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  • Lynsey McAnally, Angus Beef Bulletin

Connecting Angus Women

Female Angus producers gather from across the country to network and learn more about Certified Angus Beef®.



Raising livestock is a way of life few are privileged to experience. But busy schedules and responsibilities back at home can make it difficult to prioritize networking and educational opportunities. Despite everything that could have kept them away, 33 passionate cattlewomen from 14 states found time this March to expand their knowledge of Certified Angus Beef and the American Angus Association, as well what goes on behind the scenes to successfully market Angus cattle to consumers. 


Hosted by the American Angus Auxiliary and underwritten by the Angus Foundation, the Women Connected Conference was started in 2012 with the purpose of bringing women involved in the Angus breed together to learn about the industry and to network with other cattlewomen. 


“The unrestricted Angus Fund helps make educational programs such as Women Connected possible for those who share a passion for Angus cattle,” says Jaclyn Boester, executive director of the Angus Foundation. “The Angus Foundation is proud to support this great educational and networking program for the Angus Auxiliary.”


Ladies are selected based on a written application to attend the conference, which is hosted in even-numbered years in either Saint Joseph, Mo., at the American Angus Association headquarters, or in Wooster, Ohio, at the CAB Culinary Center. This year, staff and attendees kicked off the week in Wooster March 25. 


A welcome reception led by conference organizer and Women Connected chairman Anne Lampe provided more information on what to expect during the event. Participants also heard from Karla Knapp, American Angus Auxiliary president, and John Stika, president of CAB.  


Attendees were led through dinner by CAB executive chef Venoy Rogers III, featuring various dishes designed to utilize cuts of beef in unique ways or to stretch product to feed larger groups of people.  

“This program is an opportunity to bring together women from across the United States who come from different backgrounds and demographics, but all share the common bond of Angus cattle,” Lampe says, noting the event is open to any woman within the breed. 


The next morning, attendees learned more about the American Angus Association, Angus Foundation and CAB brand before Diana Clark, assistant director of research and education, presented a unique opportunity. By way of a steak tasting, the group was able to experience the difference between USDA quality grades, CAB and Certified Angus Beef® Prime.


Moving over to the meat lab at the Culinary Center, Clark showed attendees the science behind the sizzle by having teams break down a top sirloin that would be served as the following day’s lunch. Afterwards the group enjoyed an afternoon of education on CAB programs and marketing efforts.

Sarah Dawson, whose family runs a local restaurant in addition to their own herd of Angus cattle, also spoke on the benefits of the CAB Ranch to Table™ certification program.  


“While I was [in Wooster], I was already processing how we could market our restaurant differently. I am already purchasing everything we don’t produce ourselves from a branded program,” Dawson says, explaining how she’s in the process of making contacts with local lockers back home. “I think that would be an advantage to our ranch as well as the restaurant. To follow the chain all the way through from actual ranch to the consumer’s table would be ideal. With the Ranch to Table program, we could do that through our own restaurant with predominantly homegrown, CAB-branded beef.” 


The evening rounded out with a wine tasting at Troutman Winery followed by dinner at City Square Steakhouse, a CAB licensee in downtown Wooster. Participants strengthened their relationships and learned more about one another. 


The final morning, discussions on sustainability and protecting the brand led to roundtable brainstorming sessions. Women Connected concluded following a beef cookoff led by Chef Venoy where participants chose from various cooking methods and ingredients to create their own CAB coulotte and sirloin-centered meal.


“When I applied for Women Connected, I knew it would be a group of women passionate about the Angus breed; but I wasn’t sure what to expect,” says Bree Hawkins. “After the conference I realized I had not only connected with an amazing group of women who welcomed me without question, but that I also understood more about Certified Angus Beef, the brand and the breed as a whole.” 


Editor’s note: For more information about the American Angus Auxiliary and for programs supported by the Angus Foundation, visit www.angusfoundation.org or www.angusauxiliary.com.


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