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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

Breeding Cattle for the Ranch and the Ring

Davis, Duckworth join inaugural Junior Takeover of The Angus Conversation.  

For Angus juniors Alexandra Duckworth and Allison Davis, success in the show ring starts before the trailers are loaded, before the cattle are walked and rinsed, before calves even had a halter on. The two Tennessee cattlewomen say it starts with getting the right matings and then helping those animals develop.  

In this first-ever Junior Takeover of The Angus Conversation, Davis and Duckworth, along with guest co-host National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) director Avery Mather, dig into breeding and selecting a champion animal, the Angus community and how the junior program has shaped them.  

“I love the preparation and showing and everything, but definitely my favorite aspect of it is probably post-show career when I get to go out and see what the cows can make for themselves,” says Duckworth, of Afton, Tenn.  “And one of my favorite things is our calving season when we can go out and just kind of sit in anticipation.” 

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Duckworth plans to continue her studies in the beef genetics realm and says that spark came from learning about genomics and expected progeny differences (EPDs) from her dad at a young age.  

Davis, who is headed into her junior year of studying ag communications at Kansas State University, enjoys the work in the show barn, but agrees seeing years of focus in action is the most satisfying part.  

“When we go out [in the pasture], they're all so uniform and they all have a particular look that my family is striving for,” Davis says. “So, it's nice to go out and see, ‘Wow, they did this in the show ring,’ but then ... they have a calf on the side of them that looks like we want them to look.”  

Both juniors note that the competition is fun and winning is even better, but it’s the people who keep them involved. 

“I’ve formed relationships with people all over the country, friendships, and made connections everywhere,” Duckworth says. “And ultimately, I love Angus cattle, and I love the connection that everyone has. 

Davis adds that’s true at the summer shows, but also at other events throughout the year.  

“I feel like there's no better way to develop the youth in the Angus the breed than Raising the Bar and LEAD (Leaders Engaged in Angus Development), as an attendee of those conferences,” she says. “I've made so many connections with the youth there as well as the industry leaders and industry tours that we go on.” 

To hear the entire episode, find The Angus Conversation wherever you get your podcasts, or follow the direct link here. This edition, “Junior Takeover — Davis and Duckworth on Breeding Cattle for the Ranch and the Ring,” is the first in a three-part series recorded live from the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Madison, Wis. If you enjoyed this conversation, be sure to catch parts two and three, available now.  


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