“Funded in part by the American Simmental-Simbrah Foundation”
President’s Corner Clay Sundberg, AJSA President Hello fellow AJSA Members! As the majors are coming to an end and spring calving season is hot and heavy for many at home, I hope everyone is doing well through the busy times. The AJSA board has had an exciting fall and winter watching Simmental genetics excel in the show ring. Beyond that, we have further enjoyed the opportunity to meet with everyone along the way. We would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us in Denver with the Foundation Gala and the donation heifer in The One Sale. A huge thank you goes out to RS&T Simmentals and Jordan Cowger for their donation heifer and to all of the breeders and families that donated money. Your support towards the Foundation is greatly appreciated by all of the AJSA Trustees. Looking ahead, the AJSA board will be attending the Youth Beef Industry Congress (YBIC) Conference in the first part of April. This will be an exciting time for the AJSA board because this is the first time the entire board will be together in person since the National Classic last year. Here we will not only be having our annual spring meeting to discuss the upcoming summer, but we will also be furthering Clay Sundberg our leadership skills among many other junior boards. In past years this has been an exciting leadership conference filled with numerous workshops, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities amongst other boards. At this event, we will also be finalizing our plans for the community service project for the 2020 National Classic. We hope to see you at the exciting Regionals or National Classic that are scheduled for this summer! Make sure to be watching Facebook for announcements as we What’s Inside approach our summer show schedules. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or any other AJSA Trustees.
Freking Cattle Co. Spotlight Junior Public Speaking Denver Recap The National Classic Mentoring Program The Legacy of Doug Parke Interview with Kiersten Jass Former AJSA President Catching up with Chance A Staple of the AJSA Fred and Phyllis Swain
Freking Cattle Co. Spotlight Q&A By Darla Aegerter AJSA Director of Youth Activities and Foundation Manager Thank you to the Freking Family for their gracious donation to the 2020 Foundation Female that sold this year in “The One” Sale. Through donations like these, the AJSA can continue to grow our Merit Scholarship program. Below is an interview with Brad Freking, Freking Cattle Co, Alpha, Minnesota, coordinated by Darla Aegerter, AJSA Director of Youth Activities and Foundation Manager. What prompted your interest in getting involved in not only the livestock industry but the Simmental breed? Meg and I both grew up on family farms in Southwestern Minnesota and have been associated with livestock our entire lives. Our main business is fully integrated pork production, but Meg has always had a passion for cattle and showing livestock. Meg’s first purebred purchase happened by accident when she brought home a Hereford heifer instead of a Hereford steer for our son Will. As we continued with the Hereford breed we got to know more and more Simmental breeders. As the Simmental breed continues to improve, we see the opportunity for those genetics to be more widely used throughout the entire beef industry. What impact has the Simmental breed had on your family? We have only been involved with the breed for the past three years, but we are excited about the opportunities within the Simmental breed. Being involved with the bull Ruby’s Currency has been very exciting and rewarding. When you purchase a bull, it is always a risky venture, but we are very pleased with how the progeny are selling this year. At the last two bull sales that had a large number of Currency bull offspring, the bulls averaged over $10,000 per head. We are thankful to the breeders that purchased semen and are more pleased that they are having good results with the Currency offspring. It is always a leap of faith when you try something new but we are happy that it worked out for those breeders who took the risk. With a strong history in animal agriculture, what do you see as the opportunities ahead for the Simmental breed and its youth? Anytime you are involved with something that is growing and has a significant opportunity to continue to grow is always exciting, especially for the youth involved. That is how we view the evolving Simmental breed today. Coming from the pig world, we basically are down to four different breeds that produce the vast majority of pigs grown in the United States. Landrace and Large White are the female breeds that are crossed to produce an F1 female that is used as our parent sow and we mate that female to a Duroc or a Hampshire boar. I can see how the Simmental breed continues to grow as more and more producers realize the value of the breed. Angus and Hereford will always be foundational female breeds for the industry, but the Simmental breed has a huge opportunity to be incorporated into anyone’s genetic program. In your own words tell us about the Freking Family. Meg and I both grew up on small family farms in Jackson County, Minnesota. We met during high school at various 4-H events and we both showed and judged livestock during the summers. After graduating high school, we both attended South Dakota State University where Meg judged and actually coached the judging team for a couple of years. Upon graduation from SDSU, I pursued my veterinary degree at the University of Minnesota, completing it in 1994. When I graduated vet school, Meg and I started our pig production company, New Fashion Pork, which is headquartered in Jackson, Minnesota. We started very small, producing about 50,000 head our first year. Today we operate in seven different states and own 60,000 sows and market 1,400,000 pigs per year. We are also involved in processing and further processing with our harvest plants in St. Joe, Missouri and Sioux City, Iowa, along with three bacon plants (St. Joe, MO, Salt Lake City, UT, Missoula, MT.) Meg and I are blessed with three sons, Benjamin, William, and Thomas. Ben is currently a sophomore at Iowa State, William is a sophomore in high school, and Thomas is a freshman in high school. Ben showed steers and won the Minnesota State Fair last year, William shows Herefords and pigs and now Simmentals, and Thomas loves showing pigs. They also keep us very busy playing football and wrestling during the school year; and judging and showing during the summer.
Junior Public Speaking By Kennedy Early South Central Region Trustee AJSA is well known for our educational contests and how they help prepare juniors with life skills to use later. A change to the contests that will be happening this year at the National and Regional Classics is that junior public speaking will now be prepared public speaking. The AJSA board felt that it was a good change to the contest for the younger age group as they would benefit from extended time to research the topic. As a young member it can sometimes be a daunting task to read literature on a topic and write a speech in 30 minutes without the help of a parent. We feel that it will also benefit them in their speaking skills, by being able to rehearse the speech and familiarize themselves with their speech weeks prior to the contest. The board thought this would be a positive adjustment and would be more welcoming to our junior members. Topics will be made available on March 1, 2020, be watching the AJSA Facebook page as well as the website juniorsimmental.org. Three topics will be presented for National Classic and two topics for Regional Classics. Juniors will then prepare their speeches prior to the contest on two 3x5 note cards that need to be handwritten. Speeches will still need to follow the time requirements of three to seven minutes. If you have any questions about the change in the contest, contact any of the AJSA board members or find the National and Regional Classic rules on the AJSA website.
Denver Recap By Martha Moening
North Central Region Trustee If asked to describe the National Western Stock Show, what words would you use? Would you say it’s historic, built on tradition? Or is it thrilling and competitive? Perhaps, the words family, connections, and reunions would also be fitting. Yet no one can argue that the atmosphere in Denver is special. This year was no exception — an incredible time with an impressive set of cattle and people! To kick things off, the ASA held a meet and greet in the yards on and ASA staff to connect. The following days things heated up in the show ring. The heifer and bull pen shows were deep with quality! It was exciting to see breeders comprise and showcase a highcaliber set of cattle. On the hill, the impressive representation we had made it a challenging show. Congratulations to all exhibitors for your success! The SimMagic Sale averaged $7,321 over 63 lots. The One Sale has raised $46,250 for Silver and Gold Merit Awards. A highlight of the evening was the sale of the Foundation Female which was donated by RS&T Simmentals LLC and Jordan Cowger. Thank you to everyone who consigned lots and bought from the SimMagic Sale and The One Sale. The Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 19, featured several silent auction baskets. Thank you to those who came to the event and donated or purchased items. Through all these events, your support was overwhelming. Thank you to everyone for your commitment to the breed and for investing in the lives of young people!
Aside from the shows and other events, one of the most important aspects was honoring Sammi Long. Her infectious smile, joyful personality, and passion for Simmental cattle were present at almost every show. This year at Denver, the Simmental breed came together to remember such an influential young person. Her family had a beautiful memorial display at their stalls which also showcased her lot in The One Sale, Long’s Scarlett F13. A sincere thank you to Hicks Cattle Company for purchasing Sammi’s heifer and continuing her legacy. AJSA Trustees, ASA Staff, and several others wore teal ribbons in memory of Sammi. I was able to be a part of a live broadcast for RFD-TV. I shared about the benefits of the AJSA, my experiences as a Trustee, and described what was happening at the National Western Stock Show. Most importantly, I was able to explain the meaning of the teal ribbons and share about Sammi. Please continue to think and pray for the Long family. Through all of my experiences at the National Western Stock Show, I am confident that the Simmental breed is built on tradition, competitiveness, and family. Perhaps special is the best way to describe our breed. Thank you all for a wonderful experience! I look forward to seeing you next year!
The National Classic Mentoring Program By Luke Harker
Eastern Region Trustee You would be surprised at who is watching your journey and being inspired by it. At my first National Classic, I was one of the many who watched the older members and I became inspired. I observed members as they shared advice, participated in leadership roles, and acted as a source of encouragement. These actions had significant impacts on numerous people and myself. The older members were paving the path for others to become role models. Their generosity, leadership, and encouragement had a profound impact on myself and many others. I will forever be thankful for the people in the Simmental breed who invested in me. Now that I am much older and experienced, it has been my goal to give back to the Association. For the past three years, I have served as a mentor in the Mentor-Mentee Program during the National Classic. The program pairs older and more experi-
enced mentors with mentees. Throughout the week, mentors spend time with their mentees and assist them by preparing for contests, helping meet new people and make friends, and complete a packet with what they learned. Every time I have served as a mentor in the program, I have met new juniors who are eager to learn. It is highly rewarding to see them set goals, obtain more confidence, and make countless memories with their new friends. The Mentor-Mentee Program is highly valuable to the youth of our Association because it prepares the next generation, for their future in the AJSA. Whether you are a highly experienced member or a first-timer, I encourage everyone to participate in the program at the 2020 National Classic in Grand Island, Nebraska. Even the smallest actions can inspire others in the biggest ways!
The Legacy of Doug Parke By Rachel Dickson Vice President of Marketing For myself, along with many other AJSA members, there are certain individuals that make an impact on your life from a very young age in the Simmental cattle industry. In my life and the lives of many others, the person who has made one of the biggest impacts is Mr. Doug Parke. Parke has made a lasting impact on so many juniors and has been an advocate for the Simmental breed over the many years from the time he showed, to when his daughter showed, and will continue to make an impact once his grandsons enter the ring for the first time in just a few short years. There is no one in the Simmental breed that has as many connections and networking abilities as Parke, which he has created over the many years of being involved. Parke along with his wife, Debbie, and with the help of his daughter, Holli, her husband, Drew, and grandsons Knox and Breck, own and operate DP Sales Management. DP Sales Management has rooted themselves into the Simmental breed and pride themselves on outstanding customer
service while still maintaining optimal knowledge of the breed along with customer needs. For over 30 years, they have been supplying sale management operations to Simmental enthusiasts in need and have created long term relationships with hundreds of families throughout the years by doing so.
This past January, Parke was awarded the 2020 Golden Book Award for Lifetime Promotion at the Foundation Gala in Denver. His hard work and dedication has never gone unnoticed and shined through by the receiving of this award. Congratulations Parke on receiving this once in a lifetime award that will be remembered for decades throughout the Simmental breed. Thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for the Simmental breed. From my perspective, not only am I blessed to know Parke, but I am blessed to consider him family. He has been a part of my life since a very young age and has always been a source of inspiration. Parke is one person who always pushes me to be my best and he was the one who inspired me to become an AJSA Trustee. I truly would not be who I am today without the influence of Parke. So next time you are at a Simmental show, sale, or event, just look for a short man, probably talking someoneâ€™s ear off, wearing a cowboy hat and a smileâ€Ś heâ€™s impossible to miss.
Catching Up with Chance By Hunter Aggen
North Central Region Trustee Many of you reading this have seen Chance Ujazdowski at the National Classic or at a major show. Many people do not realize how much Chance contributes to each and every show to ensure that we have a successful event every time. We decided to put the spotlight on the guy behind the scenes -- to shine light on a guy that truly deserves it! I can speak on behalf of the entire AJSA board in saying that we appreciate everything that Chance does! Chance Ujazdowski What are your responsibilities with AJSA? Though my unofficial ASA title is PTP Program Director, I aim to fill as many roles as possible for AJSA. Behind the scenes, this includes tasks like creating show programs, writing quizzes, scoring the AJSA Classics, proofreading results for publication, and providing event feedback. The more enjoyable portion of my position with ASA, though, is done on the forefront: Member relations make the job worthwhile! Whether I'm checking in cattle, lining up classes, or simply walking through the barns, I hope AJSA members and their families understand that I, along with the entire ASA/AJSA Staff, am there for them! While I certainly have regular responsibilities for each and every AJSA event, I ultimately try to provide whatever it takes for the AJSA events to be successful and enjoyable for the contestants. Share about your family's cattle operation. My mom has been in the Simmental business since her sophomore year of high school, when she and her brother bred their first half Fleckvieh females. Their operation, Woodland Farms, is ASA Member #2975. Since 1996, my family has owned and operated Wishing Well Simmentals, now located near Hortonville, Wisconsin. We run approximately 45 bred females, calving primarily in the spring. We utilize only AI and ET, with a focus on productive cow families, modern genetics, and a balance of phenotypic and genotypic quality. We market cattle both privately off the farm and publicly through consignment sales. Favorite part of being involved with ASA and AJSA. Without a doubt, my favorite part of being involved with AJSA is having a front-row seat to the accomplishments of its members. Whether they are braving the Public Speaking contest for the first time, making it out of a showmanship heat, or ringing that Swiss bell at the end of the week, they have achieved something truly special. Seeing AJSA members year after year, watching them grow and improve, is as rewarding as it gets. Favorite show and favorite experience during your involvement. The AJSA Classics are all tremendous events. To oversimplify things from my perspective: The Eastern Regional feels like a miniature National Classic each year; Western is a unique and well-oiled mix of relaxation and competition; North Central, where the quality is consistently deep, feels like home to me; and the diversity of South Central is unmatched in any other region. With all due respect to Regional Classic coordinators, though, there is nothing that can match the hype or the prestige of the annual AJSA National Classic. No matter the location, the quality of the cattle is outstanding, and the quality of the contestants is even better. A full week of elite kids and competition built around the themes, ideas, and hard work of a host committee? Unbeatable! AJSA is full of incredible kids and families, so a specific favorite experience is difficult to choose. For me, it has to start where my ASA staff experience began: as co-chair of the 2011 AJSA North Central Regional Classic in Wausau, WI. That week, a talented young man from Illinois participated in his first ever AJSA Classic. He stood out immediately as a true Simmental enthusiast, and it has been a pleasure working with him and seeing him grow in the AJSA. At the 2019 National Classic, Clay Sundberg was announced as President of the AJSA Board. I was, and still am, truly proud of him – as I have been with so many past and present junior members. I believe in the AJSA and its members, and I am so excited to see what each of them can do.
AJSA Summer Deadlines Mid-April Entries open for Regional Classics and National Classic. Available on your herdbook.org account. April 15 Hotel scholarship deadline. Scholarship will cover lodging expenses for one room at 2020 National Classic. Application available at juniorsimmental.org. May 1 Eileen DuJardin Memorial Scholarship – Funds will help sponsor an AJSA member to attend the 2020 National Classic. Application available at juniorsimmental.org. May 1 Regional Classic entry deadline, 4:30 pm. Fees double for late registration. May 8 Regional Classic final entry deadline, 4:30 pm. May 15 National Classic entry deadline, 4:30 pm. Fees double for late registration. May 22 National Classic final entry deadline, 4:30 pm.
June 1 Photography contest entry deadline. Mail 8 x 10 inch photos, mounted on 10 x 13 inch black foam core board, to: ASA Publication, Inc., One Genetics Way, Bozeman, MT 59718, ATTN: AJSA Photo Contest. Four category options: Simmental cattle, people, landscape, general agriculture. Best of Show winning entry gets their photo on the cover of the September Register. June 1 Bronze, Silver and Gold Merit award deadline. June 1 AJSA Trustee Application deadline June 30th Interview Competition – Resumes and Cover letters due by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interview times will be assigned and conducted during the National Classic. *All deadlines are Mountain Daylight Time Check out the new rules at juniorsimmental.org
Interview with Kiersten Jass, former AJSA President By Grace Grieman North Central Region Trustee
What is your background in the Simmental breed? I have been involved in the Simmental breed ever since the day I was born. My grandpa Alan started Jass Simmentals and expanded the operation to where it is today with my uncle Steve and dad. I grew up being the youngest, and you could always find me tagging along to shows with my sister, Courtney, and my two cousins, Chase and Trey. Being the youngest I was dead set on showing like the older kids and showed my first heifer when I was four years old at a small jackpot show. That summer, I competed in the novice program for the first time at a Regional Classic and have been hooked. I attended a Regional or National Classic every year since. In addition to other positions, I served as President of the Iowa Junior Simmental Association for two years and served on the IJSA Board for 10 years. While serving two terms on the AJSA Board of Trustees, I had the opportunity to serve as both the Vice-President of Marketing and Finance and President. Where do you currently live and your current involvement in agriculture? I am currently finishing up my last semester at Iowa State University where I am majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Agronomy. After graduation, I hope to stay in Iowa and get a job in ag sales. I plan to continue to grow and expand my herd along with helping out at home on the farm. What encouraged you to apply for a position on the American Junior Simmental Board of Trustees? I have always looked up to the Trustees when attending the Classics as they were always the kids who were helping people out and leading the way at the shows. Having an older sister that had served on the AJSA Board inspired me to run for the Board as soon as I was old enough. I wanted to give back to an Association that has given me so much and taught me many valuable life lessons throughout my time. What is your advice for a future member that may be wanting to apply for a position on the Board of Trustees? Step out of your comfort zone! Serving on the AJSA Board of Trustees pushed me out of my comfort zone on many occasions and it gave me the opportunity to grow. It was a great opportunity to network with breeders in the industry along with making lifelong friendships. Serving on the Board brought me some of my closest friends and allowed me to become friends with kids on other junior boards that I would not have met if it wasnâ€™t for the conferences that we attend. What are your hopes for the American Junior Simmental Association in the future? I hope the AJSA continues to grow and prosper. I learned many life-long skills by competing in the educational contests at the Classics. I think these are a great asset to the exhibitors as they are able to interact with other kids and take away skills that will benefit them later on in life.
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A Staple of the AJSA–– Fred and Phyllis Swain By Cara Smith
Eastern Central Region Trustee The Swain family has been involved with the Simmental breed since 1980 when their oldest son, Chi, was loaned a Simmental heifer to show. They were immediately hooked, and that opportunity sparked a lifelong passion for the Swain family. In the spring of 1981, they purchased their first Simmental show heifer. In 1982, their other son, Brian, became involved and purchased his first Simmental show heifer. In 1984, those show heifers had their first calves and the family still uses those genetics in their herd today. Fred and Phyllis said “So, we say that we became involved through a 4-H project that got out of hand, but we enjoy every (well most every) minute of it!” Fred and Phyllis have been involved with the Eastern Regional since the start of the Eastern Junior Simmental Classic in Jackson Mill, West Virginia. When their oldest granddaughter, Lily, started to get involved with the AJSA they revived their involvement with the AJSA. Their involvement with the Eastern Region fundraising grew and in 2010 they became the co-chairs for the Eastern Junior Simmental Classic. For the last 10 years Fred and Phyllis have organized the fundraising auctions held each November at NAILE. Those funds have been instrumental in the success of the Eastern Region Classic. Their duties as chairs of the Eastern Junior Funding Auction included: • Organize the annual auction at NAILE. • Establish start-up funds to encourage the Eastern Region states to host the Eastern Region Classic. • Encourage the Eastern Region states to view the region as a group rather than individual states and strengthen cross-state friendships within the Simmental Community. • Establish a rotation strengthening long-term planning for the Eastern Region Classics for our youth. • Coordinate, contact, and encourage people and businesses to contribute items for the auction. • Hold an Annual Meeting at the Eastern Regional Classic to get feedback and new ideas not only for Eastern Region Classic but also NAILE. In January of 2018, Fred and Phyllis received the prestigious World Simmental-Fleckvieh Federation Golden Book Award. Fred also had the opportunity to serve the Eastern Region as an ASA Trustee for six years. Other highlights they have had over the years include: • Watching the region grow and unify as a group. • Developing friendships with fabulous youth and parents. Watching those young people, through AJSA opportunities, develop into strong and secure adults in our industry. • Expanding the Eastern Junior Simmental Classic to include the awarding of scholarships to Eastern Region juniors each year. The 2019 Eastern Region Classic was the first time scholarships were awarded. Fred and Phyllis both look forward to seeing what the future holds for the youth and the scholarship opportunity. While Fred and Phyllis are excited about all they have accomplished with the AJSA, Fred says, “the activities and friendships with the Simmental breeders has been a great blessing.” Both Fred and Phyllis Swain’s sons, Chi and Brian, were competitive in the AJSA and served as AJSA Trustees. They competed in the Eastern Region and National Classics with success, learned from their experiences, and developed life skills to be productive and contributing individuals in society. Fred and Phyllis have three grandchildren active in the AJSA. Lily served as an AJSA Eastern Region Trustee from 2017-2018. Tucker and Bella are still very active at both the Eastern Regional and National Classics and look forward to continuing the tradition of making a difference. “There have been many favorite memories, but all involve the interaction and friendships we have had with youth and their parents. The support of the parents and the growth of the youth to functional, intelligent, responsible, and contributing adults certainly stands out,” says Fred and Phyllis Swain The AJSA is so fortunate to have supporters like Fred and Phyllis. Their involvement and leadership have paved the way for many juniors to gain valuable experiences in and out of the showring. The AJSA Board of Trustees would like to thank Fred and Phyllis for all of their hard work and dedication over the years and we are sincerely grateful for all you have taught us!!
2020AJSA AJSAEvents Events 2018 Early April – Watch AJSA website and Facebook for upcoming information April 15 – Hotel Scholarship deadline – find application at juniorsimmental.org May 1 – Regional Classic Early deadline, 4:30pm MDT Event registration fees double between May 1, 4:31pm and May 8, 4:30pm May 1 – Eileen DuJardin Memorial scholarship due. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org May 8 – Regional Classic final entry deadline, 4:30pm MDT May 15 – National Classic Early deadline, 4:30pm, MDT Event registration fees double between May 15, 4:31pm and May 22, 4:30pm May 22 – National Classic Final deadline, 4:30pm MDT June 1 – Bronze, Silver and Gold Merit Scholarship applications, Trustee Applications, Photography contest due. Send to email@example.com June 9-13 – AJSA Eastern Regional Classic, Cookeville, TN June 14-17 – AJSA South Central Regional Classic, Springfield, MO June 18-20 – AJSA Western Regional Classic, Sand Point, ID July 5-11 – AJSA National Classic, Grand Island, NE *All deadlines are Mountain Daylight Time Start planning to attend the 40th Anniversary of the AJSA at the 2020 National Classic!
AJSA 2019-2020 Board of Directors President Clay Sundberg 815-878-6758 firstname.lastname@example.org VP Membership Communications Kara Cloud 417-793-1414 email@example.com VP Leadership Teegan Mackey 512-718-3165 firstname.lastname@example.org VP Finance Cody Smith 405-756-6905 email@example.com VP Marketing Rachel Dickson 740-915-1160 firstname.lastname@example.org Eastern Regional Trustees Olivia Branum 601-466-3733 email@example.com Luke Harker 812-371-7976 firstname.lastname@example.org Cara Smith 336-601-2681 email@example.com South Central Region Trustees Kennedy Early 660-525-2583 firstname.lastname@example.org North Central Region Trustees Hunter Aggen 507-923-0815 email@example.com
Hotel headquarters for the 2020 AJSA National Classic Boarders Inn & Suites 3333 Ramada Road • Grand Island, NE 308-384-5150 Group Rate: $99.00 plus tax, Block Name: Simmental Cutoff Date: June 19, 2019 Ramada Midtown 2503 South Locust St. • Grand Island, NE 308-384-1330 Group rate: $101.95 plus tax, Block Name: 2020 Junior Simmental Cutoff date: June 7, 2020 Holiday Inn Express & Suites 3404 West Faidley Ave • Grand Island, NE 308-675-1118 Group Rate: $149.95 plus tax for 2 Queen Beds, Block Name: Simmental Classic Cutoff date: May 15, 2020
Grace Greiman 641-512-1662 firstname.lastname@example.org Martha Moenning 504-923-1114 email@example.com Western Region Trustees Bentley McCullough 406-788-1669 firstname.lastname@example.org Sydney Schwenk 503-847-6828 email@example.com Keanna Smith 970-769-0357 firstname.lastname@example.org
The official publication of the American Junior Simmental Association