WJAA heads to Big Sky Country

Leaders Engaged in Angus Development Conference - Billings, Mont.

On August 1, 2018 five juniors from the state of Washington journeyed to Billings, Mont. for the annual LEAD Conference hosted by the National Junior Angus Association. The road trip began in Elk, WA at Hanson Livestock, where juniors gathered at the home of Ashley Hanson, a current student at Oklahoma State University.

As a three-time attendee of the conference Hanson said her favorite part about the conference was being able to learn from Darryl Stevenson regarding the different joys and hardships of shipping and raising Angus cattle overseas.

Other attendees of the conference included Katie Emerson of Almira, Wash., who attends Eastern Oregon University and Oregon State University.

She said, “My favorite part of the conference was being able to experience the different aspects of the industry and to build different opportunities with those around me.”

Other attendees included, a fourth-year attendee, Kelsey Vejraska, who is attends Oklahoma State University, Cassandra Garcia who works with the Washington State Beef Commission and first-time attendee, Alianna Koesel. 

Junior members toured Genex Services, Origen Services, Midland Bull Sale, Billings Livestock Commission and Vermillion Angus Ranch. Together they were introduced to Darryl Stevenson, who educated juniors on the trading of cattle overseas to countries such as Russia, China, and Argentina. Attendees then participated in a series of workshops put on by industry leaders on the topics of meat science, Beef Quality Assurance, and reproduction.

Overall, the conference was an amazing experience where juniors were able to network with other Angus members, learn something new, and to have fun of course.

Fellow WJAA members are highly encouraged to attend LEAD Conference to gain many valuable skills and to make connections that will last a lifetime. For more information visit njaa.info.