Annual Red Angus convention showcases dedication to breeding

Nov 9, 2012

The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) celebrated 58 years of dedication to producers and breed success at their national convention held at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino in Reno, NV, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. According to the organization, the breed’s core policies have been the guiding light of RAAA, helping the breed grow over 300 percent in the past two decades to now rank third in breed registrations nationally.

Carrying on a long-standing tradition of working closely with commercial cattle producers, the 59th annual RAAA convention kicked off with a “Profit $implified” Commercial Cattlemen’s Symposium. The audience, which represented a broad spectrum of commercial producers, seedstock growers and cattle feeders, enjoyed presentations on profit drivers in the feed yard, advancements in multi-breed expected progeny differences and economically relevant traits, and a talk by this author about how the industry is represented in the media. Rounding out the event, RAAA CEO Greg Comstock encouraged cattlemen and women to anchor their breeding program in Red Angus while recognizing that crossbreeding can have significant benefits for some producers.

Silas Skinner of Jordan Valley, OR, Will DeLong of Winnemucca, NV, and Bill Moore of Unity, OR, sat on a commercial producer panel and shared their insights on what they expect from their seedstock suppliers to add profit to their calf crop.

Elections also added a number of new faces to the RAAA Board of Directors; Tim Whitley of Horton, AL, was elected to serve as RAAA’s president.

In addition to the usual committee and business meetings, several social events gave attendees ample opportunity to relax, enjoy themselves and meet other producers. On Wednesday evening, the Red Angus Foundation, Inc. hosted their first annual benefit dinner and fundraising auction. On Thursday evening, Area 1 - West, hosts of this year’s convention, treated attendees to a social, supper and parade of the “Bet On Red” sale consignments at the Reno Livestock Event Center. The “Bet On Red” video sale was held at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino Friday afternoon, and the Red Western Classic show capped off events on Saturday. An RAAA Awards Banquet wrapped up convention:

Breeder of the Year – Cross Diamond Cattle Co., Bertrand, NE

Commercial Breeder of the Year – Skinner Ranch, Jordan Valley, OR

Personality of the Year – Mary Otley, Diamond, OR

Pioneer Breeder of the Year – Loosli Red Angus, Ashton, ID

Industry Service Award – Blake Angell, Meyer Natural Angus, Ellis, KS 

John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award – Jim Davis, Superior Livestock Auction, Boise, ID

Twenty-nine producers and feeders won the prestigious Grid Master Award for raising and feeding Red Angus cattle that meet and exceed strict carcass quality specifications. The Red Angus Marketing team also presented Meyer Company Ranch with a special award recognizing their four-year Grid Master status, harvesting 1,000 head of Grid Master cattle in the past two years.

Next year’s Red Angus convention will be held in Lewistown, MT, Sept. 12-13. For more information about RAAA, visit or call the national office at 940/387-3502. — Andy Rieber, WLJ Correspondent; with thanks to Tracey Koester, RAAA