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ST. LOUIS, MO -- Angus cattle are the focal point of life on the farm or ranch, but the heart of the business centers on its people. Generations of breeders have painstakingly selected for the best genetics, marketed their operations near and far, and invested in the future of the ranching way of life.

When these minds congregate, good things happen.

As plans take shape for the 2015 convention, there's even more in store for Angus producers and their partners.

"Following our first year in 2014, the National Angus Convention & Trade Show has quickly become one of the industry's must-attend events," says Becky Weishaar, Creative Media director for Angus Media and lead contact for the convention. "The event serves as a meeting place for anyone in beef, from seedstock breeders to commercial cattlemen and feeders."

Prior to the official start of the convention, the Kansas Angus Association will host a preconference tour that allows attendees to spend a day visiting area Angus farms and ranches.

"The state of Kansas is home to several prominent Angus operations, and we are looking forward to showcasing their programs as part of the preconvention tour," says Jeff Mafi, American Angus Association regional manager for Kansas and Oklahoma.

An additional registration fee applies for the Kansas tour, and attendees can reserve their spot when registering for the National Angus Convention & Trade Show.

Leading education

The International Angus Genomics Symposium kicks off the event Tuesday, Nov. 3. It will provide a discussion on the latest advancements in genomic technology — and how they impact the cattle business.

Genomics researcher and entrepreneur Richard Resnick will be the event's keynote speaker. Resnick serves as CEO of GenomeQuest, a company that builds software to support genomic medicine, research and individualized treatments. Before becoming a bio-entrepreneur, Resnick was a member of the Human Genome Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Resnick will be one of several experts on genomics technology who will speak at the event.

The symposium is sponsored by GeneSeek, a leading provider of comprehensive genomics solutions to the cattle industry, including the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP-HD).

A series of innovation workshops will also take place in the afternoon on Nov. 3, where participants can attend focused sessions related to technology and genomic advancements for cattlemen. A live-animal demonstration area, sponsored by Zoetis, in the trade show will host hands-on education on how genomics impact selection for both the seedstock and commercial sectors.

"We are thrilled to have a demonstration space where participants can engage with industry professionals and really see these technologies and techniques put into practice," Weishaar says.

Back for its second year, Angus University — sponsored by Merck Animal Health — headlines convention activities on Wednesday, Nov. 4. A series of presenters take the audience through "A Story of a Steak" and the role quality plays throughout the beef production chain.

Angus University's keynote speaker will be Ken Schmidt, the former director of communications strategy at Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Schmidt specializes in teaching people how to throw conventional approaches out the window and embrace creative ideas and concepts. He is known as one of the business world's most outspoken thought leaders, and he shares stories on building a fanatically vocal customer base and a passionately loyal culture, as well as developing leaders who inspire and motivate.

Afternoon breakout sessions Nov. 4 give attendees a chance to zero in on specific American Angus Association programs and services, and learn how they can more effectively manage their cattle operations with quality in mind. The live demonstration area in the trade show will also feature interactive presentations that afternoon, which will provide practical applications and tools to take back to the ranch.

Network and engage

The Angus Media Trade Show kicks off Tuesday, Nov. 3, and will welcome more than 100 allied industry partners ranging from animal health providers to equipment dealers and Angus breeders to nutrition companies. The expanded facility at the Overland Park Convention Center allows for a larger trade show space, with even more opportunities for cattlemen to connect with valuable dealers and services.

Each evening during the convention, attendees can partake in a social hour in the trade show while enjoying appetizers featuring the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand. There will be plenty of time for participants to visit each booth and get to know allied industry partners and their services.

Wednesday, Nov. 4, is an evening you won't want to miss at the convention. Country music artist Sammy Kershaw will entertain the crowd with his timeless hits, including She Don't Know She's Beautiful, Cadillac Style, Anywhere but Here and Meant to Be. It's sure to be a fun-filled concert for everyone in attendance.

Association business

For more than 130 years, the American Angus Association has met annually to conduct business for the Angus breed. Delegates from each state will represent the voice of the organization's nearly 25,000 members during the Annual Convention of Delegates scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 5.

The Candidate Forum takes place Wednesday, Nov. 4, and gives delegates and members the opportunity to hear from those running for the Association's Board of Directors. Each candidate will present a 10-minute speech, followed by a question-and-answer period.

The American Angus Association will also host its annual Awards Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 5. The event honors outstanding individuals and families in the Angus business, including the Angus Heritage Foundation inductees, Century Award winners, the National Junior Angus Association's Jim Baldridge Outstanding Leadership Award and the Miss American Angus crowning.

The American Angus Auxiliary welcomes members and others interested in learning more about the organization to join them during special events hosted throughout the convention. An annual favorite, the Auxiliary's breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 4, is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the volunteer group of women who help support the Angus breed and its youth in many ways.

"Our members look forward to the convention each fall as a chance to reconnect, meet new friends and celebrate the year's accomplishments toward our goals to provide scholarships to Angus youth, promote the breed and educate others about the beef industry as a whole," says Lynne Hinrichsen, American Angus Auxiliary president from Westmoreland, Kan.

Registration

From outstanding educational seminars to nationally known entertainment, the 2015 Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show is an event you won't want to miss. Registration opens June 1 for the preconvention price of $75 per person.

Delegate and members are encouraged to sign up early online at www.angusconvention.com, where they can make their hotel reservations at the same time. The 2015 housing block features a variety of price points and amenities.

Delegates elected to represent their state during the Association's Annual Convention may attend the Association business meetings for free; however, participation in convention education, meals, entertainment and trade show requires a full convention registration.

"We are advising participants to sign up early, not only to receive the best cost savings, but also to reserve the room necessary to accommodate your group," Weishaar says. "Details will be available online at our website, and don't hesitate to contact the office if you have additional questions or requests."

Additional information and convention announcements will be posted on the website, www.angusconvention.com, as they become available.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association, visit www.ANGUS.org.

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