Photo caption: (L to R) Carlee Vavra, Nisland, S.D., AGJA Junior Ambassador; Jake Lammers, Lexington, Neb., AGJA Intermediate Ambassador
Two junior members were selected to represent the American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) as ambassadors. Carlee Vavra, Nisland, S.D., was chosen as the 2013-2014 AGJA Junior Ambassador. Jake Lammers of Lexington, Neb., was named the 2013-2014 AGJA Intermediate Ambassador of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association.
Carlee is the 10 year old daughter of Eve and Brent Vavra and has a true passion and unique enthusiasm for the Gelbvieh breed, making her an outstanding ambassador of the breed.
“I was born a third generation Gelbvieh breeder,” said Carlee. “My first heifer was waiting for me the day I came home. My grandparents gave every grandchild a heifer to start their own herd. I currently have two cow/calf pairs, two heifers and a bull.” Carlee and her older sister Taylor, along with their parents own and operate BV Ranch, which consists of nearly 100 Gelbvieh and Balancer® cow-calf pairs.
Jake is the 14 year old son of Rick and Karri Lammers. He is involved in his family’s diversified farm and livestock operation, and has been an active member of the AGJA and the Junior Gelbvieh Association in Nebraska (GAIN).
“Raising cattle is in my blood; that’s why I have always dreamed about owning my own herd of 100 head of cows. Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle have been a part of my whole life,” said Jake.
Jake’s herd currently consists of 15 Gelbvieh and Balancer cows, both red and black genetics. By retaining most of the heifer calves born each year, he is able to build towards that goal of owning 100 cows.
The ambassador competition was held during the AGJA national junior show the “Northern Lights Classic” held June 30 through July 5 in Rochester, Minn. The AGJA ambassador program has two age divisions. The Junior Ambassador must be eight to 11 years of age. The Intermediate Ambassador must be 12 to 15 years old.
The AGJA created the ambassador program to encourage youth involvement in the breed’s activities. The ambassadors represent the AGJA at Gelbvieh functions throughout the year including Gelbvieh and Balancer shows held at the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Western Stock Show, along with many state fairs and other events.
“The role of the AGJA ambassadors is to carry the Gelbvieh message to others and spread the word about our junior programs,” said Dana Stewart, AGJA staff advisor and American Gelbvieh Association director of member services.
The ambassador candidates are judged on their notebook, an oral interview, a speech given at the AGJA annual meeting and overall conduct during the annual junior national show. The notebook includes information and photographs on activities, awards and organizations as well as an essay on the candidate’s background and experiences with the Gelbvieh breed. A committee is appointed to conduct the interviews and select the AGJA Junior and Intermediate Ambassadors.
Carlee is a member of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association, the American Legion Auxiliary, and Butte County 4-H. She attends Belle Fourche elementary where she has been on the honor roll, the student council, and has been named student of the month.
“I started helping my grandparents at their annual bull sale by visiting with people about Gelbvieh. I really like to share what I know about the breed. I am not shy when it comes to promoting the Gelbvieh breed with everyone who is willing to listen and see for themselves,” added Carlee.
Jake has been very active within the state and national junior Gelbvieh associations since 2009. He has been a member of two champion junior quiz bowl teams at junior national shows. He won the 2009 GAIN rookie of the year, and in 2012 was named premier exhibitor at the Nebraska State Fair.
“Being a member of the Gelbvieh Association in Nebraska has allowed me the opportunity to organize and hold four semen auctions. In the last four years, these semen auctions have raised over $10,000 to help fund programs and activities for our Nebraska junior Gelbvieh association,” Jake said.
The American Gelbvieh Junior Association serves more than 500 members nationally. The vision of the AGJA is to unify, educate, and develop leaders of the beef industry. To learn more about Gelbvieh or the American Gelbvieh Junior Association visit www.www.gelbvieh.org or call 303-465-2333.