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RAAA elects leaders and honors members during national convention

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Red Angus breeders from across the U.S. gathered in Denver Sept. 13-15 for the National Red Angus Convention. 

Over the course of two days. the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) elected leaders, welcomed new additions and honored several members for their hard work and dedication to the breed.

New leadership and additions

During the convention, RAAA elected their 2023-24 president as well as four new directors. 

Kyley Defoe of Justin, Texas was elected as president, while Keith Hickle of Auburn, Wash. and Will Andras of Manchester, Ill. were selected for their first term on the board of directors and Tony Ballinger of Morgan Mill, Texas and Rob Hell of Hersey, Penn. were re-elected for three-year terms on the board.

Additionally, the association welcomed new additions to their team as commercial market specialists – Cory Peters of Dorchester, Neb. and Taylor Ohlde of Winchester, Kan. 

“We are pleased to announce the hiring of Peters and Ohlde as new additions to our commercial marketing team,” says Tom Brink, RAAA chief executive officer in a Sept. 25 RAAA press release. 

“Both have tremendous industry backgrounds, along with the educational foundation and service-oriented mindset to assist our breeders and commercial bull customers in a variety of ways,” he continues. “Our vision is to take Red Angus to the next level, and Peters and Ohlde will help us accomplish this.”

Breeder of the Year awards

RAAA also honored Red Angus producers from across the West with various Breeder of the Year awards.

Twedt Red Angus, owned and operated by Sam and Emily Twedt in McHenry. N.D., received the 2023 Breeder of the Year Award. 

“Sam Twedt has done an outstanding job of developing a top Red Angus herd and marketing his bulls very well within his region,” says RAAA Director Craig Bieber in a Sept. 26 RAAA press release. “Commercial customers are well served by having good young breeders throughout the U.S., and Sam epitomizes what a young breeder needs to do to be successful.”

The 2023 Pioneer Breeder of the Year Award went to Glacier Red Angus of Polson, Mont., managed by Harold and Pat Hughes.

In operation since 1973, RAAA notes Glacier Red Angus is well-known for their high-quality maternal cattle and their genetics have become a cornerstone in many other Red Angus herds across the nation. 

“Glacier Red Angus was one of, if not the dominant Red Angus seedstock program throughout the 1990s. This herd was known for their calving ease and leading maternal genetics, and they produced such breed impact sires as Glacier Logan 210, Glacier Marias 548 and Glacier Chateau 744,” says Seth Leachman of Leachman Northwest in Pasco, Wash. in a Sept. 27 RAAA press release. 

He continues, “Their females were some of the most sought after around the country, and they produced several of the top selling females at the prestigious Northern International Livestock Exposition Red Angus Female Sale.”

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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