Commercial cattlemen play a central role within the beef business, as they work to produce high-quality cattle to perform down the production chain.
To help encourage the next generation of commercial cattle producers, the American Angus Association launched the Future Angus Stockmen program, which awards a $1,000 scholarship annually, thanks to support from Allflex and Destron Fearing.
This year’s recipient, Dan Johnson of Dillon, Mont., was announced during the association’s Awards Recognition Breakfast Nov. 7. The event was hosted as part of the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.
Johnson is a junior at Kansas State University studying agribusiness. With aspirations to manage his own commercial Angus cattle operation, he also plans to pursue a career in livestock marketing. Johnson found his love for the cattle industry when his father gave him his first commercial Angus heifer as a gift.
Over the years, he has worked to develop his own herd, as well as helping with all aspects of the family’s cattle operation. His herd has grown to 40 head, and earned him recognition as the state champion in Montana FFA Beef Proficiency and the State Star Farmer award.
“One of the most important lessons I have learned is that hard work really does pay off,” Johnson says. “When my father gave me my first commercial Angus female, I was given the responsibility to make my own herd.”
Future Angus Stockmen is designed to help young cattlemen with strong work ethics, like Johnson, get a leg up on understanding available resources to help their operations, says American Angus Association Commercial Programs Director Ginette Gottswiller.
Participants can enroll each year and take advantage of association programs such as the Beef Records Service, MaternalPlus, AngusSource or AngusSource Genetic at a reduced cost. Future Angus Stockmen also receive incentives for genomic testing, using DNA technology such as GeneMax Focus or GeneMax Advantage.
“These young producers are the future of the beef industry,” Gottswiller says. “Creating opportunity for our young ranchers, from both the commercial and seedstock levels, will create continued breed success for every producer.”
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Rosman writes for Angus Media.