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2023 National Junior Angus Association's Raising the Bar Conference


The 2023 Raising the Bar conference was held in Greenville, South Carolina March 30 – April 2. Eighty-six National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members from 24 states gathered for the event, making it the largest Raising the Bar conference to date. Attendees explored college and career opportunities at Clemson University, learned about the region’s agriculture and participated in activities to enhance their leadership skills and engage with Angus peers.



Representatives of the Indiana Junior Angus Association, were among several Angus youth at the 2023 National Junior Angus Association's Raising the Bar conference, March 30 - April 2 in Greenville, S.C. Pictured from left are Bryce Hofing, Coatesville; Delaney Waterman, Anderson; Jordyn Wickard, Greenfield; Adaelyn Berg, Elwood; and Jacob Wickard, Greenfield. Eighty-six juniors from 24 state junior Angus associations participated in the conference, where they grow as leaders and explore future college and career opportunities, while networking with peers. Photo by Peyton Schmitt, American Angus Association.



Angus youth gathered at the 2023 National Junior Angus Association's Raising the Bar conference, March 30 - April 2 in Greenville, S.C. A total of 86 juniors from 24 states attended the conference, “Tearin' it up with the Tigers,” where they grow as leaders and explore future college and career opportunities, while networking with peers. The group is pictured at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C. Photo by Peyton Schmitt, American Angus Association.






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Angus juniors gather for 2023 Raising the Bar conference

National Junior Angus Association members visit South Carolina for annual leadership conference.

The 2023 Raising the Bar conference was held in Greenville, South Carolina March 30 – April 2. Eighty-six National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members from 24 states gathered for the event, making it the largest Raising the Bar conference to date. Attendees explored college and career opportunities at Clemson University, learned about the region’s agriculture and participated in activities to enhance their leadership skills and engage with Angus peers.

Each year, NJAA members visit a university with a strong agriculture program to gain insight on the institution, helping prepare them to determine their future plans. Attendees also network with peers from around the country, participate in personal development workshops and visit industry-relevant attractions in the area.

“The Raising the Bar conference exposes Angus youth to educational opportunities around the country,” said Madeline Bauer, senior events coordinator at the American Angus Association®. “NJAA members get to experience college campuses while forming strong relationships with their peers and developing as young leaders.”

The conference began with juniors hearing from a representative from Front Porch Housing, a local supportive housing program for families in need. Through the Angus Impact program, focused on NJAA members serving communities, juniors bring donation items for a local charity to numerous NJAA events throughout the year. Juniors also welcomed keynote speaker and past National Junior Angus Board member Ann Blumer, who now leads Michelin’s material handling for agricultural tires in the U.S. and Canada.

On Friday, conference attendees arrived at Clemson University for a day spent exploring campus and learning about opportunities available through the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. Juniors heard from both faculty members and students around campus before visiting the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex.

Saturday was focused on agricultural tours, starting with a visit to Hickory Hill Milk in Edgefield, South Carolina. Attendees’ next stop was Titan Farms, the largest peach grower on the East coast, located in Ridge Spring, South Carolina. Juniors stayed in Ridge Spring, heading to Yon Family Farms to hear about their Angus operation. In addition, attendees learned about the family’s pecan business, The Nut House and Country Market. That evening, juniors were joined by past National Junior Angus Board members Sally Harrison, Daniel McFarland and Clay Williams to gain perspective on how their NJAA experiences influenced them beyond their time in the organization.

The conference concluded Sunday morning with a devotional led by McFarland and Williams followed by personal development workshops from the National Junior Angus Board.

“I enjoy Raising the Bar because I get to see some of my closest friends from around the nation, and I gain so much knowledge from each workshop I attend,” said Lauren Phillips, an NJAA member from Iowa. “Attending Clemson has not only given me a glimpse of the college life, but also a few possible career paths that I may end up going into.”

After 15 years, Raising the Bar continues to foster the development of Angus youth by hosting events in regions across the country. The Angus Foundation makes the conference possible with support from the Angus Fund, which provides unrestricted dollars to further the Foundation’s mission of enhancing education, youth and research for the breed. To learn more about the Raising the Bar conference, visit njaa.info.

Written by Peyton Schmitt, Angus Communications 

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