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John Dickinson California

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The California Angus Association (CAA) and Western States Angus Association (WSAA) unanimously endorse John Dickinson, Sacramento, Calif., as a candidate for the American Angus Association Board of Directors.

Dickinson and his brother are fifth-generation Angus breeders where he grew up in Congerville, Ill. His great-great-grandfather, Senator Simon E. Lantz, first brought registered Angus cattle to their farm in the Mackinaw Dells in 1896. Senator Lantz served as President of the American Angus Association in 1941, and Angus cattle continue to run in those same pastures today.

Dickinson grew up involved in the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA), attending his first National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in 1991. Like many others, the NJAS became their family vacation, and Dickinson took advantage of all the programs including team sales, the Auxiliary-sponsored All-American Certified Angus Beef ®(CAB®) Cook-Off, and the National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest, where he represented the state of Illinois. He earned the Bessler Memorial Trophy for outstanding junior member of the Illinois Junior Angus Association.

In 1995, Dickinson was elected to the National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) and served as chairman the following year. He enjoyed his time on the NJAB, and his group was responsible for establishing the first “state-held” Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conferences that have eventually developed into the current Raising the Bar program.

Dickinson attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. On campus he was involved in many activities including serving as a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Hoof-N-Horn Club, College of Agriculture Student Senate, and the livestock judging team. He also worked with the Angus and Simmental seedstock herds at the university beef farms.

Upon graduation, Dickinson was hired by Richard Spader to serve as a regional manager for the American Angus Association covering the states of California, Nevada and Arizona. At 21 years old, he was the youngest regional manager to ever be hired by the Association.

Dickinson traveled for the Association for 10 years and enjoyed working with registered and commercial producers to promote the breed and expand its influence in the Western United States.

During his tenure, Dickinson coordinated the 2002 National Angus Conference and Tour in California and hosted one of the first Angus Boot Camp seminars at Cal Poly State University in 2006. He performed some of the first age-and-source audits for the AngusSource® program at its process verified program (PVP) inception in 2005, and worked closely with Western Video Market and Superior Livestock Auction to track AngusSource calf prices for marketing and publicity, a strategy still used today. He also served as sale manager for the National Western Angus Bull Sale in Denver, Colo.

In the spring of 2007, Dickinson left the Association and formed Parnell Dickinson, Inc. (PDI) with his two partners. PDI is a full-service marketing firm that works in all facets of promotion, management, and cattle trade; both seedstock and commercial. Dickinson works 85 auctions annually throughout the United States with a strong concentration in the West. The company also offers specialized consulting services, where he works closely with three to four seedstock firms representing more than 900 registered Angus females.

Dickinson handles a broad cross section of marketing and management responsibilities including advertising, selection, data evaluation and mating decisions. In addition, PDI calves out 50-60 registered and commercial cows of their own per year.

Dickinson is a life member of the American Angus Association. He served two terms as president of the CAA and has represented California as a voting delegate at the Annual Meeting every year of his eligibility.

In 2007 Dickinson was the youngest recipient of the CAA Hall of Fame Award. In 2009 he was selected to the inaugural class of the Beef Leaders Institute (BLI) program, and in 2018 he was selected by the Angus Foundation to represent the breed at the NCBA Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC).

On a local level, Dickinson has been an active member of the CAA and participated in the first California Beef Cattle Improvement Association’s (CBCIA) “Your Beef’s at Steak” program.

Dickinson has spent his entire life working with Angus cattle. The first registered heifer calf given to him at 9 years old created a passion that not only turned into a profession, but a livelihood. He is a direct product of the NJAA and understands the importance of supporting that program to the fullest and developing our next generation of Angus breeders. Dickinson and his wife, Katie, welcomed their son, Silas, to the world this past July and already have him signed up with an NJAA membership.

Dickinson feels the diversity in the Angus breed is one of its strongest attributes. From growing up in the Midwest to his last 23 years on the West Coast to his sale season travel through the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, he understands different environments and markets require different Angus cattle. It’s not a one-size-fits-all system, and the beauty of Angus genetics is how well the breed fits across those unique landscapes.

With his background and experience, Dickinson has a keen knowledge of Association programs and services and has been involved firsthand with their development and evolution. Above all of this, he realizes the Association is a member-driven, service-based organization. He looks to receive any and all member input and greatly appreciates your consideration for the American Angus Association Board of Directors.

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