Angus producers become leaders at BLI

Jul 22, 2011
by WLJ

—Fourth annual Beef Leaders Institute offers overarching look at the beef industry.

Angus producers from 12 states gathered in Saint Joseph, MO, on June 20-23 for the fourth annual Beef Leaders Institute (BLI). The educational event is hosted by the American Angus Association (AAA) and funded by the Angus Foundation.

The four-day learning opportunity is designed to give applicants, ages 25-45, a chance to meet with association staff and industry representatives while networking with their peers in the Angus industry.

After tours and presentations of AAA and its entities—Angus Genetics Inc., the Angus Foundation, Certified Angus Beef and Angus Productions Inc.—the group traveled through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa for several in-depth tours of the beef production process, from feedlots to retail distributors.

Tour stops included Gregory Feedlot, Tabor, IA; Tyson, beef processing plant, Dakota City, NE; Whole Foods Market, grocery story, Omaha, NE; Cargill Meat Solutions, deli meat processing plant, Nebraska City, NE; Sysco, food distributor, Lincoln, NE; and Igenity/GeneSeek, genetics lab, Lincoln, NE.

BLI participant Brien Dodson, Okemah, OK, said the tours educated him about each facet of the industry and how he can improve his herd and his cus tomers’ knowledge.

“I want to do more for the industry than just raise cattle, and the BLI program was a perfect way for me to get more involved and educated,” Dodson said.

Montana rancher and BLI participant J.R. Lund, Grass Range, MT, also enjoyed the opportunity to learn and see for the first time a major operating feedlot.

“The BLI program is a great way to see what agriculture is like in other parts of the country and where our calves go when they leave our operations,” Lund says. “I am starting my herd from scratch, and the BLI program made me more knowledgeable about the industry I am promoting.”

2011 BLI participants include Andrew Maupin, Larkspur, CO; Chris Throne, Lexington, GA; Dan Hanrahan, Winterset, IA; Michael Honold, Coon Rapids, IA; Chad L. Daugherty, Cerro Gordo, IL; Rob Fanning, Cordova, IL; Thomas Black, Warsaw, MO; Brian Meier, Jackson, MO; Albert Meyers, Oakville, MO; Justin Lund, Grass Range, MT; Cory Poser, Denton, MT; Dru Uden, Franklin, NE; Brien Dodson, Okemah, OK; Cody Edgar, Rockham, SD; Dustin Hurlbut, Clark, SD; Joseph McKellar, Mount Pleasant, TX; Charles “Jason” Pratt, Atkins, VA; and Katy Kemp, Sun Prairie, WI.

For more information about the American Angus Association or the Beef Leaders Institute, visit or call 816/ 383-5100. — WLJ