New Staff at ASA

March brings spring and a time for new beginnings, including some changes at the American Shorthorn Association!

Emily Velisek, the ASA Director of Events, Show and Membership activities left her job at the ASA at the end of February. Emily joined the ASA staff in July of 2017 and we watched her grow in her position during her time here. We enjoyed working with her and wish her all the best for her future in Iowa! She will be missed but we know we will see her down the road.

Matt Woolfolk, the ASA Director of Performance Programs, Performance Data and Commercial Acceptance recently got engaged and will be leaving us in April. He will still continue to work in his current position. We look forward to our continued work with Matt, even if it isn’t full-time. We are so excited for him and his future with his soon-to-be bride. Congratulations Matt!

Cassie Reid has joined us as Customer Service Specialist and Co-Director of Shows, Event and Membership Services. In this position she will provide customer support and assist with press releases and eblasts. She will also coordinate shows, events and communicate with membership.  

Reid comes to the American Shorthorn Association from the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center(OEF) in Springfield, Mo. where she served most recently as the Livestock Director. During her 6-year tenure at OEF, she was active with the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), graduating from the Institute of Fair Management in December of 2018. Most recently, Reid served on the IAFE’s Young Professionals Initiative Steering Committee. Reid began her career in 2014 as the Assistant Ag Director at OEF. She is a 2015 alumna of Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications. Reid originally hails from Bosworth, Mo. on her family’s diversified row crop and cattle farm. As a 4-H & FFA member, Reid primarily exhibited Shorthorn & Charolais cattle & Boer Goats throughout her youth.

“I look forward to engaging with the members of the American Shorthorn Association and seeing success throughout all aspects of the breed,” Reid said. “My experience in the fair industry provides the confidence needed to see association goals flourish, from start to finish.”

Wade Minihan has joined us as Customer Service Specialist and Co-Director of Shows, Event and Membership Services. In this position he will provide customer support, assist with DNA and weights and measurements management for performance data. He will also coordinate shows, events and communicate with membership.  

 Minihan grew up in Blaine, Kansas on a Commercial Cow/Calf and Registered Hereford cattle operation. While growing up, his family showed cattle at the state and national level. He was an active member of the American Junior Hereford association, as well as, the Kansas Junior Hereford association where he served on the junior board. Minihan graduated from Fort Hays State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, with a minor in marketing. While at FHSU, he was involved in many clubs/organizations on campus. Minihan was an intern in 2019 at the American Shorthorn Association.

“I think my internship gave me good knowledge and helped prepare me for this position,” Minihan said. “My internship gave me knowledge of the Shorthorn breed and many connections with people involved in the association. I am excited for this new opportunity and look forward to working with the breeders.”

The ASA is excited to welcome two new members to our team. We may go through a small transition period at ASA during training of our new staff members, but we still will be available to assist our membership! After the two new staff members are trained, you can call in and receive assistance from anyone in the office. All staff will be trained to assist you in the registry.

AMERICAN ROYAL SHORTHORN SHOW DOUBLES HEAD EXHIBITED

Shorthorn exhibitors gathered in Kansas City, Mo., on October 22 for the American Royal National Shorthorn Show.

Cattle and exhibitors experienced a long day of showing due to an exponential growth in number of head exhibited for the National Shorthorn Show. In 2019, a total of 128 cattle were exhibited in the junior and open Shorthorn and ShorthornPlus shows. This year, the Shorthorn breed more than doubled total for all the shows with 272 cattle shown.
The junior Shorthorn and ShorthornPlus shows were judged by Chris Cassady of Iowa.

“I think for me personally it is cool to be asked to judge Shorthorn shows because it goes back to my roots,” Cassady said. “As a young kid I showed many Shorthorns. It is how I got started. I enjoy looking at these cattle. I don’t care if they are red, roan or white. The good ones are good.”
 The open shows were judged by Scott Werning of South Dakota.
“I had a blast sorting through these cattle,” Werning said. “I was really impressed with the quality. This is actually the breed that started a fire in me for this industry. I would see Shorthorns in magazine and thought they were the coolest thing. Some of my first show animals were Shorthorn. I have a long history with this breed.”

The American Shorthorn Association (ASA) has five national shows each year, as well as several regional and super regional shows. Exhibitors can attend these shows to receive points and be awarded National Show Animal honors. Due to COVID-19, the point shows have been adjusted but the ASA plans to resume normal show points in the 2021-2022 show season.

“It is exciting to see our breed continue to grow and as the shows get larger, the quality improves,” said Emily Velisek, ASA Director of Events, Shows and Membership Activities. “Even with the challenges we have faced in 2020 it is nice to see the breed coming together and showing up.”
The next national show for the ASA will be in Louisville, Ky., for the North American International Livestock Exposition. Cattle will be exhibited on November 14, 15 and 16.

American Shorthorn Association Launches Locally Raised Beef Program

Shorthorn breeders unite to promote fresh, quality beef to consumers.

In the early days of the global coronavirus pandemic, many Americans faced an unsettling reality: empty grocery store shelves.

Dramatic changes set in almost overnight and left families spending all of their time at home, limiting trips to the store and buying in bulk to prepare for the unknown. While the pandemic sent shockwaves across all levels of the U.S. economy, it also provided the chance to serve consumers in new and creative ways.

The American Shorthorn Association (ASA) recently launched an initiative to promote members who are offering beef products directly to consumers.

It’s called Shorthorn Beef — Locally Raised.

“During the pandemic some consumers faced food shortages, and this brought to light the importance of having a local source for beef,” says ASA President Nancy Grathwohl-Heter. “A local program is appealing to consumers, because they know where their meat is sourced and how it is raised.”

The Shorthorn Beef program is an avenue for connecting the breed’s cattle producers with those interested in buying locally raised beef. The effort includes promotional opportunities through social media, the ASA website and other media platforms.

“It’s really about families supporting families,” says Montie Soules, ASA executive secretary and CEO. “When you purchase Shorthorn Beef, you’re supporting a family farm and their livelihood. We hope this program continues to open doors between the community and livestock producers.”

When buying directly from a local farmer or rancher, Grathwohl-Heter says consumers can purchase a quarter, half or whole Shorthorn beef and receive great-tasting, healthy products at a reasonable price point. She and her family manage DTR Cattle Company near Raymond, Kansas, and were early participants in Shorthorn Beef — Locally Raised.

“Our family has been raising Shorthorn cattle for four generations, and we strive to produce a tender and delicious product that exceeds consumer expectations,” Grathwohl-Heter says. “We enjoy having a conversation with consumers and sharing our story as a family-owned Shorthorn cattle operation.” 

The gentle, quiet Shorthorn breed — ideal for family-focused farms and ranches — has long been known for its superior-quality beef, ASA says. The breed also has a unique ability to produce high levels of marbling combined with greater levels of muscling than other breeds.

“Shorthorn cattle have always been known for producing tender and highly marbled beef,” Grathwohl-Heter says. “The Shorthorn Beef program highlights the breed’s great end product, and helps breeders create more value and demand for Shorthorn genetics.” 

Participating members will receive marketing support and be featured on the ASA website among the growing directory of Shorthorn breeders with beef to sell. They will also be able to brand their product using the program’s official logo.

“Through this new effort, we hope to provide a niche market for fresh, high-quality local Shorthorn Beef,” Soules says. “Our more than 6,000 adult and junior members from across the country are committed to raising the best possible Shorthorns and supporting the way of life they enjoy. We want to share that message with consumers.”

In addition, Soules sees the effort behind Shorthorn Beef — Locally Raised as an extension of the breed’s American legacy. The Shorthorn was country’s first beef breed and traces its U.S. history to the 1780s.

Next year, the organization celebrates its 150th anniversary — making ASA the nation’s oldest beef cattle association. Go online to access the list of Shorthorn Beef participating breeders or contact ASA for more information on how to get involved in the new program.

SHORTHORN REPRESENTATION ON BIF BOARD

MANHATTAN, Kan. (June 8, 2020) —The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) announced new directors and officers June 8 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium, hosted virtually this year.

Joe Mushrush, Strong City, Kansas, was introduced as the 2020-2021 BIF president during the Monday session. Matt Perrier, Eureka, Kansas, is the new vice president. New directors elected to serve on the BIF board were producers John Irvine, Manhattan, Kansas; Troy Marshall, Burlington, Colorado; and Joy Reznicek, West Point, Mississippi. New association representatives elected were Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association; Kelli Retallick, American Angus Association; and Matt Woolfolk, American Shorthorn Association.

Bob Weaber, Kansas State University professor, was announced as the new BIF executive director. Weaber will be taking the reins from Jane Parish, Mississippi State University, who served as executive director from 2015-2020.

“Jane has been a great leader for the organization, and we are grateful for the years she dedicated to BIF,” says Tommy Clark, 2019-2020 BIF president. “Under her leadership, BIF has raised the bar in member services, as well as its communication and marketing efforts to members, the board and the organization’s partners.”

Also retiring from the staff after 18 years of service to BIF is Lois Schreiner. From 2002-2020, Schreiner served as executive assistant to several directors and has been integral in BIF’s success.

“Lois is phenomenal,” says Weaber. “She has been the heart and soul of BIF, and the behind-the-scenes contribution she has made to BIF for the past 18 years is immeasurable.”

More than 1,300 beef producers, academia and industry representatives registered to participate in the organization’s 52nd Annual Research Symposium — Online. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting, visit the Awards and Newsroom pages of BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit BeefImprovement.org.

The 2021 BIF Convention and Research Symposium will be June 22-25 in Des Moines, Iowa.

National Junior Shorthorn Show & Youth Conference is Happening!

We have stayed in constant communication with the Taylor County Expo Center and Abilene, TX over the past few weeks to learn how COVID-19 would affect the National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference this summer.

We are excited to announce that they have given us the green light for our event scheduled for June 22-27 as long as we adhere to guidelines set forth by the Governor of Texas and Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, TX. We feel that these guidelines, are what we all have grown accustomed to, and do not cause significant restrictions that would hinder the enjoyment of the activities for this event.

The Taylor County Expo Center will be taking precautions to be sure that surfaces and areas are sanitized, along with requesting that those who attend continue to follow the safety precautions that we all have been following to protect ourselves.  Taylor County Expo Center is excited for our show and the arrival of Shorthorn juniors and their families.

The staff at the American Shorthorn Association, the American Junior Shorthorn Association Board and the ASA Board, are all looking forward to gathering with the Shorthorn family for one of the best weeks of the year.

The normal office function for the American Shorthorn Association will resume on May 18th. Be sure to contact the office if you need any help registering or transferring animals. Entries are due May 25th! You must have animals in the correct ownership by the entry deadline.

We are working hard to finish planning a great week of activities! The junior board has spent many hours planning for this event. They have updated contest rules and planned for other new activities. This year, Flatland Cavalry, a Texas Country band, will be performing!

We can’t wait to see everyone in June for Shorthorns and Spurs!

ASA Board Elects First Female President

During the American Shorthorn Association Annual Meeting the board elected new officers to serve for the 2019-2020 term.

Nancy Grathwohl-Heter of Kansas, made Shorthorn history when the board elected her to serve as the first female president of the ASA.

Nancy has spent her life raising and showing Shorthorn cattle which has grown her passion for the breed. She served on the American Junior Shorthorn Association board of directors from 1994-1997, serving as president her last year. Nancy and her husband Ryan, run DTR Cattle Company in Raymond, Kansas. Their two kids, Josie and Ryder, exhibit Shorthorns at local, state and national shows. Her love for the breed is evident in her dedication to serving on the board and raising Shorthorns.

“I am very honored to serve as the President of the ASA board,” Nancy said. “Growing up in the Shorthorn breed, I have looked up to members of our association and feel the opportunities available to junior members have helped develop me into the person I am today. I am looking forward to this next year as I get to work with my fellow board members for the betterment of the breed.”

With almost 150 years of history, the ASA continues to develop a passion in its members to serve and grow the Shorthorn breed.

New Board Members and Officers Elected

During the American Shorthorn Association Annual Meeting on November 23, delegates from all over the country gathered to elect new ASA board members.

The nominating committee submitted three candidates for the available positions. Jerrell Crow from Oklahoma, Lee Miller from Ohio, and John Russell from Texas were elected to each serve a three-year term. The board elected new officers for the nine-member board. The new president of the board is Nancy Grathwohl-Heter of Kansas, the first female president of the American Shorthorn Association. The vice-president is Hugh Mooney of California and the executive director is Dave Greenhorn of Ohio. They serve alongside Joe Bales of Tennessee, Toby Jordan of Indiana, John Sonderman of Nebraska, Jerrell Crow of Oklahoma, Lee Miller of Ohio, and John Russell of Texas.

ASA BOARD MODIFIES MISSION STATEMENT, VISIONS AND CORE VALUES

At the end of February, the American Shorthorn Association board of directors met in Kansas City for a strategic planning session led by Kevin Oschner. During the session, the board revised the ASA mission statement, vision, core values and core strategies.

The new mission statement is “the mission of the American Shorthorn Association is to serve all members and enhance the value of the Shorthorn breed by managing data, maintaining the integrity of the herdbook, educating members and communicating the value of Shorthorn cattle resulting in the expanded use of Shorthorn genetics in the U.S. beef industry.”

The new ASA vision is to be recognized in the industry as a viable British breed that creates profitability in beef cattle production, with a family-friendly environment.

The new ASA core values are diversity: we value diversity of members and breeding programs, transparency: we value the importance of a transparent database and herdbook, family: we value programs and activities that encourage and support family-based beef production, accountability: we believe its important for individuals to take ownership of their actions and decisions, honesty and integrity: we believe that strong relationships are based on personal honesty and integrity, technology: we value the role technology plays in advancing beef production and the Shorthorn breed, heritage/history: we celebrate the rich history of the Shorthorn breed, and customer service: we commit ourselves to treating our members like valued customers.

The new ASA core strategies are to increase commercial interest in Shorthorn genetics, educate, equip & empower our members, continue to develop & support the junior program, and invest in research & development to enable breed improvement.

“This strategic planning session was truly valuable in updating our association to fit how we have grown and will continue to grow as a breed including prioritizing the importance of the Shorthorn breed in the commercial cattle industry,” said Montie D. Soules, executive secretary/CEO of ASA. “The board spent two days planning to make sure we were including all current and future members of the ASA so that we can serve them to the best of our ability.”

NEW BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS

During the American Shorthorn Association Annual Meeting on December 1, delegates from all over the country gathered to elect new ASA board members.

The nominating committee submitted three candidates for the available positions. Hugh Mooney, a board member from California, was elected for his second term. John Sonderman from Columbus, Nebraska, and Toby Jordan from Rensselaer, Indiana, were elected for their first term to the ASA board. They will serve a three-year term.

Following the Annual Meeting, the board met to elect new officers, for the nine-member board. The new president of the board is Rick Leone of Colorado, vice-president is Nancy Grathwohl-Heter of Kansas, and the executive director is Hugh Mooney of California. They serve alongside Tom Turner of Ohio, Joe Bales of Tennessee, Robert Alden of Missouri, Dave Greenhorn of Ohio, Toby Jordan of Indiana, and John Sonderman of Nebraska.

AMERICAN SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION INTRODUCES GENOMIC TESTING INCENTIVE

In an effort to encourage breeders to genomically test more Shorthorn females, ASA is introducing the Genomically Enhanced Heifer Program (GEHP).

ASA will be offering incentive to breeders who take advantage of the uLD (25k) or 50k genomic test on their heifer crops. All heifers tested as a part of this program will have genomically-enhanced EPDs.

Breeders whose animals are eligible will receive a credit on their ASA account for a portion of the cost of the uLD or 50k genomic tests done on replacement heifers. This will give breeders the opportunity to genomically test females at a significantly discounted rate.

For a heifer to be eligible for the testing rebate, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Heifer must be born on or after January 1, 2017
  2. 75% of the yearling heifer inventory must be tested
  3. All heifers tested must have a recorded calving ease score, birth weight, weaning weight & yearling weight
  4. Heifers with recorded carcass ultrasound or feed intake records will receive an additional rebate

“The GEHP will allow Shorthorn breeders to add valuable genomic information to the future of their cow herds: the replacement heifers,” said Matt Woolfolk, ASA Director of Performance Programs. “ Additionally, the program will allow us to strengthen the ASA genomic database, which will significantly aid us in our commitment to offer the best genetic selection tools possible to ASA membership.”

If you have questions about this program, please contact Matt Woolfolk at ASA (matt@shorthorn.org).