NJAA Board Members

The National Junior Angus Association Board of Directors offers leadership development beyond the boundaries of local or state groups. Six new directors are elected to the twelve-member board each year at the annual meeting held in conjunction with the National Junior Angus Show. During their two-year terms they develop and carry out programs and events to serve junior members and the Angus breed across the nation. The NJAA Board also makes recommendations for new programs and ideas to the Board of Directors of the American Angus Association, helps to develop leadership potential of the junior members, and promotes the Angus breed. The first NJAA Board of Directors was elected in Wichita, Kansas at the 1980 National Junior Angus Show.

Sydnee Gerken

Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain is where you’ll find this Oklahoma girl. Sydnee Gerken is the daughter of David and Cara. She and her two younger sisters, Madelyn and Victoria, have been actively involved in both State and National Angus Associations for the past eleven years. Currently a junior at Oklahoma State University, Gerken is on the livestock judging team and majors in Animal Science with a Business option. Her hopes with this degree are to focus on Ruminant Animal Nutrition.

Madison Sundsbak
Vice Chairman
North Dakota

Madison Sundsbak is a fourth generation Angus breeder from Des Lacs, North Dakota. She is the daughter of Josh and Josie Sundsbak. Growing up with her brothers Peyton and Xander, they spend time on the farm and in the show barn. Madison has been showing Angus cattle since she was four years old, and has been an active member in the North Dakota Junior Angus Association since 2007. She is currently a junior at South Dakota State University majoring in Agriculture Leadership with a minors in animal science and agricultural business. Madison’s goal is to work with the youth of the agricultural industry. While not busy working in the show barn and at school Madison enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Hayley DeHaan
Communications Director

From McMinnville, Oregon, Hayley DeHaan is the daughter of Pete and Jennifer DeHaan; and the younger sister of Petey. She began her journey with the Angus Family in 2010 when she purchased her first two Angus heifers. Today, Hayley is a Junior at Purdue University where she is dual-majoring in Ag Sales & Marketing and Ag Communications with a minor in international studies. At Purdue she is an International Ag Ambassador, where she works closely with international students studying abroad at Purdue. She is also involved with Issues 360 which focuses on learning how to communicate across cultures to promote agriculture. In the future, Hayley will pursue a career in Marketing and Communications in the agricultural industry.

Broderic Fitzgerald
Leadership Director

From the great state of Pennsylvania, Broderic Fitzgerald is the son of Andi and Tim of West Grove. He has one brother Bryce that he enjoys spending most of his time with when possible. Broderic is currently pursuing a degree in Agribusiness at Oklahoma State University. With that he plans on becoming a financial advisor within the banking industry, and eventually run a registered Angus herd of his own one day.

Dawson Dal Porto
Foundation Director

From the Golden State of California, it’s Dawson Dal Porto. He is a 3rd generation Angus Producer and his family runs a registered Angus and commercial cow herd. He has been showing angus cattle for 12 years and during that time was active in the California Junior Angus Association. He is currently at The Iowa State University studying Animal Science and is planning on being a part of the livestock judging team. Dawson is currently serving as the Foundation Director.

Jera Pipkin
Membership Director

Jera Pipkin from Republic, Missouri is the daughter of Jim and Joann Pipkin. Raising Angus cattle is in her blood. Jera is a fifth generation Angus breeder, where her family has owned Angus cattle since 1933. She has been actively involved in the National Junior Angus Association and Missouri Junior Angus Association since 2007. Jera is currently a senior at Oklahoma State University, where she is pursuing double majors in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science, as well as a minor in Agricultural Business. She is set to graduate in December 2018 and plans to attend graduate school at Oklahoma State University, as well. Outside of school and raising Angus cattle, she enjoys graphic design, photography, and watching Cowboy football. Eventually, she plans to return to the family farm and open her own agricultural marketing firm with her mother, Joann.

Tyler Bush

South Dakota

Tyler Bush, the son of Scott and Jo Bush, was born and raised as the 6th generation on the family farm in Britton, South Dakota. Tyler grew up showing and raising Angus cattle with his family and has been involved in the National Junior Angus Association and South Dakota Junior Angus Association since 2006. He is most currently studying Agricultural Business and is a part of the Sophomore Livestock Judging Team at Hutchinson Community College. Tyler has a passion for moving forward and making an impact on the industry that impacted his life so greatly. His end goal is to be back at the family operation to work alongside his father and grandfather.

Keegan Cassidy


Keegan Cassady from Bloomington, IL, the daughter of Jerry Cassady and Erica Johnson. She has been a member of the National Junior Angus Association since birth and has been actively involved in the national and Illinois Junior Angus Association since 2009. Outside of Angus activities she enjoys being a member of Sigma Alpha and an ambassador for the Animal Science department at her university. She is currently a junior at Oklahoma State University studying Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness and pre-law option. Post-graduation she plans to attend law school and pursue a career in agriculture policy.

Caroline Cowles


Caroline Cowles is from the great commonwealth of Kentucky and a third generation Angus breeder. She is the daughter of Gil and Mary Cowles and has two siblings, Corbin and Catherine. She has been involved with the Kentucky Junior Angus Association and National Junior Angus Association since 2009. Caroline is currently a sophomore at Oklahoma State pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in animal science with a focus in biotechnology. Caroline’s future goals are to combine her passion of agriculture and helping people by attending medical school and owning her own herd of Angus cattle.

Dylan Denny


From the Lone Star State of Texas, Dylan Denny is the son of Don and Wendy Denny. Being involved in the National Junior Angus Association for the past 8 years, Dylan has grown a strong passion for the Angus Industry. He is attending Oklahoma State University where he is Freshman majoring in Agribusiness with a minor in Animal Science. At OSU, he is involved with Freshmen in Transition, Oklahoma Collegiate Cattleman’s Association, and Block & Bridle. After graduating, Dylan plans on getting a job in the agriculture industry with a focus on Angus Cattle.

Grady Dickerson


Grady Dickerson is a fifth generation Angus rancher from the Sunflower State of Kansas. He grew up on a cow/calf operation in Paradise, Kansas with his parents, David and Stephanie Dickerson, and two younger brothers. He began his career in the NJAA in 2009. He is currently studying Food Science and Industry at Kansas State University as a sophomore. Focusing on junior development and angus improvement is always the name of the game with Grady.

Baxter Knapp

Baxter Knapp from Bloomfield, Iowa. He is the son of Brian and Karla Knapp. Baxter is a second generation angus breeder and has been showing since he was nine years old. Him and his two sisters have been actively involved in their state angus association since 2009. He is currently a sophomore at Illinois Central College where he is member of the livestock judging team. After graduation he plans to transfer to a four-year university major in Animal Science/Ag Business.

NJAA Advisors

Mary Greiman
American Angus Auxillary

John Grimes
American Angus Association Board of Directors

American Angus Association Events & Education Department

Jaclyn Upperman
Director of Events & Education

Caitlyn Brandt
Events Coordinator

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

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