Welcome to ASA, Rachel!

Monday marked the first day of Rachel Linder’s summer internship at the American Shorthorn Association! After making the long trip from Louisville, Ohio, Rachel is settling into the office; she is already busy and hard at work with Jr. National entries and other tasks for the big event next month!



Rachel  is a dual major in Animal Sciences-Animal Industries and Agriculture Communications major at the Ohio State University. She is the daughter of Clifford and Julie Linder. Rachel was raised on a small Simmental farm. Growing up in agriculture and participation in 4-H livestock expositions sparked her interest in the livestock industry from a young age. Linder was an active participant in the Ohio and American Junior Simmental Associations. Rachel’s interests include showing cattle, spending time with her family and playing volleyball and softball.

When asked what she was most looking forward to during her internship, Linder commented that she is looking forward to “being totally immersed in a breed of cattle that I would normally not get to be around. I also look forward to meeting many new people and to gain new experiences in the industry.”

From all of us at the American Shorthorn Association, Welcome Rachel!

Changes to ASA Genetic Testing Procedures

The American Shorthorn Association is transitioning to utilizing GeneSeek for all genetic testing. As a result of the change, there are several new forms and processes members should be aware of.

  • Samples returned on cards from other labs will be charged a $2 re-carding fee by the lab.
  • All DNA samples (hair, semen, blood) must first be sent to the American Shorthorn Association with appropriate forms and fees. The association will make weekly shipments to the GeneSeek lab.
  • Forms available include the Genetic Testing Form to order any genetic testing desired and a parental testing form for verification of unknown parentage.

As always, if any questions arise, please contact Jake Alden at the American Shorthorn Association at (402) 393-7200.


Shorthorn Spring

calf Spring has finally arrived. After a winter that seemed would never end and cold early spring weather, temperatures in the 70’s and  80’s are a welcome relief. It is always a highlight of the year to watch the trees and flowers wake up from their winter hibernation  and bloom into their springtime beauty.

With spring comes the greening of pastures. Green grass pairs impeccably well with cows that are equally excited about the arrival  of spring with an unquenchable hunger for fresh green grass. As cattle producers, springtime is an excellent time to check off  important items off the herd “to do list.” As cattle will soon be turned out to pastures, taking the time to make sure all fencing is in  top shape can save you lots of time this summer with fence repairs or chasing down pasture escapees. In May, you have either  already started breeding season, or its arrival is quickly approaching. Take the time now to make sure all breeding bulls have been  evaluated for breeding ability and that all AI supplies have been ordered and are ready for use.

Any way you look at it, spring is an exciting time for all! I love taking time to watch the calves playing together on nice spring days!  I caught this calf taking a break after playing last weekend on my farm.

Happy Spring!


Shorthorns on the Move

Hello Shorthorn World! My name is Megan Brehm, the Director of Communications and Marketing at the American Shorthorn Association. Since taking my position in February, I have been busy working to update promotional materials, social media, coordinating press releases, and more. The American Shorthorn Association and the beef industry are abuzz with energy and activity.

It is one of my goals to increase the presence of the American Shorthorn Association through social media and other agricultural publications. The more people see information about Shorthorns the better! I will continue to make regular blog posts to Shorthorn: Right Now. The blog will be an informal way to share happenings at the association, events within the beef industry, and the occasional post just for fun!

For my first post, I would like to take the opportunity to take time to share some information about myself. I grew up in Southeast Nebraska near Talmage on my family’s farm. Growing up on the farm I was extremely active with our cattle herd of mostly Shorthorn composite cows. Since my early days preparing my 4-H steers and heifers, I have continually built more and more of a passion for Shorthorns. I am thankful for those early experiences and how they have shaped me to this day.

Several Shorthorns grab a bite of new green grass on an early April day in Nebraska
Several Shorthorns grab a bite of new green grass on an early April day in Nebraska.

I live near Syracuse, Nebraska with my husband Randy and four year old daughter Lauren. Our farm consists of raising corn and soybean crops, hay, and cattle. Our cattle herd consists of Randy’s Polled Herefords and my Shorthorns. We’ve compromised on red and white cattle-they are just marked a bit differently. Lauren is our number one helper. She is anxiously awaiting her chance to enter the show ring. Mom of course hopes that it is with a Shorthorn at side.

My family: Megan, Randy, and Lauren
My family: Megan, Randy, and Lauren

I believe that it is an awesome time to be in the cattle industry. Shorthorns continue to experience increased demand as more cattlemen are realizing their value. Shorthorn cattle have many attributes that can add value to any producer’s program. As the ShorthornPlus program continues to gain momentum, it is my hope that commercial demand for Shorthorn cattle will increase exponentially in years to come. The American Shorthorn Association is driven to make this a reality. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

Learning, laughter and livestock.

Twelve weeks ago this central-Indiana hog girl found herself with an internship in Omaha working for a cattle association. (I had never even been to Nebraska until I moved for the summer!) Yes, funny how things fall into place, right? As I am preparing to leave my “home” for the  past few months, I can’t believe the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the place I’ve been. Without a doubt, I am capping off the best summer of my life. My time spent with the ASA is an experience I will never forget!

2012 ASA Communications Intern,  Jennie Johnson, and me.
2012 ASA Communications Intern,
Jennie Johnson, and me.

As I finish up the last few items on my sticky note to-do list this week, the memories and stories from the last 3 months continue to rush back. Memories of using the copier the slow way verses the more efficient way after making hundreds of copies the day before, experiencing my first major league baseball game with the Shorthorn and Hereford staff in Kansas City, the countless hours in the office designing the exhibitor folder for Junior Nationals, staff lunches, the drive to KEY Conference in the mini vans, dragging luggage across the Iowa State Fairgrounds looking for a truck at Junior Nationals and so many more.

I want to thank the entire American Shorthorn Association staff for sharing their knowledge and expertise with me and always making me feel like part of the team. From proof reading my articles and press releases, to helping me brainstorm ideas and provide feedback, I appreciate and thank Audrey Hambright. She has allowed me to gain real-life experiences in the agricultural communications world and prepared me for my future career. Whether it was teaching me how to use the copier, explaining the ins and outs of a Junior National, or challenging me to try new things and ask questions, I am forever grateful for Gwen Crawford who has become as a mentor and role model. Last but not least, I want to thank Jennie Johnson for setting the bar for me in this internship, being an incredible roommate and for including me in everything this summer.

Gwen Crawford and I skating in  Michigan at KEY Conference
Gwen Crawford and I skating in
Michigan at KEY Conference

I have summed up my internship experience in three words: learning, laughter and livestock…what more could you want? Learning about the Shorthorn breed and communications, sharing a laugh in the office or at an event with a member and discussing livestock on a daily basis has made each day so great. Without a doubt, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or better people to be surrounded by. I am forever grateful to have been an ASA intern and can’t wait to see where the breed goes in the future!

KEY Conference Recap

The ASA staff and tag-along Junior Board members made the long haul to East Lansing, Mich., to kick off the 2013 KEY Conference last Wednesday. The conference took place at Michigan State University July 26-28. With over 30 participants, staying in traditional-style dorm rooms, jam-packed schedules and new faces, we were excited for the days ahead.

Dr. Rowntree discusses proper forage management practices to the group.
Dr. Rowntree discusses proper forage management practices to the group.

Between leadership activities, educational presentations and hands-on experiences, it was a highlight of our internship with ASA. For the first time all summer, we were able to get to know more of the junior members besides the Junior Board. Let us tell you-the Shorthorn breed has a bright future with this group of youth. Observing them working together in activities, hearing the solid questions asked during presentations and seeing their passion for the cattle industry left us in awe.

Juniors view the low-stress livestock handling facility at MSU Lake City Research Center.
Juniors view the low-stress livestock handling facility at MSU Lake City Research Center.

Being able to partake in the events was beneficial for us as well. Having the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art MSU meats facilities and learning effective livestock handling techniques proved to be as interesting as what we had been told. Additionally, being in a pasture with the cows at Lake City Research Center and meeting with the Michigan Shorthorn Breeders Association at Little Cedar provided new opportunities for both of us.

KEY participants ready for laser tag at Zap-Zone!
KEY participants ready for laser tag at Zap-Zone!

Establishing new friendships, growing as individuals and embracing new experiences were key points at the KEY Conference. We want to thank all of the participants, volunteers and presenters for making this event such a success. We look forward to seeing what is ahead for this conference and the AJSA in the future!


– Blaire & Laura

ASA/AJSA Interns

Team Spirit!

At the ASA office, we like to celebrate our employees – and the environment we work in. So every once in a while we plan an office potluck, which always brings in a lot of food. Shirley (part-time receptionist) usually ramrods this event and brings her famous junk burgers – which Montie has renamed “Husker Junk Burgers” since Shirley is the biggest Nebraska Husker fan you will ever meet.

In the midst of a busy summer consisting of Shorthorn U, Junior National and KEY Conference among many other activities – we hadn’t even had a summer potluck lunch and we wanted to make sure to have one before interns Laura and Blaire left us for the summer, which they will be doing this week. Can’t believe their time as interns are almost up! Watch for a blog post from them this week for a recap of KEY Conference!

Now this office lunch wasn’t just any office lunch. During the planning of food items we would bring, they were soon getting labels like Shirley’s Husker Junk Burgers, Patrick bringing cowboy caviar from “Cyclone Nation” and Montie bringing “Sooner Buns”. So staff each wore their favorite team t-shirts today – all college teams.

Team Spirit

Teams/Schools represented:

  • Nebraska
  • Kansas State
  • Iowa State
  • Oklahoma State
  • Oklahoma (Montie was half and half on his representation of OK college teams)
  • Missouri
  • Oregon
  • Penn State

This was a fun way to show our school/team pride and get together for lunch as a team ourselves. (We are stuffed, by the way.)

What do you do as an office or a staff to bring the team together?

– Audrey  (Go K-State!)