Ambassador Progam

The National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) is fortunate to involve hundreds of outstanding youth leaders in the Angus industry. In 2012, the NJAA selected its first-ever Angus Ambassador. This individual is tasked with representing the organization at cattle events and meetings throughout the United States and Canada. The Angus Ambassador is sponsored by the Angus Foundation.

Click here for more information on how to apply for the Angus Ambassador program.

Previous Ambassador Posts

Cassandra Garcia

Angus Ambassador 2016-2017

November 22, 2016

Angus Convention Don't Count Yourself Out!

From the Indiana Angus Tour all the way to the crowning of 2017 Miss American Angus, this year's Angus Convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana had a little something for everyone. Although it's an event aimed for the over 25,000 adult members of our association, NJAA members shouldn't count themselves out! There were a lot of experiences at the convention that could help members at any level gain more knowledge about the industry. For example, I attended a portion of the Angus 101 seminar at the Angus Booth in the trade show. The seminar went over information such as how to register animals and acceptable forms of permanent identification. The seminar would be beneficial to young or new association members, it was also a good refresher for long-time members of the Business Breed.

New to this year’s convention was the cattle judging contest, although it was a smaller-scale contest compared to the NJAS cattle judging contest there were two age groups that NJAA members could have participated in, with potential to win great prizes. It was a lot of fun and would be right up the alley of anyone interested in livestock judging. Throughout the trade show there were also many companies that offer internships for college students. It was a great place to stop and talk with the representatives of the companies about the opportunities they have for you and the career you are pursuing. As an NJAA member you already have the opportunity to stand out to potential employers in the agricultural industry because of the reputation NJAA has established for itself as being a program that produces strong leaders.

Angus Convention 2016

Most importantly, I think the Angus Convention also provided NJAA members the opportunity to see the Angus industry beyond the show-ring. Something I notice every now and then is that sometimes we as NJAA members get tunnel vision as we seem to get caught up in the competition that Angus shows provide. I'm not saying that exhibiting cattle isn't important to the development of us as young leaders in the agriculture industry, what I'm stressing is the importance of our NJAA members being diverse in what we experience in the Angus industry.

On the first day of convention I participated in the Indiana Angus Tour where I and other attendees had the chance to see many different cattle operations, all of which were unique in how they were set up and operated. The tour allowed me to widen my perspective a bit, just like attending the convention would do for my fellow NJAA members. The tour was also a reminder that no two cattle operations are the same and everyone adapts to the conditions they are working with, capitalizing within their niche. In addition to the tour I felt that all Association members, juniors and adults, could benefit greatly from the cattle handling demonstrations. Since most of us as juniors are just starting out in the cattle industry it gives us the chance to start handling your cattle in a way that is safer and less stressful on the animal while accomplishing our purpose.

During the convention five fellow NJAA members competed for the coveted title of Miss American Angus. The public audience is invited to watch their prepared speeches on one evening of the convention. Attendees get a chance to listen in on speeches by each of the contestants as part of the competition. If you have interest in being a future Miss American Angus listening to their speeches at convention would be a great learning experience and give you an idea of how to prepare yourself for the competition.

This year was the second year I attended the Angus convention. Each time there is something new to learn, someone new to meet. In fact I had the opportunity to meet my mentor from the Angus Auxiliary’s new mentoring program that began this year, which wouldn’t have happened elsewhere as we live states away from each other. The first time I attended the convention was as a contestant for the Miss American Angus competition. Although the competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity, at the time I also assumed that attending the convention was something I might not get the chance to do again. I’m glad I was wrong about that, but it served as a reminder to not take things for granted. I’m thankful that the first time I experienced the convention I treated it like it was something I’d never get to do again because it pushed me to want to get even more out of the experience. Although the second time around I had amazing time learning more about the industry and engaging with producers, I noticed that I didn’t have the awestruck feeling I had the first time I attended. I had to remind myself not to take the experience for granted and to make the most out of it. I’m not alone in feeling this way, for instance it’s something we’ve probably experienced when attending NJAS and LEAD for several years in a row. Although we are grateful and thankful for those experiences, sometimes we just can’t help taking things for granted, it’s human nature. What helped me is reminding myself to treat those experiences as once in a lifetime opportunities, even if we already know there is a high likelihood of attending the event year after year. During the convention I needed to actively remind myself to treat it like a once in a lifetime experience so that I pushed myself to get the most out of it. A quote came across my social media the other day by Dr. Seuss that might help explain more of what I’m talking about, “Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” I think the quote just points out that it’s hard to realize the value of an experience as you're as it’s happening, and if you know it will happen again. Especially with the holiday season coming up, don’t take anything for granted. Treat Thanksgiving dinner or gathering around the Christmas tree with your family like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Be thankful, be humble, and make the most out of every moment. Next year's convention is in Fort Worth, Texas and I hope to see more NJAA members and youth make plans to attend the event!

I wish you all the best this holiday season,

Cassandra Garcia

August 28, 2016

Greetings from your Angus Ambassador

Greetings Angus friends and family! I'm excited to introduce myself as the 2016 Angus Ambassador! My name is Cassandra Garcia, I am a student at the University of Washington Tacoma currently earning a BA in Business Administration: Marketing. It is my hope that one day my education in the area of business will allow me to contribute to the “Business Breed” in a meaningful way. Knowing that I’ll be involved with the Angus breed far into the future is what has helped keep me grounded while I find my place in the world. The most important pillars of my life consist of my faith, my family, and Angus cattle. I believe that all three come together naturally when I’m involved with the Angus Association.

When I was eleven years old my great grandparents, Jim and Elsie Covey, gave me an opportunity to be involved with their registered Angus operation. Being from the suburbs it was an opportunity that allowed me to be a part of a world I would otherwise have known nothing about. Through an active involvement with the NJAA I learned leadership skills, have made lifelong friends, and developed as a cattleman. Looking forward to what I'll experience in the next year I am filled with excitement. What I know is that there will be constant reminders of the strong influence the Angus breed has in the agricultural industry, and to consumers.

My sense of amazement at the strength of this breed is something that will be constantly renewed. Recently, on my trip back from headquarters where the Ambassador contest was held I had one of these moments of renewal. It was almost midnight at PHX, I was on a layover and decided to have a late dinner. Walking around the airport at that time of night doesn't necessarily give you a lot of options as far as hot meals go, but there in all it non-authentic Asian food glory was Panda Express, still serving the hungry passenger. Looking at the menu one thing stood out to me, the Angus Shanghai Steak. Though this is certainly not Certified Angus Beef, having not met the 10 stringent qualifications, Angus is still our breed's namesake. With that there is a certain level of quality that consumers perceive whenever the name “Angus” is used. The steak was running out fast, even though the option had an additional charge with it. Luckily, I was far enough up in the line to get my order in before they ran out!

Watching the high demand for an option that cost an additional fare at a low cost eatery really brought home the fact that the demand for beef, and beef that is considered higher quality, is strong. It makes me want to do what I can to continue to grow consumer interest in the Angus product. It makes me confident in the future of the Angus industry and the beef industry's ability to reach the goals outlined in the long-range plan.

As Angus Ambassador I look forward to connecting with fellow Angus producers at events throughout the year. I am blessed to have this opportunity to serve the association. Over the years many people have given me guidance that I have been grateful for. I’d like to - in turn - be a resource for NJAA members. Know that I am just another resource offered to you by your association! Don’t hesitate to contact me about anything. Make sure to check back often for new blog posts! I’d like to end this first post by saying that thank you for the opportunity to serve as the 2016 Angus Ambassador.

Previous Ambassador

Will Pohlman

Angus Ambassador 2015-2016

January 20th, 2016

Angus Producers and Certified Angus Beef Keep Beef on the Plate

Happy New Year! As Angus producers we should all be very proud looking back on a fantastic 2015 and even more excited as we venture into 2016 for what will surely be another great year. With the announcement of the new Dietary Guidelines by the USDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2016 is already off to a great start for beef producers and consumers. Beef will remain on the plate for another 5 years as a part government dietary recommendations.

Consumers have demanded leaner beef over the past few decades and the beef industry as well as the Angus breed have been able to respond. The American Angus Association has pioneered tools like EPDs and genomic testing that allow producers to be able to select the genetics they need to produce high-quality beef that consumers want. While there is considerable variation for traits among and within breeds, genetic tools have allowed Angus producers to breed much more selectively to enhance the quality traits that the Angus breed is known for and tailor breeding to consumer demands. During my trip to the Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show in Overland Park, Kansas, I was able to see the highly organized infrastructure of Angus producers that has allowed the Angus breed and Association to remain so responsive to consumer demands. The passion Angus producers have for producing high-quality beef and the Association’s careful organization and responsiveness has no doubt helped cast Angus beef as the most demanded beef on the market.

Certified Angus Beef has capitalized on this demand for high-quality Angus beef to give consumers the very best the Angus breed has to offer with the added consistency that they can rely on. During my trip to CAB’s headquarters in Wooster, Ohio, I learned how a small office headquarters is able to coordinate the labeling and usage of the brand through its 17,500 licensed partners to successfully market 896 million pounds of beef last year. The fact that the folks at CAB have been able to increase demand for Angus beef through a period of record high beef prices, even above demand for USDA Choice, through only owning the CAB label is truly a success story. CAB has not only helped keep beef on the plate, but ensure that the beef is high-quality Angus beef.

Besides genetic tools that allow for better selections and the demand-driving efforts of CAB, producers should also be happy that the milieu of red meat has become somewhat more favorable over the past year. Sure there have been some issues like the World Health Organization declaring red meat a “probable carcinogen”, but there have been some highlights as well. The popularity of the high-protein Paleo diet, influential books such as The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by a former California vegetarian and even articles from more liberal news outlets like the New York Times, both short opinion pieces and longer, more researched articles, have all helped keep red meat on the plate.

Still, the Dietary Guidelines will be reviewed in another 5 years and red meat (perhaps even all meat) will almost certainly be on the chopping block again. It’s important for Angus producers and all beef producers to share the nutritional benefits of beef and open the barn doors to interested consumers so that everyone can be familiar with food from farm to fork. By doing this, we can help keep beef on the plate as a part of a healthy diet.

September 22nd, 2015

Angus Ambassador: An Introduction

Greetings from the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas! My name is Will Pohlman and I have the honor and privilege of serving as the 2015-2016 Angus Ambassador.

The Angus breed has been a part of my life since birth, when I was born mere blocks away from the Angus Association in St. Joseph, Missouri. A fourth generation Angus farmer, I started my herd at the age of five with cattle I purchased from my grandfather – and the rest is history!

My parents, Fred and Tami, younger brother, Nick, and I run a small show cattle operation just outside of Prairie Grove, Arkansas and even though I’ve moved away for school, I still find myself often making the twenty-minute drive home to help around the farm.

I am currently a junior at the University of Arkansas with a dual major in Biochemistry and Animal Science with a pre-med emphasis. My hopes for the future include attending medical school to pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a physician before returning to live on a farm. Even though my career plans are outside the field of agriculture, I will continue to be a lifelong advocate for the beef industry and Angus breed.

I’m very excited to see what this year as the Angus Ambassador has in store and I hope you all will enjoy this blog, where I will document my travels throughout the year and discuss other industry issues. I’m very blessed to have this incredible opportunity and I look forward to meeting Angus producers from across the country.

God Bless,

Will Pohlman

  • @JrAngusAssoc The first follower is just as important as the leader. Don't be afraid to join the movement. #Leadership #Angus

Scroll to Top