President’s Message | Archives
An open door of opportunity
The American Angus Auxiliary completed its 60th Anniversary celebration in Louisville with the election of new officers. Our long history of service to the breed, the membership and especially the juniors has been celebrated during the past year.
"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The new officer team consists of Anne Lampe, advisor; Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates, president; Cortney Holshouser, president-elect; and Lynne Hinrichsen, secretary-treasurer.
Lynne and her husband, Ron, reside in Westmoreland, Kan., where he is employed by Merck Animal Health as a senior territory manager. They own Express Employment Professionals in Manhattan, Kan., where Lynne manages the daily operations. They are also in partnership with Crossroads Real Estate and Auction Services, and own and operate R&L Angus Ranch. They are the parents of Cale and Eva, and are kept busy shuttling them to shows, cattle events and contests, 4-H and school activities.
The new Region 1 director is Kathy Dubs of Billings, Mont. Cindy Ahearn of Wills Point, Texas, will continue as the Region 2 director, and the Region 3 director is Shally Rogen of Brandon, S.D.
My Angus biography
I began my Angus career as a 12-year-old showing my first Angus steer. I was led to the Angus breed by a family friend who told my parents that, even if I never attended a National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), there were many non-showring activities available. However, I jumped in with both feet and attended my first NJAS in 1998 in Indianapolis; how ironic that I am now living in Indiana after being born and raised in Maryland.
I immediately loved all that the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) had to offer and took full advantage of the contests in and out of the showring. I participated in team sales, public speaking, photography, quiz bowl, graphic design and creative writing. I also exhibited the reserve champion bred-and-owned heifer at the 2002 NJAS.
I enjoyed receiving the Certificate of Achievement awards that were offered by the American Angus Auxiliary, although, at that time, I hadn’t the slightest idea of what the Auxiliary was or their contribution to the NJAA. I earned my Bronze and Silver awards and filled out my scholarship application in my senior year.
When I attended the NJAS in Denver in 2001, I was shocked when I was awarded one of the top five scholarships and was offered a chance to participate in the Miss American Angus contest. Being a first-generation Angus breeder and coming from a small east-coast farm, I was very intimidated by my competition — longtime Angus breeders with herds and histories so much larger than mine. I decided to compete, although I felt that my chances were about the same as winning a multi-million dollar lottery.
Apparently, my parents felt the same, because they checked out of the hotel, had all of our clothes packed in the truck and were ready to head home immediately after the Association banquet, to which attendance was required of all the Miss American Angus contestants at that time. When my name was called, I was stunned and so proud to be selected to represent the American Angus Association, the American Angus Auxiliary and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB).
We had to check back into the hotel and secure tickets to the banquet for my parents — talk about negativity working for you! During my year, I was the first Miss American Angus to attend Building Blocks for Success at the CAB headquarters in Wooster, Ohio.
I was also the first Miss American Angus to attend the Canadian Junior Angus Showdown in Barrie, Canada.
Because of my involvement as Miss American Angus, I realized the contributions that the Auxiliary made to the NJAA, and I felt that it was both my duty and my pleasure to give back to the organization that had given so much to me.
Actually, if I had not had this experience, I may not have become as involved in Angus cattle as I did, and this involvement led me to meeting my husband, Tyler Cates of Modoc, Ind., a Shorthorn and now an Angus breeder. We both work on the family farm managing the Cates Farms show-cattle herd.
Building our youth
To say that my involvement in Angus and especially the Auxiliary has changed my life is inadequate in its description; it has shaped my life and my future. I am extremely honored, at the age of 29, to be chosen as the youngest American Angus Auxiliary president. In addition, I am excited to be given the opportunity to influence young people to become involved in our programs and take advantage of the opportunities we have to offer.
My goal this year is to involve young women in the Auxiliary who are ending their NJAA careers. When one door closes, I want to provide an open door of opportunity through the American Angus Auxiliary programs, committees and fellowship.
Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates