Bar conference.
“Kanas State University is a popular location for Angus juniors to continue their education,” said Jera Pipkin, NJAA Junior Board Membership Director and Raising the Bar facilitator. “I know quite a few junior members attended with the hope that Raising the Bar would help them make their college decision.”
Sponsored by the Angus Foundation, the conference hosted 62 Angus junior leaders from 21 state junior Angus associations. Participants toured the Kansas State University (KSU) campus, heard from industry experts, took part in leadership training workshops, participated in a challenge course and spent time networking with other participants.
“The Flint Hills is an area highly populated with Angus breeders, so taking the event to Manhattan was a must,” said Caitlyn Brandt, American Angus Association events and education coordinator. “Juniors were able to learn more about Angus cattle and agriculture as a whole while in Kansas.”
While at K-State, juniors members heard from faculty, toured Weber Arena, Kansas Artificial Breeding Service Unit (KABSU), K-State Purebred Beef Teaching Unit and the Hal Ross Flour Mill, as well as the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center.
“For the first time this year junior members had the opportunity to break out and personally learn from professors in different majors at the K-State College of Agriculture,” Brandt said. “Our hope is this opened soon-to-be college bound student’s eyes to all the different programs available to them.”
The group visited Fink Beef Genetics in Randolph and Sankey’s 6N Ranch in Council Grove. Raising the Bar participants also toured the Flint Hills Discovery Center and stepped up and tested their abilities to work as a team at the low ropes course at the K-State Challenge Course.
“As always, a special thank you to all of those who helped make this educational experience possible for Angus juniors,” Brandt said. “Raising the Bar conferences allow juniors the unique chance to prepare for the future by showcasing a land grant university while also networking with juniors from across the country and gaining leadership skills along the way.”
Now in its 12th year, Raising the Bar continues to foster the development of Angus youth by hosting events in regions across the country. The NJAA, with sponsorship from the Angus Foundation, has conducted Raising the Bar conferences in cities such as Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Ames, Iowa; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To learn more about how to participate in an upcoming Raising the Bar conference, visit njaa.info