Junior Red Angus Association of America (JRA) members and two Canadian representatives gathered in the heart of the nation for the 19th annual Junior Round-Up June 21 – 26. The JRA Round-Up is an opportunity for Red Angus juniors to build public speaking and leadership skills, increase breed and industry knowledge, and network with other juniors from across the nation.
The youth – who hailed from 14 states and Canada – kicked off the “Follow the Red Angus Road to Kansas and Missouri” Round-Up in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, June 21 with ice breakers and team-building exercises lead by Andrew Strasburg, Kansas State FFA President and Kansas State University (KSU) student. They enjoyed a Kansas City Royals baseball game that evening.
For the next five days, the Red Angus juniors traveled across Missouri and Kansas touring ranches, a bull test facility, a regional livestock market, feedlots and Kansas State University. The Red Angus juniors also competed in national contests and participated in their annual business and committee meetings and officer elections.
“We had an outstanding turnout this year with over 50 juniors and adult chaperones,” said Dawn Bernhard, Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) junior programs coordinator. “The kids come intending to have fun with other Red Angus youth but leave with communication and beef industry life skills as well as a network of friends that they will keep throughout their lives.”
Host ranches and enterprises interacted with the Round-Up group in viewing cattle, Red Angus and beef industry education, and JRA contests.
Wednesday, June 22
· Jack and Karen Lindstrom of JK Cattle and Kurt and Paula Schwarz of Three Fires Cattle Co., both of LaCygre, Kan., welcomed juniors with hayrack pasture tours and weight-guessing contests. Paula Schwarz discussed her job as senior food specialist for Applebees restaurants and Cathy Miller of Mountain City Meats explained her position as coordinator between retail restaurants and the packing industry. Jason Hightower, neighbor, partner and banker to Schwarzes, discussed pasture management, ag finances and crossbreeding with Red Angus. The juniors competed in the Stockman’s Quiz and Team Sales Contest.
· Kent Abele of Green Springs Bull Test, Nevada, Mo., spoke to tour attendees about the GrowSafe system their operation uses to monitor residual feed intake (RFI). He explained how Green Springs Bull Test works with universities and breed associations to improve EPDs through data sharing and experimentation.
· At Rush Red Angus, Jasper, Mo., Rocky, Karen, Tyler and Shelby Rush welcomed the Round-Up group with pasture tours, judging contests and a tour of their donor cows and resulting offspring. The day concluded with a dance and beef brisket meal. Tyler is a former JRA board member and Shelby was a participant in this year’s Round-Up.
Thursday, June 23
· The first stop of the morning was Joplin Regional Stockyards near Cathage, Mo. Mark Harmon, field representative, addressed juniors about their day-to-day operations and life skills of being a good employee. Joplin Regional Stockyards markets approximately 425,000 head of cattle annually and they have designed a co-mingling process that sorts cattle by color, size and weight into groups utilizing a specifically designed chute system that uses jets of air to move cattle through the system.
· RAAA President Joe Mushrush and his wife Connie welcomed the JRA Round-Up group to Mushrush Red Angus. In addition to pasture and feedlot tours, Mushrushes explained grazing management of tall grass prairie and how they incorporate stocker cattle to best utilize their grazing environment. Their son, Daniel, a former JRA board member, served as the emcee for the Quiz Bowl.
Friday, June 24
· The entire day was committed to touring Kansas State University at Manhattan, Kan. Juniors visited the beef stocker unit and listened to a presentation by Dr. Dale Blasi, a professor and extension specialist in beef cattle nutrition and management. Dr. Daniel Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology discussed animal welfare.
· Sandra Utter Levering, ABS Global regional manager, facilitated a workshop on udder scoring and feet and leg scoring and evaluation. Juniors first worked individually to score feet and udders on live cattle then worked in groups of three for their final evaluation.
· Juniors presented their prepared and extemporaneous speeches at the animal science building. The KSU tour concluded with a stop at Call Hall for ice cream and souvenir shopping at the bookstore.
Saturday, June 25
· The JRA group toured commercial and purebred Red Angus herds at Kniebel Cattle Co. of White City, Kan., and learned more about managing tall grass prairie and building and utilizing ponds.
· Shane and Shawn Tiffany, owners and managers of Tiffany Cattle Co., Herington, Kan., described marketing, how Red Angus cattle perform in their feedlot and how they use alternative feedstuffs in their rations.
· The juniors returned back to Kniebel Cattle Co. for a meal and the annual JRA business meeting. They competed in Barnyard Olympics and the Equipment Identification Contest and concluded the 2011 JRA Round-Up with a swimming and pizza party and awards presentations.
The newly elected JRA board is Laura Daniel of LaGrange, Ga., president; Cele Ketchum of Plevna, Mont., first vice president; Shana Morcom of Arlington, Wash., second vice president; and Alyssa Looney of Denton, Texas, as public relations director. On Sunday, June 26, the new board trained under Kassie Curran, KSU student from Girard, Kan., on developing mission statements, team building and goal setting.
For information about JRA programs, visit the website at RedAngus.org or contact Dawn Bernhard, junior programs coordinator, email@example.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For complete results of scholarships and JRA and Round-Up contests, visit the Media Room at RedAngus.org. (https://redangus.org/media/pr/2011/junior-red-angus-announces-contest-winners)