Brian DeFreese, West Point, IN
To all Eastern Region American Simmental Association Members:
My name is Brian DeFreese and I am asking for your vote in this upcoming election. Over the last three years I have tried to represent the interests of all Eastern Region members on the ASA Board with honesty, integrity and transparency. I have attended many events and been there to listen to your concerns, questions and ideas. Many of these I have taken to the ASA Board meetings, addressed them, and helped make changes for the better. I would like to stay on the ASA Board for three more years because there is much work to be done in the area of expanding support for youth programs.
Many of you may have read my recent viewpoint in the Register. If not, please take the time to do so. We are in a time where interest in SimGenetics is at an all-time high and we need to capitalize on that in the coming years to chart a course to increase membership and market share.
I would like the opportunity to help bring all members together. It doesn’t matter what facet of the industry a member is in, we need to work together to build a strong ASA so that we can assist our membership, our youth and our customer base in their endeavors.
Please take time out of your busy schedules and vote online or by ballot. It is an important election that will impact the course of the ASA for years to come. Thanks and let me know what you think!
DeFreese is the owner of Shawnee Cattle Company at West Point, Indiana. In addition to his own herd of Simmental, he serves as manager of the Purdue University Beef Unit, which produces commercial females and feedlot steers from a cowherd of 300 SimAngus cows and 100 replacement heifers. After attending the University of Indiana for three years, he graduated in 1974 from Purdue, then spent nine years traveling the US and Canada, working for several purebred cattle operations. He farmed and raised cattle for more than 30 years before accepting his present position at Purdue in 2007. Now completing a three-year term on the ASA Board of Trustees, he has been active in the Hoosier Beef Congress, the Indiana State Fair and the Indiana Performance Tested Bull Sale. He's also a member of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association and served as president of the Tippecanoe County Cattleman's Association. DeFreese and his wife, Marla, are the parents of three grown children: J.D., Rob, and Katelyn.
Jimmy Holliman, Marion Junction, Alabama
Dear ASA members:
I would like to ask for your vote to elect me to serve as a Trustee from the Eastern Region on the ASA Board of Trustees.
I graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS in Animal Science and a MS in Ruminant Nutrition & Animal Breeding. At Mississippi State I was a member the Livestock judging team that won many contests including the American Royal. I was in the top ten individuals in every contest I participated in. My experiences in livestock evaluation have instilled in me the importance of producing performance cattle that are genetically superior but at the same time must be phenotypically correct to add value to our breed.
I have been involved with Simmental cattle since 1977, through research studies I conducted at the Black Belt Research and Extension Center of Auburn University where I served as Director until my retirement in February of 2013. In 1982, I started Circle H Cattle Farm with the goal to produce quality black Simmental cattle. I feel I have been successful in this endeavor as I have produced cattle that have been in demand at our Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement sales, Alabama Simmental Association sales, Sunshine Farms bull sale group and currently with the Next Step Cattle Company sale group that markets over 100 bulls a year. I serve as President of Next Step Cattle Company. Circle H Cattle Farm has been recognized in the Performance Advocate Program scoring a perfect 600 the last three years.
I have been fortunate to have been elected to numerous state and national boards over the years which include serving as a Trustee and Treasurer of the ASA, President of the Beef Improvement Federation, President of the Alabama Simmental Association, President of the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association, President of the Alabama Purebred Beef Breeds Association, President of the Dallas County Farmers Federation, Chairman of the NCBA Cattle Health and Wellbeing Emerging Issues Working Group, and I also serve as a Director of the NCBA Policy division. I have just completed my term as President of the 11,000 member Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. I believe the knowledge and insight gained from providing leadership in these organizations will be valuable in bringing a balanced view to the business of the ASA board.
I have been involved in most all phases of the beef industry from my current phase of producing bulls for the commercial cattlemen in the Southeast to managing a commercial herd where we finished our calves on site or developed them as stockers. I also have been involved in developing bred heifers for producers wanting to improve the quality of their cattle.
I believe the opportunity to serve onthe ASA board of Trustees is both an honor and a privilege that one should take seriously when elected to serve. As a former trustee I tried to represent all members not only in the Eastern Region but all members to ensure that the Simmental breed continues to move forward using sound science based decisions. I believe that Trustees should be accessible to all members including our AJSA members as they prepare to become our breeders in the future.
Again I ask for your vote and support to elect me, Jimmy Holliman, as an Eastern Region Trustee of the American Simmental Association. Thank you.
Holliman's Circle H Cattle Company is a purebred seedstock operation with a goal of producing quality, homozygous black Simmental. Selection decisions are performance-based, using EPDs, ultrasound measurements and DNA profiles, and structural soundness. A beef industry leader, he has served as president of the Beef Improvement Federation and the Alabama Cattlemen's Association, and as president, vice president and secretary of the Alabama Simmental Association. He also served a previous three-year term on the ASA Board of Trustees, chairing the Policies and Procedures Committee and served as ASA treasurer. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Mississippi State University and spent his career with the Black Belt Research Center at Marion Junction, serving as Director since 1989 until retirement in 2013. Holliman and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of one son, Bret (Mary Ellen), who is employed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Austin, Texas.
Randy Moody, New Market, Alabama
Greetings Eastern Region ASA Members:
With a passion for integrating common sense business marketing and management strategies into the continued emphasis on breed improvements through research and genetics, I am excited to be on the ballot as a nominee for the American Simmental Board of Trustees.
Born and raised on a small cattle farm, I took with me enthusiasm for making a small cattle operation profitable as I moved into a career in the agricultural equipment industry. For more than 30 years I have served in various capacities in the ag industry, including national marketing manager, vicepresident of operations, vice-president of marketing and sales, and general manager.
In 1993, I opened my own business, Randy Moody Associates, a marketing company representing agricultural manufacturers specializing in spraying and hydraulics. As the owner of a business, I realize the value of preparing and managing a budget as well as the importance of understanding customer requirements and needs.
I purchased my first Simmental bull in 1984 for my family farm. In 1997, I bought Little Mountain Farm in New Market, Alabama, to develop a small seedstock cattle business. I quickly zeroed in on Simmental cattle as the breed with the best potential for my type of operation. With a strong emphasis on genetics balanced by vigilance to the bottom line, I’ve had success as the major consigner in the Genetic Connections cow sale, and the North Alabama Bull Evaluation Sale.
As an officer in the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement association, and the Alabama Simmental Association, I feel that my dual emphasis on good business practices and breed improvement has allowed me to contribute at the state level and I would enjoy the opportunity to put those same goals in practice at the national level.
-I feel strongly that each member of the American Simmental Association holds a share of stock and should be equally represented. The Association needs to meet the needs and concerns of all sized Simmental operations.
-I truly believe one of our most valuable assets is our Junior Simmental organization. They are our future and we need to invest in them through our support.
-Sound business principles should be considered when organizational decisions are made.
-While there is a need to continually improve our cattle thru research and genetics, we stand to gain the most by capturing a larger market share. This can be accomplished by an increased awareness of the benefits of the breed through increased marketing and education as well as a strong full-time field representative organization.
-We need to rally and engage the entire membership and all Simmental breeders. Whether you are a registered and /or commercial seedstock provider producing animals for the show ring, bulls and females for the commercial cowman or bulls and females for the purebred breeder.Thank you for taking the time to review this letter. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Little Mountain Farm is the name of Randy Moody's Simmental operation, located at New Market, Alabama. The Moody cowherd consists of 50 head of mostly purebred Simmentals with fewer numbers of SimAngus and a few purebred Angus. Reproduction is 100% by AI or embryo transfer, focused on producing cattle that are functional for their environment while maintaining traits of economic value. Currently, he serves as vice president of the Alabama Simmental Association, after four years as president. An active member of NCBA, he presently serves on the board of the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association. A 1979 graduate in history and mathematics from the University of Montevallo, he founded Randy Moody Associates in 1993, a manufacturer's representative company specializing in agricultural spraying and hydraulics. Randy and his wife, Joy, are the parents of one son, Michael (Brooke) and have three grandchildren: Micah, Patton and Parker Joy.
Barry D. Wesner, Chalmers, Indiana
Dear Fellow ASA Members,
I write you today to humbly ask your consideration for the privilege of serving the Eastern Region as a representative on the ASA Board of Trustees.
My involvement with the Simmental business over the last 20+ years has allowed me to witness a multitude of changes within our breed. From coat color, frame size, an emphasis on genetic predictors rather than relying solely upon our eye, closed herdbook to open; you and I as SimGenetics enthusiasts have not only seen a lot of change but experienced it as well.
However, along with all these positive changes there are certain parts of our organization that remain constant. Our strong junior programs, a diverse membership of REAL, hardworking people, real people that rely on their Association to provide programs and services that are pertinent to their unique operations’ success . . . these things still stand today. With the always-present pressures of a diverse and changing industry, these are the constant parts of our organization that cannot be lost in the shuffle.
I feel that now is nothing short of the right time in my life to give back to an organization that has given so much to my family and myself. With your support, I hope that we can work together as a team to continue building an even stronger American Simmental Association. An ASA that not only continues to be on the cutting edge of change but that has an unwavering commitment to all of the constants that touch each of us as ASA members on a consistent basis.
My experiences through life, both in the cattle business and other ventures, have made it very clear that there is no “one” right way for members to conduct business. There are many pathways for a breeder to accomplish their goals. Each of our individual paths is shaped by things like geographic areas, market access, and a plain, old American thing called personal choice. These many paths all have the potential to lead Simmental breeders to the same place of profit and personal satisfaction in the end. The diversity of both our membership and the cattle involved is something to that is both envied by other breeds and deserves the proper attention to be preserved and nurtured.
With your support you will receive my promise to realize the importance of this appointment. You have my word to look out for the interest of all involved members, both embrace and relay the wishes of my fellow ASA members to the Board Room in Bozeman, and leave no stone unturned to unify and grow the masses for the betterment of this awesome breed of beef cattle.
Thank you for your consideration.
Barry D. Wesner
Wesner is the owner of Wesner Livestock Enterprises, maintaining a herd of 50 mature cows, including registered Simmental, SimAngus and Angus. Heavy use is made of embryo transfer and artificial insemination, utilizing only superior cow families with proven production records. Over the past 20 years, he has served multiple terms as President of the Indiana Simmental Association, served as co-coordinator for the AJSA Eastern Regional Classic in Indianapolis, and has served as the Simmental breed representative at the Indiana State Fair for the past eight years. A graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Agriculture Education, he worked for the Farm Bureau Cooperative System as a Feed Sales Specialist for 12 years, then became Multi-line Agent for Farm Bureau Insurance, and currently works as the Business Development Manager for Growers Edge. He is the father of three adult daughters: Courtney, Carly and Bailey, all of whom have been involved in livestock-related activities.
South Central: Four candidates will vie for two seats.
**Because a current Trustee resides in Texas, only one additional Trustee from
Texas can be elected and installed in office.
Greg Burden, Grand Saline, Texas
South Central Region
Dear Simmental, SimAngus and Simbrah breeders,
I am running as a candidate for the position of ASA South-Central Trustee. I would like to take a few minutes to provide information about my background, involvement in our breeds and my desire to serve as your trustee.
I am Greg Burden. I was raised in Oklahoma with a ranching background, attended Oklahoma State University and have been involved with SimGenetics, for the past 26 years. In addition I have two grown children, Kayla and Colton, who participated in the American Junior Simmental Association.
I am currently the general manager of Circle M Farms, Grand Saline, Texas, and continue to run my own herd of Simmental cattle. Circle M produces Simmental and SimAngus, and Angus cattle. We utilize AI and ET heavily in our breeding program and we show on a national level. We believe strongly in the use of EPDs for genetic selections and matings. As general manager of Circle M Farms, I oversee our entire operation, which includes marketing our cattle by private treaty and select sale consignments. We are planning to host a production sale in 2015, as well as co-host a registered bull sale. We also market a number of show prospects annually.
I served on the Oklahoma Simmental Association Board for six years, including a term as president. I am currently serving on the Texas Simmental/Simbrah Association Board and maintain the position of treasurer. In addition, I have financial knowledge and experience, as I, and a partner, managed a $140 million portfolio, when I was affiliated with Paine Webber for ten years.
I have seen many changes in our breed, as well as the industry as a whole. The ASA is currently in a strong position financially and our cattle have gained acceptance across the country. Our challenge going forward is to continue to improve our genetics, provide cattle that work in the commercial industry and have a product that is desired from a consumer standpoint. The ASA will need an aggressive approach for marketing our products, providing services that assist producers’ ability to make a profit, and we must continue to keep the association financially solvent and provide strong support our youth.
I am up for the challenge. I would sincerely appreciate your vote for me on the official ASA ballot. If you have any questions, concerning my views, my reasons for seeking this position and/or my thoughts on any area of the association, please contact me. I will be happy to discuss why I have chosen to run for this position of leadership.
Burden is general manager of Circle M Farms, a Simmental operation located at Grand Saline. The Circle M cowherd primarily consists of purebred Simmental, with a smaller segment of percentage animals. In addition to his responsibilities with the Circle M cattle, he maintains his own Simmental herd of 20 females with an emphasis on producing show heifers. A past president of the Oklahoma Simmental Association, he currently serves as treasurer of the Texas Simmental/Simbrah Association. In 1992, he bred and raised the first black Simmental bull to win a major show while affiliated with Cabin Creek Farms in Cushing, Oklahoma. Burden attended Oklahoma State University where he majored in Animal Science, and worked from 1998 to 2008 as an investment advisor for Paine Webber and Company, helping to manage a portfolio of $140 million. While living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he served on the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is the father of two adult children, Kayla and Colton.