Each summer, National Junior Red Angus (JRA) members from across the United States and Canada have the opportunity to build friendships, gain industry knowledge, and communication skills during the annual summer Round-Up. The 2014 event – themed “California Dreamin’” – took place June 24-28 in Sacramento, Calif.
The weeklong event is not just a chance to meet breeders and travel the country. It combines cattle tours, educational programs, Junior Board elections and a variety of educational contests.
“There is always something to look forward to with Round-Up,” said Rachel Davis, JRA Board President. “The event is held in a different state each year so juniors have the chance to learn how people utilize the agricultural industry in different ways around the country.”
The event kicked-off with a visit to the California FFA offices in Galt, Calif., where past California FFA officer Kelcie Jones lead team-building and ice-breaker activities. From there, juniors experienced an authentic Taco Truck organized by McPhee Red Angus of Lodi, Calif. That afternoon, juniors went on an extensive tour of Prima Frutta in Linden, Calif., that included learning about the walnut, cherry and apple industries that are abundant in California. The first day ended with Barnyard Olympics, guest speakers, discussion and contests at Mendoza Red Angus in Valley Springs, Calif.
After enjoying the beauty of Yosemite National Park, juniors visited Fresno State University where they completed a judging contest, meat lab tour, speech contests and listened to guest speaker Stacey Gunderson from Cargill Meat Solutions. After touring cattle facilities, juniors enjoyed supper provided by Awalt’s AA Acres of Sanger, Calif. The evening concluded with juniors touring the Old English Rancho Thoroughbred Ranch in Sanger, Calif., where two-time California Horse of the Year resides.
The next day, juniors enjoyed a tour of Silveira Brothers Angus in Firebaugh, Calif., where Rick and Allison Blanchard were welcoming hosts. Juniors toured their herds, discussed irrigation, and the farming and cattle industry. The Blanchards hosted a Team Advocacy contest and a presentation on Advocacy in Agriculture by Celeste Settrini of Salinas, Calif. The afternoon started with a bang with a tour of Harris Ranch Feedyard in Coalinga, Calif., and a tour of Harris Ranch Thoroughbred Enterprise where recent Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome was housed. Juniors then traveled back to the hotel for an evening of Beef Quiz Bowl and an annual Chinese Auction.
The last day of Round-Up included a tour of Seiffert Dairy, a California Vineyard and a tour of McPhee Red Angus in Lodi, Calif. Juniors then conducted their Annual Business Meeting at McPhee Red Angus where they elected new officers and presented awards from the week’s contests. The evening concluded the 2014 Round-up with dancing and outdoor activities.