Almost 200 Red Angus enthusiasts traveled to Savannah, Ga., for the 61st annual Red Angus National Convention Sept. 10-13 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront. Attendees enjoyed touring the Savannah Harbor, conducting business during the three-day convention, learning about Georgia agriculture, and experiencing southern hospitality.
“The National Convention is always an exciting event for us,” said Twig Marston, Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) chief executive officer. “It’s a time where members come together to talk business and catch up on the practices that differ between each state.”
The annual convention also provides a window to recognize those individuals who have acted as leaders in the industry. These award-winners excelled as representatives toward the betterment of the breed in all of their endeavors. The following individuals were recognized this year:
The Breeder of the Year award was presented to Whitley Red Angus. Located in Horton, Ala., Whitley Red Angus is a family operation dating back seven generations and 100 years. In 1965, Red Angus cattle were added to the operation and became the focal point of the farm. Whitley Red Angus strives to breed cattle of high performance, which directly aligns with the definition of the Red Angus Breeder of the Year award. Winners of the award are described as members who have contributed to and maintained an excellent standard of quality in breeding Red Angus cattle in their herd over the years.
The Personality of the Year award, reserved for Red Angus members who, in the eyes of the beef industry, are leaders in their particular field of endeavor, was presented to Raymond Prescott of Gray Court, S.C. Prescott has been raising Red Angus cattle for 33 years and currently manages Bull Hill Ranch in Gray Court, S.C. He has also served on the RAAA Board from 2003 to 2009 and from 2012 until the present year in which he has chaired the marketing and junior activities committees. Prescott exhibits those redeeming qualities of a Red Angus leader.
The John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award recognizes Red Angus members or individuals of the RAAA who have contributed to the betterment of services offered by the Association. This year, the Distinguished Service Award was presented to the Dan Johnson Family of Cushing, Iowa. In addition to owning and operating Solution Genetics, the family founded the North American Junior Red Angus Event (NAJRAE), introducing the Red Angus breed to many youth. The mother-daughter team of Cheryl and Cassie Johnson has continued this service following the tragic death of their husband and father, Dan.
The Industry Service Award recognizes individuals, a company or an association from the beef industry or academic community who have helped the RAAA achieve excellence in the beef industry. This year, the Industry Service Award was presented toBrad Brandenburg, director of cattle procurement for Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., and John Butler, CEO of Beef Marketing Group. Recognizing the quality of Red Angus cattle on the rail, Butler saw the opportunity to help market Red Angus cattle. After working with the Red Angus marketing team, Butler and Brandenburg opened the possibility to help the RAAA develop the first exclusive grid with a breed Association.
The Pioneer Breeder of the Year Award recognizes long-time members of the Red Angus Association who, over the years, have maintained the quality and excellence of their herds through diligent breeding practices, always keeping Red Angus cattle at the forefront. This year, the award was presented to Pieper Red Angus of Hay Springs, Neb. Pieper Red Angus has been raising registered Red Angus for the past 35 years. The business strives to produce cattle that excel for their commercial customers, and they concentrate on their “after the sale” service where they help customers market their cattle. The family operation is comprised of Mark and Deb Pieper, their son Tate, and daughter Amy, and her husband, Jarrod Bargman.
Commercial cattle producers are the barometers of the Red Angus breed. Their confidence and use of the breed’s genetics help determine market share and even more importantly, help verify the genetic progress of the breed’s gene pool. The 2014Commercial Producer of the Year Award was presented toTucker Family Farms of Amherst, Va. A seventh generation operation, the Tucker Family Farms introduced Red Angus to take advantage of some of the herd-building traits such as docility and heat tolerance. Today, the operation is ran by Bill and Claudia Tucker who continue to operate and develop top-market calves from Tucker Genetics.
Jaclyn Ketchum of Plevna, Mont. was recognized as the Outstanding Junior Red Angus Member. This award is presented to the junior member who has contributed his or her services to the betterment of the national junior organization throughout the past year. Ketchum hails from Plevna, Mont., and is currently a freshman animal sciences and agricultural education major at Kansas State University.
For more information on the 2014 Red Angus National Convention, visit RedAngus.org.
The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) serves the beef industry by enhancing and promoting the competitive advantages of Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle. The RAAA provides commercial producers with the most objectively described cattle in the industry by seeking and implementing new technologies based on sound scientific principles that measure traits of economic importance. For more information, visitRedAngus.org.