Jerry Theis, a devoted second-generation Angus breeder and lifetime member of the American Angus Association from Leavenworth, Kan., is seeking a second term on the American Angus Board of Directors. Jerry’s parents, Edmund and Alice, started their registered Angus herd in 1952. The original farm, which is located in the Salt Creek Valley area of Leavenworth County, was purchased in the month of April, thus Edmund chose the name April Valley Farms. It is a diversified family operation consisting of Angus cattle, as well as row crop and swine production. Cattle are marketed through their annual spring production sale as well as by private treaty, with the main emphasis to produce high-quality Angus bulls for commercial beef cattlemen. April Valley Farms was recognized as a historic Angus herd in 2019.
While growing up, Jerry was active in the daily operations of the farm, but always had a special interest in the Angus herd. He was involved with 4-H and youth livestock shows as an exhibitor of Angus cattle and swine.
He graduated with a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. After graduation, he returned home to the local veterinary clinic in order to stay active in the family operation. In addition to a mixed animal practice, he is involved every day with the activities of the family operation. He has told many people he considers himself “an Angus breeder with a DVM.”
Jerry’s Board candidacy is unanimously endorsed by the Kansas Angus Association. He has been active in the Kansas Angus Association, serving two terms on the board and serving as president in 2010. He served on the American Angus Association Credentials Committee for 10 years and has been a voting delegate at the annual convention for many years. He attended the American Angus Association Beef Leaders Institute.
He and his wife, Tonya, just completed their second term serving as Kansas Junior Angus Association advisors. Tonya is the current treasurer for the American Angus Auxiliary. Together, they have been community leaders of the Happy Hollow 4-H Club for 18 years and actively involved in the Leavenworth County 4-H Events Council for numerous years. Jerry served on the Leavenworth County Extension Council for four years and as president for three of those years. He is actively involved with the Leavenworth County Livestock Committee and has served on the Leavenworth County Beef Improvement Association board of directors. He and his family are members of the St. Joseph Catholic Church.
In his first term, he has served as chairman of the Events and Education Committee, vice chairman of the Member Services Committee, a member of the Communications Committee and on the AGI and API boards.
Jerry and Tonya have four children: Cody, Michael, Megan and Kelsey. All of them have been involved in the NJAA, the Kansas Junior Angus Association, FFA and 4-H. They have exhibited cattle at every NJAS since Cody was 9 years old, and have been involved in numerous NJAA contests and NJAA activities including LEAD and Raising the Bar. Kelsey is the current Miss American Angus.
If elected, Jerry will always keep the best interest of the American Angus Association membership a top priority. He will be accessible to the membership with an open ear and an open mind. He feels membership input is very valuable, regardless of herd size. He is an independent thinker who will take every decision seriously and will work to make informed decisions. He welcomes the opportunity to meet everyone and answer any questions. Jerry greatly appreciates your support and welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve the members of the American Angus Association.