Commercial cattlemen are an integral piece when producing high-quality beef for consumers, and keeping them engaged and up-to-date on new tools is imperative.

Commercial cattlemen are an integral piece when producing high-quality beef for consumers, and keeping them engaged and up-to-date on new tools is imperative.

That’s why the American Angus Association launched the Future Angus Stockmen program earlier this year as a way to engage young commercial cattle producers with educational, networking and scholarship opportunities.

With generous support from Allflex and Destron Fearing, the program’s first $1,000 scholarship was presented to Joel Osborn, Savannah, Missouri, during the Association’s Awards Recognition Breakfast Nov. 5. The event was hosted as part of the 2015 Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show in Overland Park, Kansas, which attracted a crowd of more than 2,100.

Osborn is a senior at Savannah High School in northwest Missouri and has aspirations of returning to the family operation after college. A third-generation cattle producer, Osborn helps his father, John, with their spring- and fall-calving cow-calf operation, their 800-1,000 head feedlot, and a few hundred acres of row crops and hay.

Osborn is interested in attending either Northwest Missouri State University or Kansas State University and plans to major in agriculture business or animal science. In the future, he hopes to expand the family’s feedlot by adding another pen to increase capacity, among other efficiency updates.

“I would like to give local producers more control of how they finish out their animals,” said Osborn, who has responsibilities in all aspects of Osborn Farms.

He is appreciative to Allflex for the scholarship because he plans to pay for his higher education through money he and his family have saved and by working during school.

Future Angus Stockmen is designed to help young cattlemen with strong work ethics, like Osborn, get a leg up on understanding available resources to help their operations, said American Angus Association Commercial Programs Director Ginette Gottswiller.

Participants can enroll each year and take advantage of Association programs such as the Beef Records Service (BRS), MaternalPlus, AngusSource or AngusSource Genetic at a reduced cost. Future Angus Stockmen also receive incentives for genomic testing, using DNA technology such as GeneMax Focus or GeneMax Advantage.

“The connections, confidence and communication skills that can be gained from this program will be priceless to any young, enthusiastic producer,” Gottswiller said. “Creating opportunity for our young producers — commercial and seedstock — will create continued breed success for every producer.”