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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

Challenge Yourself to Get Uncomfortable

Humpert and Lemenager Join The Angus Conversation Junior Takeover. 

When a younger Brenlen Humpert, Windthorst, Texas, headed to his very first National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) with his grandpa and his uncle, he wasn’t sure he was going to enjoy the experience. It was his first time away from immediate family for such an extended period of time, and he didn’t know what to expect.  

“But before the week was even over, I knew that this was going to be something I did probably for the rest of my life, just because the people you meet, the opportunities you have and all the experiences that are truly irreplaceable,” Humpert says now. “I knew it was going to be something that I wanted to become a cornerstone of me as a person.” 

He and Paige Lemenager recently joined The Angus Conversation Junior Takeover to talk about the different paths they took as they got involved in the breed. Although their stories start out differently, they share a similar “seize the moment” approach.  

“Challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone, find the things that you enjoy, talk to new people, and I think it’ll really kind of inspire people along the way,” says Lemenager, who grew up in the Angus business near Hudson, Ill. 

As she nears the end of her Angus junior career, she’s got a different vantage point now, and she’s happy to share it with younger members. When they’re bummed they didn’t win their class or finish as competitively as they wanted, Lemenager reminds them to keep working at it. 

“It took us years to win our class at the National Junior Angus Show. It took me years to do well in the judging contest at the National Junior Angus Show,” she says. Today, she has the 2022 Champion Showman banner, and the 2023 Reserver Champion Bred and Owned Heifer.  

Both youth say that they are the product of the “village” that has surrounded them, and the people continue to be one of their greatest benefits of involvement in NJAS. 

“A hello and a handshake can get you a lot of places, but it can't get you farther anywhere than it can in the Angus industry,” Humpert says, also encouraging others to have the courage to ask questions and be open to learning. “A big general piece of advice would be just to be curious. I think that that’s something that can benefit you no matter where you are in life.”  

To hear this entire episode, find The Angus Conversation wherever you get your podcasts, or follow the direct link here. This edition, “Junior Takeover — Humpert, Lemenager Share Life Advice and Getting Involved in the NJAA,” is the second in a three-part series recorded live from the NJAS in Madison, Wis. If you enjoyed this conversation, be sure to catch parts one and three, also available now. 

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