July 11, 2017




For more information contact:

Morgan Marley, communications intern, at 816-383-5236 or mmarley.intern@angus.media; or

Caitlyn Brandt, events coordinator of events and education, at 816-383-5189 or cbrandt@angus.org.


PHOTOS: Available via prphotos@angus.org or 816-383-5100.


Missouri Represented in 2017 Beef Leaders Institute

Missouri Angus breeders attended the five-day educational event hosted by the American Angus Association.


Four Missouri natives joined an elite group of American Angus Association members by attending the 10th annual Beef Leaders Institute (BLI) June 19-23. BLI is a complete pasture-to-plate experience for young leaders in the Angus industry that explores quality genetics, performance programs, genomic technology, herd health, the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) brand and much more. This year’s class consisted of nearly 20 individuals from all areas of the country.

The individuals from Missouri were Coy Young with Young Angus Farm, Blythedale, Mo.; Dereck Washam with Hillside Angus, Pierce City, Mo.; Jocelyn Washam with Hillside Angus, Wentworth, Mo.; and Traves Merrick with Gleonda Angus Farms, Miller, Mo.

 “The week for the Beef Leaders Institute focuses on continuing education in the industry,” said Adam Conover, American Angus Association regional manager. “I think one of the great things BLI offers is the diversity of education over the course of five days, and the opportunity for breeders to network with one another. There are lifelong relationships that stem from the week.”

The five-day event, funded by the Angus Foundation, began in Saint Joseph, Mo., at the Association headquarters. Participants interacted with staff and learned how each department works to serve its nearly 25,000 members.

Angus producers work closely with the Association to register their cattle, and many Association employees are known as voices through the phone to producers. For Merrick, the chance to tour the Association gave him a greater understanding of its operations.

“This was my first trip to the American Angus Association headquarters,” Merrick said. “We got to see the daily operations, and I was able to place a face with some of the people I often talk to on the phone.”

BLI toured throughout the Midwest and ended in Wooster, Ohio, at CAB headquarters. Along the way, participants were also able to visit GeneSeek Neogen Operations in Lincoln, Neb.; Feller & Co. Cattle Feeder in Wisner, Neb.; Greater Omaha Packing Company, Inc. in Omaha, Neb.; Trans Ova in Sioux City, Iowa; a Sysco distribution center in Cleveland, Ohio; and a retail tour at Giant Eagle’s Market District Supermarket in Cleveland, Ohio.

Many cattle producers don’t often have the opportunity to experience the packing and processing segments of the business. Touring the Greater Omaha packing facility was a favorite stop for many BLI attendees.

“My favorite stop on the trip was at Greater Omaha,” Dereck said. “It truly amazed me to see how efficient the entire plant ran by manual labor.”

Caitlyn Brandt, event coordinator for the American Angus Association, explains that BLI targets young leaders in the Angus industry, ages 25-45, and gives them opportunities to see all sectors of the industry and how Angus plays a role in each of them.

“BLI is designed to provide Angus producers the opportunity to see all sectors of the beef industry after cattle leave their farms,” Brandt said. “By having the chance to network with other producers, feeders, packers, processors, retailers and other industry experts in the areas of genetics, reproduction and marketing, participants go home with knowledge and information that provides better insight into making production decisions on their operation.”

The week spent with other producers and networking with experts in the industry allows participants to form friendships that will extend beyond the trip.

“BLI truly allowed us, as participants, to have a pasture-to-plate experience,” Jocelyn said. “Not only were we able to network and make lifelong friends, but we were also able to make ourselves better advocates of the Angus breed so we can educate the consumer about Angus cattle, the livestock industry, and the ever changing and growing world we live in.”

As the livestock industry continues to become more innovative, it is important for cattle producers to be forward thinking on their farms.

“Technology changes every day,” Young said. “Genomic technology is always changing. As a producer, you can either stay on top of the change or get left behind. Being able to tour GeneSeek allowed us to better understand our investment in DNA testing. It is money well spent because GeneSeek keeps up with the technology while trying to make it cost effective for us as producers.”

A complete list of 2017 BLI participants follows. For more information on how to participate in the leadership event, visit www.angus.org. Applications for the 2018 class will be available online starting next winter.


–– Written by Morgan Marley, Angus Media


ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. The American Angus Association® is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving nearly 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 www.angus.org.




Beef Leaders Institute – Class of 2017

Martin Allison, Waverly, Tenn.

Jordan Davis-Cook, Cordell, Okla.

Jason Jagels, Davenport, Neb.

Samantha Jensen, Morris, Minn.

Brad Johnson, Shawano, Wis.

Jeremy Leister, Stillwater, Okla.

Rick Marlatt, Wood Lake, Neb.

Tyler McAlpin, Diamondhead, Miss.

Traves Merrick, Miller, Mo.

Alisha Nord, Valley City, N.D.

Clay Richardson, Carlsbad, N.M.

Jennifer Shaver Friedel, Blacksburg, Va.

Chad Stevenson, Arlington, Wis.

Dereck Washam, Pierce City, Mo.

Coy Young, Blythedale, Mo.

Kristi Poss, Scotia, Neb.

Jocelyn Washam, Wentworth, Mo.

American Angus Representatives:

Gayle Billups, Saint Joseph, Mo.

Melissa Hanway, Saint Joseph, Mo.

Adam Conover, Cameron, Mo.

Drew Feller, Wisner, Neb.


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