The 2008 Red Angus Young Guns Conference was held in Irving, Texas on July 17th – 19th at the Radisson DFW South Hotel. This year's event, the third annual, drew over 30 participants from across the country with both veteran and rookie attendees. Red Angus breeders from Montana to North Carolina and North Dakota to Texas were represented. First, second and third generation cattlemen joined in the discussion and took part in the interactive program.
The Young Guns Conference is designed as an educational program for Red Angus breeders. It is specifically geared toward both newer or “young-to-the-breed” members and developing leaders of the breed. The goal of the program is to encourage involvement in the breed, provide an avenue for progressive breeders to network, spur discussion on current topics affecting the breed and provide input into the breed's direction in the fluctuating beef industry. The program grew from the Young Breeders meeting, which started in 2004 and was held in Denver during the National Western Stock Show.
The cattlemen in attendance heard industry leaders including Dr. Jerry Lipsey and Marty Ropp from the American Simmental Association discussed multi-breed EPD's and there use by commercial cattlemen in making their genetic selections. DNA marker assisted EPD's and their relevance in the beef industry was presented by Dr. Jim Gibb of Igentity. Blake Angell of Meyer Natural Angus discussed marketing strategies and genetic selection to reach a program's goals. Dr. Kim McCuistion, a professor at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, presented a program using key success indicators to check the progress of a ranching operation and explained how to identify strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of your ranching operation. Kelli Brown of the RA Brown Ranch, led the group in a Red Angus strategic planning exercise utilizing those same practices.
The Young Guns were also challenged by several interactive competitions such as EPD Poker, DNA Jeopardy, Feet and Udder Scoring on Live Cattle, planning strategies for working ranches in given scenarios starting from a genetic base through the end marketing goals. The program concluded with a live auction of cataloged bulls, purchased with Red Angus Bucks earned throughout the previous competitions. The animals were selected utilizing the concepts learned throughout the program. For additional information contact the Red Angus Association at (940) 387–3502.