TN Junior Beef Ambassador Explores Stockyard City

Screenshot_2015-12-17-10-54-40By Lindsey Parsley, TN Junior Beef Ambassador

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel 12 hours from our cow-calf operation in Readyville, TN out west into Oklahoma. My family and I ventured to the top of the state to a small town called Miami, where I toured a Junior College. The following day, I insisted we visit Stockyard City due to my visit back in the summer when I traveled to Oklahoma City for the AQHA World Championship.

Stockyards City was founded on October 3, 1910 and known as the “packing town”. By 1915, the most significant meat companies were established in OKC including Morris, Wilson, and Armour, which would serve as the suppliers for the national source for meat packaging.  At the time, meat was packaged and sent on refrigerated rail carts across the country.  However, in 1961, the packing plants were forced to close due to harsh conditions that society frowned upon.

During my visit, I toured the Oklahoma National Stockyard which currently sells an average of 10,000 head of cattle a week. To our luck a cow/calf sale was in progress, so we sat in. I walked up the board walk to get to the sales floor and all I could see was stockyard from every view. It was simply amazing to see the hundreds of head of cattle being herded by cowboys into their pens. When I got inside the building it resembled any other sales floor I had even stepped on back at home, other than the flat screen TV’s that scrolled EPD’s and sale weight information.  A few minutes into the auction, I realized that most of the buyers where the “regulars” or the stockers who attended nearly every sale. After about 3 hours of watching hands thrown up for the next purchase, we decided we were going to leave and walk around the street of Stockyards City. As we were driving back to the main road of the town I noticed the two story Armour Packing Company building still standing so of course I had to stop to take a photo.

Screenshot_2015-12-16-22-58-21_1After the long day we decided to eat at Cattlemen’s Café located in the center of the square. When we sat down the waiter informed us of the rich history in that establishment as well. “Back in 1945, Cattlemen’s was owned by Hank Frey, a gambler of sorts. In a smoke-filled room at the old Biltmore Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, Frey was running out of luck and money in a dice game attended by a local rancher, Mr. Gene Wade. Frey put up Cattlemen’s as the pot if Wade could roll a ‘hard six,’ otherwise known as two 3s. Wade put up his life savings, which was a sizable amount of money. With one roll of the dice, Gene Wade was in the restaurant business.” the waiter said. He then proceeded to point out the ’33’ brand on the wall of Cattlemen’s Hereford Room. That night we enjoyed a fresh steak from the stockyard right next door and I may have been tricked into eating lamb fries.

The Stockyards still serve as the top spot in livestock market sales across the county. More than 102 million head of livestock have been sold at the Oklahoma National Stock Yards in Stockyards City since it opened in 1910. The history rich area was a great tourist attraction filled with good food, cattle trailers, and western apparel. I would highly recommended stopping by Stockyards City if you’re ever venturing through Oklahoma. The experience was truly amazing and awakening to my small town cattle operation.

Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association to Hold 31st Annual Convention & Trade Show

Blank rustic sign hanging on weathered antique teal blue background

On February 4 through 6, the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) will celebrate 31 years of serving the state’s cattle producers with its Annual Trade Show and Convention in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Attendees will hear from top cattle industry speakers that will address herd health, sustainability, forage systems, and the beef cattle business.

Speakers include: Trent Loos, agricultural broadcast personality; Wayne Gilreath, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. Service Center president; Dr. Kenny Burdine, University of Kentucky Agriculture Economist; University of Tennessee Extension Specialists; Dr. David Pugh of the University of Auburn; Dr. John Andrae and Dr. Susan Duckett of Clemson University; Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler of the University of Kentucky; and Dr. Kent Anderson with Zoetis Animal Health.

“This year’s convention is full of great educational and networking opportunities,” said Gary Daniel, TCA’s president and Cypress Inn cattle producer. “We’re hoping to see new faces and meet with old friends.”

In conjunction with TCA events, the Tennessee Dairy Producers Association (TDPA) and the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association (TSPA) will also meet. Each respective association will hold its own meetings, but when not in those meetings, attendees will be participating in TCA events and educational sessions.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, attendees can visit the largest livestock trade show in the southeast. Vendors will be showing off new products, services, and the latest technology for the beef, dairy and sheep industries.

TCA, along with industry partners, will be awarding scholarships to youth, giving away new farm equipment to top recruiters, and honoring members during a luncheon on Friday. Later that evening, attendees will have a chance to bid on fundraiser items to help fund the TCA.

On Saturday, there will be a special opportunity for the youth participate in activities including a quiz bowl, scavenger hunt, and workshops on advocating for animal agriculture led by Tennessee FFA leaders and Tennessee Beef Ambassadors.

Pre-registration is $20 per day or $25 for both Friday and Saturday. This includes admission to all Cow Colleges, the trade show, and the Best of Beef Reception. Lunch is extra. Pre-registration ends Jan. 25. Late registration and registration at the door will be an additional $10 over pre-registration fees.

Attendees should register by calling the TCA office at (615) 896-2333 or by downloading and mailing in the online form which can be found at A full schedule of events can also be found on the TCA website. For hotel reservations, call the Embassy Suites Hotel at (615) 890-4464 or online:

Apply for the 2016 Beef Leaders Institute at the American Angus Association

Submit applications by March 1 to be considered for the program.

Two cowboys and there dog working with a large herd of cattle

The Beef Leaders Institute (BLI) is a premier leadership experience for American Angus Association® members that provides a look into the entire beef supply chain, while enhancing participant knowledge of the Association and strengthening their leadership skills. Angus producers between 25-45 years old are encouraged to apply for the ninth annual BLI scheduled for June 20-24, 2016. Applications are due back to the Association by March 1.

“The Beef Leaders Institute is an annual highlight, as we bring together Angus breeders from across the country for an in-depth look at our business,” says Jaclyn Clark, Association director of events and education. “Participants gain practical knowledge, valuable connections and a greater appreciation for the role of quality beef in today’s marketplace.”

The program brings Angus producers together in Saint Joseph, Mo., for a series of informative sessions, followed by a three-day tour across several industry segments.

During the event, BLI participants are able to tour a beef harvesting and packing facility, retailer, fabricator, feedlots and other industry segments, including the American Angus Association. Those selected will also learn about the ultimate end product — the Certified Angus Beef® brand — and how the branded beef program drives demand for quality Angus genetics.

 “BLI overall has been an excellent experience, and I encourage other producers to attend,” said Jed Connealy of Whitman, Neb. “It’s a unique opportunity to see many different sectors of the industry, and most of the things we’ve seen on BLI are things you don’t just walk in and see by yourself. It’s a really neat opportunity that cattlemen on all levels should take advantage of.”

The Association provides transportation, lodging, meals and materials during BLI. Attendees will be responsible for round-trip transportation between their home and either Kansas City or Saint Joseph, Mo.

To apply, download an application or contact the American Angus Association at 816-383-5100. Information can also be found on

UT Senior Bull Test Slated for January 21

New Testing Procedures Provide Incentives for Buyers

SrBullTestThe University of Tennessee will auction more than 90 performance-tested bulls at the upcoming Senior Bull Test Sale on Thursday, January 21, 2016. The sale will take place at noon at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Spring Hill.

All bulls to be auctioned have recently passed the Senior Bull Test, which measures weight gain, frame and breeding soundness. This class of 96 bulls includes 86 Angus, six Hereford, two Simmangus and two Simmental. All bulls have passed the test’s strict requirements. Top-gaining honors went to an Angus consignment from Alheit Farm in Burns, Tennessee. The bull averaged a gain rate of 5.69 pounds per day.

All bulls in the sale have also undergone DNA testing that can improve the accuracy of genetic predictions, allowing producers who purchase these bulls to make better breeding and management decisions for their herds. This testing will also qualify buyers for an additional $400 in cost-share reimbursement from the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.

Sale catalogs are now available online at the UT Department of Animal Science website: Follow the link to the Bull Testing Program under the Extension tab. You can also pick up a sale catalog at your local county UT Extension office. Catalogs will also be provided at the sale. Additionally, lunch will be available.

In addition to the live auction at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, two tele-video sites will be provided at the Clyde Austin 4-H Center in Greeneville and the Knoxville Livestock Center.

For questions, contact Dr. David Kirkpatrick at 865-974-7294, or call the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at 931-486-2129. The Center is located on Highway 31 between Spring Hill and Columbia.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Apply for Angus Summer Internships

Deadline to submit application is Feb. 5, 2016.

 College students with an interest in the livestock business should consider applying for a summer internship with the American Angus Association. The 10-week, paid internship programs offer three students a chance to gain real-world knowledge and experience in the beef cattle industry.

Group of young people in business training

The member-driven organization provides internship opportunities through the events and education department, communications and public relations, and the Angus Journal editorial team. Application details are outlined below, and all materials must be received by Feb. 5, 2016.

A summer intern joining the Association’s events and education department can expect to play a significant role in planning youth events hosted by the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA). The selected intern will assist with preparations, communications and correspondence for junior shows and events.

Applicants must be enrolled in an agriculture-related major, and consider themselves a self-starter, detail-oriented and an outgoing individual who has the ability to work well with others. Travel to the 2016 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) Conference, and other shows and events is expected.

To apply, send a cover letter, résumé and references to Jaclyn Clark, events and education director, American Angus Association, 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO  64506, or email

College students with a passion for agricultural communications would make an excellent addition to Angus Media’s communications team. From print stories to television scripts, and photography to graphic design, the summer intern will experience all facets of communications for the American Angus Association.

Applicants should have strong writing and design skills, in addition to having completed coursework in news and feature writing, editing and design. Experience in photography, video and social media is an asset in this fast-paced internship.

To apply, send a cover letter, résumé, references and writing samples to Jena McRell, digital editor, Angus Media, 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. For more information, contact McRell at 816-383-5100 or

Working closely with the communications intern on the Angus Media team, the Angus Journal offers a college junior or senior the opportunity to be part of its editorial team for the summer. The writing-intensive internship offers the selected intern an opportunity to participate in producing various publications, including the Angus Journal, the Angus Journal Digital, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, the Angus Journal Daily, editorial websites, and social media efforts.

The internship will be flexible enough to tailor to the strengths and needs of the intern, but many duties can be expected. Experience in news and feature writing, editing and photography are strongly suggested.

To apply, send a cover letter, résumé and writing samples to Shauna Hermel, Angus Journal editor, 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. For more information, contact Hermel at 816-383-5270 or

ANGUS MEANS BUSINESS. The American Angus Association® is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving more than 25,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit

Lauren Neale, Director of TCA Communications, Recognized as 40 Under 40 award recipient


Lauren Neale Head Shot 2015Lauren Neale, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, has been recognized as a recipient of Vance Publishing’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Vance Publishing’s 40 Under 40 Awards program seeks to recognize the most innovative people in agriculture under the age of 40 – from animal and crop production, biotechnology and university researchers, to food and nutrition technology, agricultural equipment, agronomy and beyond – who will be instrumental in meeting the challenge of providing food and fiber for a growing global population.

Neale began her agricultural advocacy work after being selected for a communications internship with the Montana Stockgrowers Association in 2010.  During that time, she was studying journalism and anthropology at the University of Iowa…and had no knowledge of agriculture. Neale spent that summer documenting ranchers’ lives in videos and photos.

“When that internship ended, I realized just how important agriculture was for everything we are able to do on this earth and I then set out to tell agriculture’s story as a job,” she said.

269200_1790611563419_1446709197_nUpon graduation, Neale went to work full time for MSGA to “tell the story of Montana family ranching” and to take photos for a coffee table book: Big Sky Boots: Working Seasons of a Montana Rancher. She also produced video features of the ranchers for social media outlets. The project was intended to educate consumers through imagery about what it takes to raise beef and the people that produce the world’s food.

Neale eventually moved to Tennessee where she is now the Director of Communications for the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, publishing a monthly magazine called, “Tennessee Cattle Business” and managing all of the association’s social media sites.

She really enjoys the story-telling aspect of her work. “When consumers can relate the food they eat to the overall story of production by ‘knowing’ the people who produce it, I am convinced that they will have a harder time being against agriculture.”

Neale believes that the more voices agriculture can have, the better the message will resonate.

40_wordBall_200_transparent“By using tools like Facebook and Twitter, those in agriculture can tell their stories and reach millions of people worldwide. Advocating has never be easier.”