The American Simmental Association has awarded Abram Mertz, Manhattan, Kan., a Gold Merit Award worth $1,500 to use for post-secondary educational purposes. Established in 1981, by the ASA Board of Trustees, the Merit Award is designed to provide recognition to junior members who have made "significant contributions to their community, home, family, school and the Simmental or Simbrah breeds of cattle." Judging is based on a combination of factors including leadership, scholarship, extra-curricular participation and direct involvement with the beef industry.
Mertz is currently attending Kansas State University and is majoring in international agri-business. This past year, Mertz served as the President of the American Junior Simmental Association and is currently serving as a summer intern at the American Simmental Association. In April, he was part of an international agricultural trade delegation to Cuba, where he met with Cuban farmers and agricultural trade officials. Mertz is a charter member and the first president of the KSU Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization. He believes that "The internet is the most under utilized, but most effective tool being used by Simmental cattle producers today." So, he and his brother, Lincoln, have created their own company called "Mertz Web Design." Through their company they manage several websites for purebred cattle producers.
Mertz, along with 14 other outstanding junior members were selected as 2009 recipients of Gold and Silver Merit Awards. Five individuals received Gold Merit Awards worth $1,500 each, and ten students earned Silver Merit Awards, worth $750 each. Total value of the combined scholarships is $15,000, funded through donations to the ASA Foundation. All awards must be used for post-secondary education purposes.
"Once again, we had an outstanding field of applicants for these coveted awards," said ASA Executive Vice-President Jerry Lipsey. "It is appropriate that the American Simmental Association provides educational funding for such outstanding young people who represent the future of our breeds." These winners were announced on July 3, 2009, during the American Junior Simmental Association's National Classic XXIX, held in Columbus, Ind.
The American Simmental Association is headquartered in Bozeman, Mont., and maintains the breed registries for the Simmental and Simbrah breeds of cattle. ASA has an active adult and junior membership of nearly 8,000.
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