Steve and Lindsay Williams, Midland Bull Test, Columbus, Mont., represented the state at the third annual Beef Leaders Institute (BLI), June 1-4, 2010.
They were two of 20 Angus breeders from 12 states who joined together at the American Angus Association® headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., to gain more awareness about the beef industry.
“I think to become a better spokesperson we need to understand what it is we’re speaking about,” says Lindsay Williams. “I can broaden my industry knowledge by seeking opportunities to educate myself and then sharing that information with consignors, buyers, tour groups, and the various civic and industry groups to which I belong.”
The four-day learning opportunity is designed to give applicants, age 25-45, a chance to meet with Association staff and industry representatives, learn about the different aspects of the beef industry and network with their Angus producing peers.
After tours and presentations of the American Angus Association and its entities – Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), the Angus Foundation, Certified Angus Beef (CAB) LLC and Angus Productions Inc. (API) — 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, CAB-licensed feedlot, Tabor, Iowa,; Tyson, beef processing plant, Dakota City, Neb.; Whole Foods Market, grocery store, Omaha, Neb.; Cargill Meat Solutions, deli meat processing plant, Nebraska City, Neb.; Sysco Lincoln, warehouse and distribution center; and Igenity/GeneSeek, genetics lab, Lincoln, Neb.
“I enjoyed gaining insight from the various tour leaders on where their respective segment is headed,” Steve Williams says. “We wouldn’t be able to gain this insight without being on the trip and touring the facilities.”
The purpose of BLI is to give producers a general knowledge of food production and expose them to unfamiliar facets of the beef industry. The goal of the program is for participants to develop leadership skills so they can be advocates for the beef industry in their local areas.
“I will be a stronger advocate,” Steve Williams says. “We need to educate the public and guide other producers to become stronger advocates for their business as well as the industry.”
For more information about the Beef Leaders Institute or the American Angus Association, visit www.angus.org or call (816)-383-5100.
Source: American Angus Association
Posted by Haylie Shipp