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Ohio Angus meeting offers an exposition of herd dogs
By VICKI JOHNSON
Ohio Correspondent

BASCOM, Ohio — More than 150 Angus breeders from Ohio, Michigan and Indiana attended a regional Ohio Angus Assoc. meeting Sept. 24 hosted by long-time Angus breeders John and Marylou King at their Kingsway Angus farm.

Attendees got an update on national association plans and activities, saw a demonstration of using dogs to herd cattle, met other association members and renewed friendships.

“It rotates around the state,” said John and Marylou’s daughter, Jamie King. “It’s just a chance for people to get together.”

Jamie, a former National Junior Angus Assoc. Board member, said she, her parents and brother, Eric, are raising 30 head of cattle. John, who is in his second year of a two-year term as president of the state association, said he volunteered to have the meeting this year.

“We’re the largest purebred beef organization in the state of Ohio,” John said of the 500-member association.

The cattle herds range from two to 2,000 head.

John’s parents, Walter and Joyce King of Fremont, have been involved in the business for 50 years. Joyce said the breeding program started when John was about 5 years old.

“The whole thing started as a 4-H project and it’s still going,” Walter said. “It’s good to see young people here,” Joyce added. Unlike many organizations, she said young people are interested in showing and breeding Angus cattle.

The state meeting also was a chance for Jim Shirley from the national association headquarters in St. Joseph, Mo., to educate members on national policy during an afternoon outreach meeting.

Shirley said the national organization counts between 35,000-36,000 members, about 11,000 of which are junior members. The outreach meetings are designed to update members and to get feedback from them so national programs can meet breeders’ needs.

Visitors to the farm saw a demonstration on using border collies to help cattle herding. Kelly Long of Hillsboro showed other breeders how dogs can help in daily operations.

She demonstrated how they can be trained to herd cattle or separate them into different groups.

“A dog is like a four-wheeler,” Long said during the demonstration. “You didn’t need one until you have one and then you wonder how you got along without it.”

While producers can do without them, she said dogs are a good tool.

“It just saves so much time and so much effort and so much energy,” she said. However, she noted they don’t always listen perfectly.

“They’re not programmable,” she said. “They’re animals. Everything isn’t always going to be perfect.”

Another session focused on association youth.

Andrew Foster of Niles, Mich., and Justin Brosey of Hamilton, Ohio, both members of the National Junior Angus Association Board, were on hand to provide assistance to junior members.

National junior board members are elected to two-year terms. They travel throughout the United States and Canada conducting workshops and leadership training for junior members.

Both 20-year-olds said the workshops help youth develop life skills. “We teach them to set some goals and learn how to achieve them,” Brosey said.

This farm news was published in the Oct. 4, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

10/4/2006