Kansas Cattlemen Selected for National Beef Program


July 2, 2024




For more information, contact:

Holly Martin, director of communications




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Cutline 1: Kansas cattleman, Cole Gardiner spent the week exploring the beef value chain as part of a select group of producers. (Pictured far left)


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Cutline 2: Kansas cattleman, Alex Acheson cooks up a steak at the Certified Angus Beef ® Culinary Center.


Kansas Cattlemen Selected for National Beef Program

Two Kansas cattlemen are among a small group of breeders selected to attend the 2024 Beef Leaders Institute and spend a week learning about the beef value chain.


From pasture to plate, it takes multiple links in the value chain to bring Americans the hamburgers they are throwing on the grill this 4th of July. And each link is integral to the success of the others. That was one of many takeaways for the 25 Angus producers selected to attend the 2024 Beef Leaders Institute (BLI).

“It has made me think a lot more about what is going on in the industry on a day-to-day basis and as time progresses rather than just what’s going on locally,” said attendee Cole Gardiner from Ashland, Kans.

Gardner who oversees bull development on the family’s operation, Gardiner Angus Ranch, was joined on the trip by Alex Acheson from Witchita, Kans., Acheson is involved in his family’s operation and works as the director of producer relations for U.S. CattleTrace.

BLI is hosted by the American Angus Association®, in partnership with Certified Angus Beef ® brand and the Angus Foundation to develop young cattlemen and women as industry leaders.

“Our Angus breeders are the very beginning of the food chain. They are raising the high-quality Angus genetics that are the very start of things,” said Kara Lee, director of producer engagement at Certified Angus Beef. “However, sometimes producers can be so focused on executing that it can prevent them from having a better understanding of how they impact every step along the way to the consumer.”

The five-day tour started at the American Angus Association® in St. Joseph, Missouri, and traveled to six states before wrapping up at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio. Attendees toured Tyson-Dakota City, Weborg Feedyard, Buckhead of Ohio, STgenetics, and a Meijer Grocery Store along the way.

The whirlwind of a travel week still allowed time for the attendees to get to know one another. This year’s group came from a wide range of operations that vary in size and kind, representing 16 states and two Canadian providences.

“They always say ‘iron sharpens iron.’ There are lots of mind that I can now reach out to that are very, very knowledgeable about how to develop cattle and how they think about what is going on in our industry today,” said Gardiner.

The Class of 2024 will have the opportunity to expand their network further at the Angus Convention in November where they will be invited to take part in a reunion event for all Beef Leaders Institute classes.

Applications for the 2025 Beef Leaders Institute will open in late fall to American Angus Association members between the ages of 25 and 45.


-          Written by Jessica Hartman, Angus Communications


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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