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Minnesota cattleman chosen for national beef leaders' institute

Minnesota cattleman chosen for national beef leaders' institute

By Scout Nelson

From pasture to plate, multiple links in the value chain are essential for bringing hamburgers to Americans' grills this 4th of July.

Each link is integral to the success of the others, a key takeaway for the 25 Angus producers selected for the 2024 Beef Leaders Institute (BLI).

“Touring the Tyson plant was a standout experience,” said Andrew Swanson from Ivanhoe, Minnesota. “Seeing a packing house of that scale and the number of employees working the lines was something I hadn’t seen before.”

Swanson and his wife raise registered Angus cattle in southwest Minnesota. He also works for Select Sires, helping producers with genetic selections and leading the cooperative’s beef business sector in the upper Midwest.

The American Angus Association®, in partnership with Certified Angus Beef® brand and the Angus Foundation, hosts the annual program to develop young cattlemen and women as industry leaders.

“Our Angus breeders are the very beginning of the food chain. They are raising the high-quality Angus genetics that start it all,” said Kara Lee, director of producer engagement at Certified Angus Beef. “However, sometimes producers can be so focused on their work that they don’t see how they impact every step to the consumer.”

The five-day tour started at the American Angus Association® in St. Joseph, Missouri, and traveled to six states before wrapping up at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio.

Attendees toured Tyson-Dakota City, Weborg Feedyard, Buckhead of Ohio, STgenetics, and a Meijer Grocery Store.

Despite the busy travel schedule, attendees had time to connect. This year’s group came from a variety of operations, representing 16 states and two Canadian provinces.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting people from across the country,” said Swanson. “You start as strangers and by the end of the week, you feel like you know each other well.”

The Class of 2024 will expand their network at the Angus Convention in November, where they will attend a reunion event for all Beef Leaders Institute classes.

Applications for the 2025 Beef Leaders Institute will open in late fall for American Angus Association members aged 25 to 45.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sstajic

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Categories: Minnesota, Livestock, Beef Cattle

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