Young Angus Producers Jordan Cook and Jeremy Leister Represent OK at '17 Beef Leaders InstituteTue, 11 Jul 2017 15:10:43 CDT
Oklahoma natives Jordan Davis-Cook of Cordell, Okla. and Jeremy Leister of Stillwater, Okla., 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, selected through an application process. Participants were able to experience all sectors of the beef business, interact with production experts and develop a larger vision to not just improve their operations back home, but the entire industry.
Cook with Davis Angus, said she attended BLI because she loves traveling and meeting new people in the industry while learning about the latest trends and production advances.
“I think BLI is a great program for different producers because it brings people from all over the country with different backgrounds together,” Cook said. “You get to tour the whole industry from start to finish, basically from pasture to plate. It’s so important to network with different people and understand how everything in the industry works together.”
The five-day event that, funded by the Angus Foundation, and 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.
BLI toured throughout the Midwest and ended in Wooster, Ohio, at the CAB headquarters. Along the way, participants were able to visit GeneSeek Neogen Operations in Lincoln, Neb.; Feller & Co. Cattle Feeder in Wisner, Neb.; Greater Omaha Packing Co. 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.
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 operations.”
The sponsors of BLI hope young producers are open to learning and expanding their knowledge. Leister emphasized the importance of off-farm experiences as a learning tool.
“As a young producer, to continue your education in the industry you have to have some forward-thinking and be able to go outside the box of your comfort zone and learn and see how you can make your industry better,” Leister said. “I think going through some off-the-farm experience puts perspective into young producers, or anybody’s, mind.”
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.
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.
Source - The American Angus Association
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