July 26, 2011



For more information contact:

Carrie Gilliam, public relations and communications intern, at 816-383-5100 or printern@angus.org.

PHOTOS: NJAS photos are available at 816-383-5155 or prphotos@angus.org

Gazda Named Outstanding Leader

The National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) helps not only develop Angus cattle but also leadership in youth. The 2011 Outstanding Leader, Katie Gazda, Athens, Ga., was recognized at the 2011 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) closing ceremonies, Friday, July 15 for her dedication and passion to the NJAA.

            Receiving the Outstanding Leadership Award was a complete surprise; I had no idea I had been nominated, so to hear my name called out for earning such a prestigious honor was beyond touching,” Gazda says. “I can't think of a more meaningful way to culminate my junior Angus career.”

            The award, established in 1994 in memory of Barbara Smalstig and her support of the NJAA, recognizes a junior for their contributions to Angus programs, particularly the NJAA, personal Angus accomplishments and development, community involvement and a letter of recommendation.

            Gazda excelled in each category with her active roles at the national and state junior association levels. She has held numerous officer positions in the Georgia Junior Angus Association and was the 2009 junior co-chair for the National Junior Angus Show in Perry, Ga.

She was also awarded an American Angus Auxiliary scholarship in 2008 and was named the 2009 Miss American Angus.

            Former Kansas and American Angus Auxiliary president Mary McCurry says, “During her reign as Miss American Angus, she was the consummate role model for thousands of young Angus breeders by her actions, deeds and words.”

            She has continued in leadership roles at the University of Georgia and is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, Block and Bridle and is a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Ambassador and will continue to pursue a degree in agricultural communication this fall.

“The Angus industry will one day look back and say they are glad Katie Gazda was involved and committed to the industry,” McCurry says.

NJAS closing ceremonies also included the announcement of contest placings, awards and scholarships. Visit www.angus.org for more information, including videos, show results and photos. Coverage is also available on the National Junior Angus Association Facebook fan page. Backdrop and candid photos are available for purchase at www.angus.digitaleventsonline.com.