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From cows to crown, Pipkin represents Angus cattle breed.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

January 25, 2016

2 Min Read

Ever since Jera Pipkin was 5 years old, she dreamed of wearing a red jacket and sparkling tiara. Not just any jacket and tiara, it had to be the one worn by the young women she saw at cattle shows--the one worn by Miss American Angus.

"I had always seen the girls in the show ring and wanted to be just like them," she recalls. "I was fortunate enough to grow up around four Miss America Angus from Missouri. They impacted my life and I wanted to do the same for others."

This past November, Pipkin's dream came true. During the National Angus Convention & Trade Show in Kansas, she was crowned the 2016 Miss American Angus.

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Pipkin is the fifth-generation on Clearwater Farm near Springfield. The daughter of Jim and Joann Pipkin, the family's operation has been recognized as a Historic Herd by the American Angus Association. The award is presented to Angus breeders or immediate families who have been in continuous production of registered Angus cattle for 50 years or more.

"I have never shown any other type of cattle," the sophomore double majoring in animal science and ag communications at Oklahoma State University, says. "It is part of our family heritage. Since 1933 we have always raised Angus."

Pipkin says she wants to share her knowledge with other inside and outside of the industry.

Speaking for Angus

"The red jacket is an opportunity for me to tell my story," Pipkin says. "It's an opportunity for me to connect with breeders and younger kids to tell them my own experiences, and how Angus can change your life."

An active member of the National Junior Angus Association and competitor at multiple National Junior Angus Shows, Pipkin says connecting with younger NJAA members and other Angus breeders is what she looks forward to the most in the year ahead.

Pipkin says that ultimately she will serve as a role model for those in the industry. "It's a multi-level position where you can interact with everyone," she explains, "and that's what I love to do. It's a tremendous opportunity."

Tough competition

Five finalists were chosen for the Miss American Angus Contest through the Auxiliary's scholarship application process. The contest tested her knowledge of the Angus breed including a written test, an essay, and an interview.

Her reign lasts for one year. She already attended the North American Livestock Exposition in Kentucky in November. She also spent time at the National Western Stock Show in Denver last month. Pipkin will travel the country representing the breed at shows and sales.

"I truly enjoy being around the Angus people," she adds. "We have some of the best people in the business."

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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