Q&A with Bryce Schumann: 2014 National Angus Convention and Trade Show
The American Angus Association will be having its first-ever National Angus Convention and Trade Show in November 2014. The event marks a dramatic departure from the traditional annual business meeting, which has been in Louisville, Ky., during most of the last four decades.
In an interview, Chief Executive Officer Bryce Schumann discussed the upcoming event and what it means for the Angus breed.
Why the change?
The Angus breed is bigger than just the seedstock business. People from all sectors of the industry contribute to the success of the breed, and we felt it was time to expand our annual meeting to include them. This event will attract commercial producers and feedlot operators, and will create opportunity not only to conduct the business of the Association, but also to network with others, learn about new and innovative production practices and increase the reach of the Angus breed.
Does the change concur with Aassociation by-laws?
Absolutely. The bylaws of the association require the organization to hold an Annual Convention of Delegates each year, and that this meeting shall be conducted within 180 days following the close of the Association’s fiscal year. The bylaws also state that the date and location of the meeting shall be designated by the board of directors. During its 130-year history, the association has held its annual meetings in various locations—Chicago, Louisville and Denver. The early organizational meetings were in Kansas City and St. Louis.
How will it be different?
A. For those of you who’ve attended the annual meeting in Louisville over the years, you’ll find the same meetings and social events in Kansas City—and so much more.
We’re also planning an Angus University, seminars for feedlot operators, a trade show, entertainment and other networking opportunities. The program will have top-flight, nationally known keynote speakers combined with “break-out” educational seminars and workshops. These educational opportunities will be combined with family-friendly entertainment events throughout the three days, and great opportunities for Angus breeders to network with others from across the country.
Why Kansas City?
Kansas City is near the geographical center of the United States. For many members, it’s an efficient place to travel to and from, whether driving or flying. The convention center is just a short drive from the airport. The city is also a good location to draw commercial cow-calf producers and feedlot operators from some of the largest cattle states in the country. And, best of all, the American Angus Association headquarters is just a 40-minute drive away.
Will convention attendees be able to tour the Association headquarters?
Yes. Many people in the Angus business not only have a business connection with our headquarters office, but also an emotional connection with it. It’s historically significant from a breed perspective, yet, it’s also surprising how many people you meet who talk to our employees every day, but have never seen the building. So, one of the most exciting things about the convention will be the “Angus Homecoming,” which will take place the day before the convention. We’ll give tours of our headquarters building to anyone who wants to come to St. Joseph and see the offices. There will also be buses running to and from the hotels in Kansas City. This will be a great opportunity to see the building and to learn more about our programs and services. It will also give attendees a chance to meet face-to-face with many of the people whom they work with at the association.
You’re also planning a trade show?
Yes. We’re in the process of contacting companies that might be interested in participating in the trade show, and we believe involvement from allied industry will be strong. This will not only give them the opportunity to promote their products and services, but also represent a great venue for our members and others to see new products firsthand and to learn more about emerging technologies and services.
Can Angus breeders have booths or displays at the trade show?
Absolutely. One of the great things about the 2014 National Angus Convention is that it will allow Angus producers to promote their breeding programs and sales to a wide cross-section of cattle producers. If you’re interested in leasing booth space, contact our public relations department. Keep in mind, though, that availability is limited, so it’s better to reserve your space sooner rather than later.
What other marketing and promotional opportunities will take place?
We are in the initial stages of planning a commercial Angus bred heifer sale that would be broadcast nationwide during the convention. Buyers could bid in person, over the phone or online. This event creates a new opportunity for members to help their customers market their premium-value, high-quality Angus genetics.
Anything else we should know?
We’re really excited about what this event will mean for the Angus business. The Angus breed has a long and storied tradition of embracing change to advance the interests of its members. We believe this stand-alone event will not only help us provide better service for our members, but also expand the scope of the Angus community—something that’s critical to all of our futures. The Angus breed is not only the business breed; it’s a community of people committed to producing quality for consumers and driving value back to our farms and ranches. This change in our annual gathering represents the next step in strengthening the position of the Angus breed not only to our members, but to their customers as well. We are very excited to develop this opportunity for our membership and our affiliate members who choose to invest in Angus genetics and Angus programs and services. I encourage anyone with a stake in the Angus breed to attend, to learn, to enjoy and to play a larger role in shaping our collaborative success.
Visit www.angus.org as more information becomes available.