2024 Angus/Talon Youth Education Learning Program interns and host ranches announced

May 13, 2024




For more information, contact:

Holly Martin, director of communications




To download a photo of Isaiah Gagnon, click here.

To download a photo of Blake Long, click here.

To download a photo of Autumn Chaka, click here.

To download a photo of Kennedy Walker, click here.

To download a photo of Bryan Farkas, click here.


2024 Angus/Talon Youth Education Learning Program interns and host ranches announced

Five students join Angus operations across the country for the summer.


Five students have been paired with Angus ranches across the United States to expand their knowledge of the cattle industry, as part of the Angus Foundation’s 2024 Talon Youth Education Learning Program

The Talon Youth Education Learning Program internship is the legacy of the late Camron “Cam” Cooper of The Talon Ranch, Twin Bridges, Montana. Cooper set up the Angus/Talon Youth Education Learning Program Endowment Fund in 2009 to be a holistic educational opportunity for undergraduate, graduate and recent college graduates who major in an agricultural field of study.

“Talon interns learn by doing,” said Jaclyn Boester, executive director of the Angus Foundation. “We have an excellent group of interns for the summer, and we look forward to watching each student’s personal growth during their time in the program.”


Isaiah Gagnon | Mead Farms

            Isaiah Gagnon, an ag management major at the University of Missouri will spend the summer at Mead Farms in Barnett, Missouri. Mead Farms has an 82-year history in the cattle business and focuses on performance traits impacting profitability. Gagnon’s goal during his time with the Meads is to expand his AI knowledge, working toward a possible future as an embryologist.


Blake Long | Eleven Milliron Ranch

Eleven Milliron Ranch in Sumner, Nebraska will be home to Blake Long this summer. Long is an ag science major at Northern Oklahoma College. The ranch is owned by Greg and Teresa Ibach. Greg is a former undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs for the USDA and a past director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, which aligns well with Long’s goals for the program.

“I want to experience different avenues of marketing Angus cattle and see the different marketing strategies a ranch utilizes,” Long said.


Autumn Chaka | Double M Ranch

            Tarleton State University animal science and business major, Autumn Chaka will also spend the summer in Nebraska. Mike and Margaret Smith will host Chaka. The couple runs 600 head on their ranch, Double M, near Harrison. With Double M’s diverse operation, Chaka will have the chance to assist in everything from AI to crop production.


Kennedy Walker | Bar69 Angus Ranch

            With 55 years of experience in the Angus breed, Bar69 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota is no stranger to the Talon program. University of Missouri student, Kennedy Walker will be the third intern Bar69’s owners, Craig and Deb Kukuchka, have taken under their wing.

            “The intern is exposed to and can learn about almost everything related to running a cattle operation,” Craig Kukuchka said. “We always tell them – if they don’t like one thing, they’ll soon get a chance to try something new.”


Bryan Farkas | Audley Farm

            Bryan Farkas is an ag science and ag business major at Western Illinois University – Macomb. He will spend his summer learning and working alongside Matthew Deacon of Audley Farm. Located in Berryville, Virginia, Deacon runs 1,000 head of cattle.

            “We feel it is important to provide youth with chances to see and learn new things and practices,” Deacon said.

            Farkas grew up in the swine industry and is eager to expand his knowledge of cattle. He recently purchased four bred cows to start his herd.


– Written by Jessica Hartman, Angus Communications  


 About the Angus Foundation


Established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1980, the Angus Foundation remains focused on its mission to support Angus education, youth, and research. The organization has distributed more than $4.2 million in youth scholarships since 1998 and has also invested more than $1.3 million in beef cattle research in the past decade.


For more information, contact the Angus Foundation at 816-383-5100.


ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. The American Angus Association® is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving more than 22,000 members across the United States, Canada and several other countries. It’s home to an extensive breed registry that grows by more than 300,000 animals each year. The Association also provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on 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, visit

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