American Angus Association launches initiative to engage future cattle producers
Cattle farming and ranching is a risky business. Whether the operation is inherited or pieced together over time, there is a lot at stake for cattlemen to produce more pounds of quality beef for consumers. Today’s beef producer will require a different skill set than those of previous generations.
To meet the needs of future cattle producers, the American Angus Association has launched a new program called Future Angus Stockmen — an effort to impact the next generation through learning opportunities, while building a bond with the Angus breed and its member-driven organization.
“Our goal with the Future Angus Stockmen initiative is to give young producers, who want to play a role in beef production, the jumpstart they need to be successful in the business,” says Ginette Kurtz, Association director of commercial programs. “Strong skills in communications, marketing, data analysis and business planning are critical in our industry’s challenge to produce quality beef.”
Future Angus Stockmen is aimed toward college-age or recent graduates who want to raise high quality Angus-based commercial cattle. The program will offer educational opportunities that teach participants how to thrive in the cattle industry, social networking to connect them with fellow producers, and leadership development to instill an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to improve their businesses.
Participants will learn how to use proven information such as expected progeny differences (EPDs) and dollar-value indexes ($Values), while incorporating DNA technology to make data-driven decisions. In partnership with Zoetis, the American Angus Association will offer those enrolled in the program a special, reduced rate for GeneMax Advantage and GeneMax Focus tests.
“The connections, confidence and communication skills that can be gained from this program will be priceless to any young enthusiastic producer,” Kurtz says.
Additional program benefits include complimentary enrollment in either AngusSource or AngusSource Genetic — the Association’s marketing program for Angus-sired feeder calves and replacement females. Future Angus Stockmen participants will also learn the importance of recordkeeping as a precursor to any successful operation by using either the Beef Record Service (BRS) or MaternalPlus at a reduced cost for submitting data.
Thanks to generous funds provided by Allflex and Destron Fearing, young people who enroll in the program will also have the chance to apply for scholarships if they are or will be enrolled in a two- or four-year college while majoring in agriculture. Scholarship winners will be announced at the 2015 National Angus Convention & Trade Show, Nov. 3-5, 2015, in Overland Park, Kan.
The Future Angus Stockmen program officially launches March 1, and more information will be posted online at www.ANGUS.org as it develops.
Upcoming plans include an application-based gathering of young cattle producers hosted in the summer of 2016 at the American Angus Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo. The event will be a culmination of learning and leadership experiences to solidify their agriculture commitment.
“This program is a must for any young producer who dreams of raising high-percentage Angus based cattle in the future and seeks to further their education to fulfill that dream,” Kurtz says.