Busy Summer Everywhere

written by Montie D. Soules, Executive Secretary/CEO of ASA in the August 2022 issue of Shorthorn Country

Thank you to the Shorthorn Breeders who made the 2022 150th Herd Book issue a huge success! I also want to say a big thank you to the Shorthorn Country staff, especially Amy Sampson, who single handily put the issue together. This is one of our largest Herd Book issues in some time and it is very well done. I think this July 2022 Herd Book issue will be competitive in the Livestock Publications Council breed competitions for the special issue division. Congratulations to all in making the Shorthorn breed look great!

This issue of Shorthorn Country features the results of the National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference held in June at the American Royal in Kansas City, MO. Boy, it was some show. We had a record number of cattle exhibited, over 750 head were lead through the ring in Kansas City during a week of fun, festivities, and competition. More than 450 exhibitors participated in the activities of the week. There is so much happening at this event that it is just impossible to keep up with it all: numerous contests such as Speech, Quiz Bowl, Team Sales, Team Fitting, Photography, Graphic Design, Arts & Crafts, Written Cattle Knowledge Tests, Career Development, Poster, Beef Cook-off, and Showmanship. This event is way more than showing cattle, but we always grade the event by the number of cattle shown. I believe it is about the juniors and their families. They are the show and they become the customer for the event. Without them, there is no event. These families receive well over 1,000 awards during the week for their competition in all these activities. There was also the election of new Junior Board Members and the retirement of those who have served their terms. Folks, these young people are the future leaders in our breed, agriculture, and the great ole USA. I have the privilege of watching these young people grow from juniors into special young adults. The National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference has been voted the most enjoyable for the last two years. After being part of this and watching it throughout the week my hat is off to Shelby Diehm, Director of Junior Activities and all the ASA staff, and the AJSA Board members who made this year’s event, maybe the best ever! I think you will agree when you see the coverage of this event in this issue of the Shorthorn Country.

Your ASA Board of Directors and staff met for three days after the Junior National for a strategic planning session under the leadership of Dr. Tom Field and Bryce Schumann. Many topics were discussed and graded for importance. The ASA Board rolled up their sleeves and went to work looking at the future of the ASA. This group is as dedicated as any Board of Directors you could have. They worked in harmony to find answers and possible solutions for you, the membership and breeders, of this great breed of cattle. The results of this activity will be shared in the near future giving a solid direction for the future of our breed. There is still work to be done as staff and board members work together to provide a solid future for the Shorthorn Breed.

As I write this month’s article, I am preparing for a trip to England and Scotland for the World Shorthorn Conference. This is where leaders from around the world share knowledge and ideas about the Shorthorn breed and its breeders. We will have the honor to attend the Great Yorkshire Show and possibly be greeted by a member of the royal family. Not sure I know how to act in this situation other than just be me. While respecting the ways of our neighbors across the pond, we will tour areas where the Shorthorn breed was founded. These conferences/tours are always interesting as we find that most Shorthorn breeders have similar issues around the world.
It has been a busy summer to this point. That is good – it means things are happening in the Shorthorn breed.

The message I want to leave you with is the power of our breeds’ family atmosphere. Other breeds admire this comradery and respect that this is shared among Shorthorn members as “The Family Friendly Breed”. This carries over into many aspects of the success of the breed. It was a topic of conversation during the ASA Board’s strategic planning session. It is a way of life and we need to make it a priority to keep it a part of our breed. Believe me, it is there at every level, junior shows, open shows, commercial acceptance, and the purebred ranks. Yes, we have good cattle designed for the industry, but we have even greater people with a family friendly atmosphere. That’s the difference!

“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them out and enjoy their riches.” Wanda Hope Carter

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