Angus Producers Travel America to Unlock Keys to Beef Value Chain

July 2, 2024

From pasture to plate, it takes multiple links in the value chain to bring Americans the hamburgers they are throwing on the grill this 4th of July. And each link is integral to the success of the others. That was one of many takeaways for the 25 Angus producers selected to attend the 2024 Beef Leaders Institute.

“To tour other parts of the industry, like a large packing plant, and hear about the challenges and how we, as producers, can help reduce those challenges, that is very valuable,” said attendee Rob Phillips of RL Valley Ranch in Athens, Ohio.

The American Angus Association®, in partnership with Certified Angus Beef ® brand and the Angus Foundation, hosts the annual program to develop young cattlemen and women as industry leaders.

“Our Angus breeders are the very beginning of the food chain. They are raising the high-quality Angus genetics that are the very start of things,” said Kara Lee, director of producer engagement at Certified Angus Beef. “However, sometimes producers can be so focused on executing that it can prevent them from having a better understanding of how they impact every step along the way to the consumer.”

The five-day tour started at the American Angus Association® in St. Joseph, Missouri, and traveled to six states before wrapping up at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio. Attendees toured Tyson-Dakota City, Weborg Feedyard, Buckhead of Ohio, STgenetics, and a Meijer Grocery Store along the way.

The whirlwind of a travel week still allowed time for the attendees to get to know one another. This year’s group came from a wide range of operations that vary in size and kind, representing 16 states and two Canadian providences.

“Being a part of this really diverse and awesome group of people has been amazing,” said attendee Alli Fender of Flying F Ranch near San Diego, Cali. “It’s nice to now be able to pick up the phone and call any one of these producers to pick their brain about the industry.”

 2024 Beef Leaders Institute Attendees:

Alex Acheson, Kansas

Jacy Bapst, Ohio

Annie Benzine, Wisconsin

Michaela Blevins, Montana

Adeleen Bolduc, Alberta, Canada

Kevin Bolduc, Alberta, Canada

Austin Brandt, Iowa

Callie Carson, North Carolina

Kevin Chaffin, Oklahoma

Alli Fender, California

Cole Gardiner, Kansas

Gabby Glenister, New York

Jed Hallstrand, Wisconsin

Amy Higgins, New Brunswick, Canada

Tyler Lulloff, Montana

Jake McCaleb, Tennessee

Blake McDonald, Missouri

Ruben Mendoza, Idaho

Derek Penz, Oklahoma

Rob Phillips, Ohio

Emily Richard, North Dakota

Courtney Stelzer, Wisconsin

Jeff Stokes, Mississippi

Andrew Swanson, Minnesota

Madeline Taylor, Arkansas

Applications for the 2025 Beef Leaders Institute will open in late fall to American Angus Association members between the ages of 25 and 45.

Source: American Angus Association