Aug. 17, 2017


For more information contact:

JD Rosman, communications specialist at 816-383-5231 or


PHOTOS: Available upon request at or 816-383-5155


Angus Juniors Navigate North Carolina

NJAA members travel to North Carolina to experience east cost agriculture.


      National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members traveled to Raleigh for the Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference to — develop as leaders and experience agriculture in different parts of the U.S. Juniors from 27 states as well as two juniors from Canada attended this year’s conference, August 3-6 to partake in the annual event sponsored by the Angus Foundation.

      “There are very few conferences in America that could even compete with the LEAD conference’s ability to network,” says National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) leadership director, Tim Mardesen.

      The LEAD conference is hosted for youth ages 14-21, and this year’s theme was “Navigating North Carolina.” While in North Carolina, participants spent two days focused on agriculture, visiting Eastern North Carolina Crawfish Farm; the Tobacco Life Museum; a sweet potato and tobacco farm, Scott Farms; Angus operation, Wood Angus; and Caterpillar Inc.

      Eastern North Carolina Crawfish farm is an industry-leading crawfish operation using deep water ponds, which allows for increased production. NJAA members were able to see firsthand how crawfish are raised on a commercial scale and even handle live crawfish.

      “LEAD is about broadening knowledge and seeing how diverse agriculture can be,” Mardesen says. “For many, crawfish farming isn’t common in their area; it’s important to understand how all aspects of agriculture work together cohesively.”

      A few miles down the road at the Tobacco Life Museum, juniors received a history lesson on tobacco production, historically one of the states most profitable crops, true still today. NJAA members later were able to walk through a tobacco field and see how tobacco is dried and handled at Scott Farms. In addition to tobacco, Scott Farms is also the world leader in sweet potato production and juniors were able to tour their processing plant along with how sweet potatoes are grown and produced.

      Canadian Junior Angus board member Wade Olynyk says the level of diversification is interesting to see.

      “Not all their eggs are in one basket,” he says. “The markets are always going up and down and the diversification helps stabilize the operation.

      “I will definitely take a lot of key ideas home with me,” Olynyk says.

      Juniors later spent the day at Caterpillar, receiving a full tour of the production plant along with a live product demo.

      The LEAD conference is coordinated by the NJAB, who lead team-building activities, leadership workshops and encouraged participants to step outside their comfort zones and meet new friends. Attendees also attended seminars on careers in agriculture, presented by industry professionals in branding, marketing and ag management.

      Juniors enjoyed a North Carolina Agriculture producer panel, where juniors were able to discuss the vast diversity of agriculture found in North Carolina. The panel included Brian Warren, President of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association; Seth Church, owner of Wilkes Livestock Exchange; Johnny Rogers of Rogers Cattle Co.; and Joe Hampton of Back Creek Angus and former president of the American Angus Association.

      For more information on the LEAD conference, visit A complete list of participants follows.


ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. The American Angus Association® is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving more than 25,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit



2017 LEAD Participants



Nicholas Pohlman

Will Pohlman



Colby Perry

Emily Piland

Rex Roseman

Morgan Spiro

Macy Perry

Dawson Dal Porto



Alex Vieselmeyer

Austin Vieselmeyer



Morgan Blommel



Haley Greiman

Jordan Johnson

Olivia Johnson

Morgan Knapp

Baxter Knapp

Rowdi VanZee

Tim Mardesen



Keegan Cassady

Olivia Heltsley

Morgan Hutchins

Emily Brooks

Sierra Day

Lindsey Decker

Garrett Handsaker

Maggie Kelly

Benjamin Marsh

Amelia Miller

Austin Mussman

Eric Schafer

Dalton Lemenager

Gabrielle Lemenager

Jack Dameron

Amber Schiffbauer



Madison Butler



      Alexandria Cozzitorto

      Jayce Dickerson

Ethan Dickerson

Grady Dickerson

Cale Hinrichsen

Sarah Pelton

Clay Pelton

Kady Figge



      Logan Boyd

      Catherine Cowles

      Caroline Cowles

Pam Dockery

Josh Jasper

Makayla Jeffries

Tyler McGinnis

Abigal Smoot

Corbin Cowles



      Lily Gisclair

      Andrew Graves

      Olivia Shepherd

      Katelyn Corsentino



      Savannah Brauning

      Sara Lechlider

      Trevor Magaha



      Jaycie Brown

      Amanda Kosal

      Austin Pillars

      Brady Zellmer



      Conrad Behlmann

      Lauren Gilbert

      Cort Hardy

      Carson Hoth

      Callie Keaton

      Carrie Otte

      Tommy Otte

      Lauren Parks

      Jera Pipkin



      Bethany White



      Jordyn Wagner


North Carolina

      Chelsie Bobbitt

      Lynae Bowman

      Madison Boyd

      Taylor Glover

      Mattie Harward

      Marci Harward

      John Heath

      Wyatt Kendall

      Laura LeGlue

      Cara Smith

      Thomas Smith

      Mary Wood

      Justin Wood


North Dakota

      Madison Sundsbak



      Kyra Meyer

      Dakota Lovett

      Miranda Raithel

      Reagan Skow

      Rachel Smith

      Michaela Clowser


New York

      Jayne Bannister

      Katharine Wesche



      Lydia Dance

      Ellie Kidwell

      Sarah Millikan

      McKayla Raines

      Ty Raines



      Ryan Callahan

      Victoria Gerken

      Sydney Johnson

      Hudson Myers

      Jackson Ray

      Sydnee Gerken

      Braden Henricks



      Morgan Scilacci

      Nicholas Sheridan

      Hayley DeHaan



      Claudia Hissong

      Dakota Mayle

      Daniel Rohrbaugh

      Carrie Rutledge

      Haley Sweitzer

      Madison Weaver

      Bryce Fitzgerald

      Brody Fitzgerald



      Georgia Blackwell

      Bailey Bozeman

      Taylor Criswell

      Dylan Denny

      Kaydee Free

      Cooper Free

      Faith Massingill

      Emma Nowotny

      Cutter Pohlman

      Gracie Smith

      Jeremiah Steph

      Hannah Steph

      Lexi Stevenson

      Stuart Lastovica



      Mark Alexander

      Lauren Beasley

      Gordon Clark

      Zach McCall

      Catie Hope

      Jake Snyder



      Cassandra Garcia



      Bree Gaffney

      Samantha Hilleshiem

      Kolin Huth


West Virginia

      Natalie Phillips

      Reese Tuckwiller



      Mark Sample, Quebec

      Wade Olynyk, Saskatchewan