Juniors develop leadership skills on national board

Posted August 24, 2011

Leadership development is essential to ensure a solid future for agriculture. The Junior Red Angus Association (JRA) is strongly rooted in leadership development and focuses on building leaders through programs that strengthen knowledge and life skills in the beef industry.

Red Angus juniors have a unique opportunity to develop national-level leadership talent by serving on the JRA board, and four outstanding young women will lead the junior association during the 2011-2012 term.

As the JRA board’s first official capacity, they will attend the National Red Angus Convention, Sept. 14 – 16 in Durham, N.C., and help prepare the “JRA Year In Review” presentation. They will hold a JRA board meeting, manage fund-raising events, conduct the junior activities meeting and attend workshops and seminars.

The board will also devote time to organize the 2012 JRA Round-Up schedule in Florida next June. Round-Up is an educational leadership event for JRA members that highlights the cattle industry and Red Angus breed.

In addition, the JRA board will confirm plans for the 2012 Loaded 4 Leadership conference and the 2011-2012 National Red Angus Junior Show to be held in January at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo.

“Each member of the current JRA board is returning in a director position,” said Dawn Bernhard, junior programs coordinator for the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). “Their combined experience, enthusiasm and commitment to the JRA will well serve our junior membership. This officer team has established new goals and renewed their commitment to serving their peers through their leadership and work for the JRA.”


Laura Daniel of LaGrange, Ga., was elected to serve as president of the JRA during the second year of her two-year term on the Board. She represents the South Region.

Daniel is a junior at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College and is working toward a dual major in diversified ag production and rural studies. She enjoys all aspects of agriculture, especially her family’s cattle and timber operation.

During her first year on the board, Daniel served as fund raising director, and directed and assisted the JRA board in determining and completing fund-raising projects for the JRA.

First Vice President

Cecile (Cele) Ketchum of Plevna, Mont., was elected to serve as first vice president in her second year as a JRA director. She represents the Mountains Region.

Ketchum is a freshman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., where she plans to major in agriculture education with minor in music. She has been involved with the JRA for many years, having attended her first Round-Up when she was only 8 years old.

Ketchum is a member of the Montana Junior Red Angus Association and takes an active role in her family’s ranch. She has also been involved in 4-H, FFA, sports and music, playing five instruments.

During her first year as a JRA director, Ketchum served as leadership director, organizing events for junior Red Angus members.

Second Vice President

Shana Morcom of Arlington, Wash., was elected to serve as second vice president of the JRA. This is her second year representing the West Region.

Morcom is a senior at Arlington High School and has been involved in raising and exhibiting Red Angus since she was 5 years old. She has been a member of the Northwest Red Angus Junior Association for six years and a JRA member since 2007. Morcom serves as the reporter for the Arlington FFA Chapter as well as the reporter for District 1 FFA, and works to educate others about Red Angus cattle.

Last year, Morcom served as the public relations director to promote JRA and its programs and activities. She contributed articles to the ARA magazine and junior newsletters, and updated the JRA Facebook page.

Public Relations Director

Alyssa Looney of Denton, Texas, was reelected to the JRA board and will serve as this year’s public relations director. She represents the Northwest Region.

Looney is a senior at Texas A & M University, majoring in agribusiness with a minor in German and economics. She is also attaining a certificate in international agriculture and trade.

Last year, Looney served as JRA president and, prior to that, served as the public relations director when she was instrumental in initiating and maintaining the JRA Facebook page on the Internet. Looney will continue to maintain the JRA Facebook page and will contribute to the weekly JRA eNews and the bi-monthly Have You Herd online junior newsletter.

For information about JRA programs, visit the website at or contact Dawn Bernhard, RAAA junior programs coordinator, (515) 679-4006,, or visit the Junior Red Angus Association page on Facebook.


For more information, contact:
Dawn Bernhard, RAAA junior programs coordinator
515-679-4006 •


Junior Red Angus board of directors


The 2011-2012 JRA Board of Directors (l to r): Shana Morcom, second vice president, Arlington, Wash.; Alyssa Looney, public relations director, Denton, Texas; Cele Ketchum, first vice president, Plevna, Mont.; Laura Daniel, president, LaGrange, Ga.


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