LEAD Conference: Life in the Angus Lane
Angus juniors attended the LEAD conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Nearly 100 Angus juniors gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2021 Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference from July 29-August 1 to expand their knowledge of the beef cattle industry and make new connections with other breed enthusiasts. Angus juniors buckled up and experienced “Life in the Angus Lane” by attending farm visits, industry workshops and leadership development activities.
The National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) hosts many leadership conferences for its juniors every year. By hosting conferences in different locations around the nation, the NJAA hopes to expose junior members to other parts of the country and help them experience agriculture in new ways. Additionally, juniors have opportunities to foster relationships within the industry.
Juniors kicked off the jam-packed weekend with breakout sessions with the National Junior Angus Board of Directors (NJAB) and a guest speaker, Craig Huse, president and co-owner of Huse Culinary. The group also had the opportunity to visit with the leaders of Sankey Angus, Sunrise Sunset Farms and Horstman Cattle Company about topics such as embryo transfer, herd management and more. Cody and Lindsay Sankey of Sankey Angus emphasized the importance of the opportunity of attending the LEAD conference.
“The LEAD program is vital today in youth development,” Cody Sankey said. “The cattle are a tool for this program, but the people that they connect you to are what matters. You never know when someone you meet on trips like these can benefit you in the future.”
The conference also allowed members to explore other aspects of agriculture. Elanco, Corteva and Cargill hosted sessions about each of their companies to allow juniors to understand a different side of agriculture. Although the conference is focused on the beef cattle industry, the group also visited Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Indiana, to learn about crops, dairy cattle and the pork industries.
As juniors finished the final lap of the conference, they reflected on the influence their weekend spent in Indianapolis would have on their future. Madeline Bauer, events coordinator for the NJAA, reminded the group about the value of growing up in the cattle industry.
“Your future and the future of the Angus breed is bright because of you,” Bauer said. “You, along with other juniors in attendance, were willing to go the extra mile by developing the leadership skills and knowledge needed to keep the Angus breed on top.
— Written by Riley Reep, Angus Communications