Kendra Diekevers

Kendra Diekevers, Saranac, representing Michigan, recently attended the 2018 Women Connected Conference, April 18-20 in Excelsior Springs, Mo. The conference is a progressive and enthusiastic group of 30 women from 19 states, who came together to share their ideas, knowledge and passion for raising Angus cattle. Photo by Ali Luety, American Angus Association.


The American Angus Auxiliary’s biennial conference traveled to Excelsior Springs, MO, and the American Angus Association Headquarters April 18-20.

More than 30 women from 19 states gathered at the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, to network, learn and celebrate their love for the Angus breed during the American Angus Auxiliary’s fourth biennial Women Connected Conference.

“The main goal of Women Connected is to provide an opportunity for participants to network with other women who share that common bond of Angus cattle,” said Women Connected Chair Anne Lampe, Scott City, Kansas. “In bringing these women together, we hope to educate them, help them engage with one another and empower them to meet their goals.”

To kick off the conference, Lampe welcomed attendees to the Elms Hotel, where a tasty Certified Angus Beef®-sponsored dinner awaited them. Next, auxiliary member and cattlewoman, Cara Ayres, shared a live performance full of lively singing and dancing. The evening closed with hospitality hosted by American Angus Auxiliary President Leslie Mindemann.

Thursday, April 19 was filled with informational sessions. To start the morning, Milford Jenkins, Angus Foundation president, informed attendees about all that the Foundation does. Kelli Retallick, genetic services director at Angus Genetics Inc., spoke about breeding cattle for a better tomorrow. Then, Ashley Grant, chief marketing officer at Ranch House Designs, wrapped up morning sessions with a presentation about marketing and promotion strategies. After lunch, Debbie Lyons Blythe and Chef Allie took the stage for their “Empower and Encourage” presentation, inspiring attendees to advocate for agriculture in the kitchen.

Attendees also had the opportunity to shop downtown Excelsior Springs before a group activity at Bliss. There, women networked while painting a keepsake to take home. Wrapping up the evening, attendees gathered into four groups for animated round table discussions to recap the day.

Attendees visited the American Angus Association headquarters in St. Joseph, Missouri on the final day of the conference. Women visited with Association staff and toured the offices.

The Women Connected conference is funded by the Angus Foundation, and attendees are responsible only for their travel to and from the conference location. Women interested in attending must fill out an application to participate. The conference was first hosted in 2012 at the American Angus Association headquarters in Saint Joseph.

The next Women Connected conference will be in 2020 in a location to be determined.

About the American Angus Auxiliary

The American Angus Auxiliary consists of individuals interested in the welfare of the Angus breed. Its members work to provide educational activities for junior Angus members, such as scholarship programs, awards and competitions. For more information about the Auxiliary, visit www.angusauxiliary.com.

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