49th Annual American Gelbvieh Association National Convention

Proposed Bylaw Revisions

Pursuant to Article VII, Paragraph A (2), of the bylaws of the American Gelbvieh Association, this serves as the official 30-day notice of proposed bylaw revisions that will be voted upon by the membership at the AGA Annual Meeting being held on Friday, December 6, 2019, commencing at 1:30 p.m. MST during the 49th Annual AGA National Convention. The location for the 2019 annual meeting is at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Billings located at 27 N 27th Street, Billings, Montana.

Below is a link to the proposed bylaw revisions that have been recommended by both the AGA rules and bylaws committee and the AGA board of directors. The purpose for the revisions is to clean up and clarify the language in the AGA bylaws. The AGA rules and bylaws committee has been working with legal counsel to ensure the bylaws are up-to-date and clearly define the practices of the AGA.

Click here to view proposed bylaws.

Members must be present at the AGA Annual Meeting in order to cast a vote regarding the proposed bylaw revisions. If you have any questions on the proposed bylaws, please contact Megan Slater, AGA executive director, at 303-465-2333 or email megans@gelbvieh.org.

AGA Board of Directors Candidates

The American Gelbvieh Association nominating committee recommends the following seven candidates to fill the five open positions on the AGA Board of Directions. Additional nominations may be accepted from the floor during the annual meeting.

John Carrel, Montana (seeking re-election) 
Leland Clark, Kansas (seeking re-election)
Mark Covington, Colorado
Dough Hughes, Virginia (seeking re-election)
Klint Sickler, North Dakota (seeking re-election)
John Shearer, Kansas
Tom Vehige, Missouri

The election for the Board of Directors will take place during the AGA annual meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2019 during the 49th Annual AGA National Convention.

Any member who is unable to attend the AGA annual meeting may request an absentee ballot by phone, email, or fax for election of directors. To obtain an absentee ballot, a member must submit his or her application for an absentee ballot, to the American Gelbvieh Association office (1001 S. 70th Street, Suite 215 Lincoln, NE 68510) not more than 60 days (October 8, 2019) nor less than 10 business days (November 22, 2019) prior to the annual meeting. Any member that requests an absentee ballot must be in good standing with the Association at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting. Ballots must be returned to the AGA office by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, to be counted at the annual meeting during AGA Board of Directors election to be held Friday, December 6, 2019.

John Carrel, Montana

I would like to extend my gratitude to the nominating committee for presenting my name as a candidate for re-election to the American Gelbvieh Association Board of Directors.

As owner of HC Cattle and a partner in Pine Coulee Bulls LLC and Rafter T Livestock LLP, I am concerned about Gelbvieh’s position in the overall cattle industry. I feel we must continue our aggressive approach to solidify Gelbvieh’s position in the current cattle complex. This, in turn, will greatly help our position as providers of both purebred and Balancer® seedstock.

I am not as concerned as I was three years ago, as there has been a definite resurgence in the acceptability of Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle in the commercial sector. However, this is not a time to rest on our laurels. I feel the energetic, highly capable staff at the Association has put us in a position to propel the breed to the next level.

As the new manager of Beartooth Ranch in the early 1990s I had limited exposure to the Gelbvieh breed. It did not take long to recognize the breed’s positive attributes and I have been sold on Gelbvieh ever since. We need to duplicate this same experience with more commercial and seedstock producers. I work with commercial producers daily and understand the pivotal role they play in our seedstock business.

I will work with a “can do” attitude to restore Gelbvieh’s rightful place in the industry. At HC Cattle we are growing our Balancer herd and have taken on management of a purebred herd. Gelbvieh have helped keep us in the cattle business. I want to help keep Gelbvieh in the cattle business.

I have served on numerous boards and with your support will continue to do my best to promote the Gelbvieh breed.

Leland Clark, Kansas

It’s truly been an honor to have served the membership on the AGA board the past three years, and I would greatly appreciate your consideration for a second term to the board. I represent the fifth generation of my family to make their living exclusively from the land and livestock in north central Kansas. I was a member of livestock judging teams at both Colby Community College (where I was first introduced to Gelbvieh cattle) and Kansas State University where I graduated with a degree in animal science. For the past 38 years it has been the pleasure of my life to enjoy a partnership with my dad, Bill, at our operation, Post Rock Cattle Company. We purchased our first Gelbvieh cattle in 1981 and became AGA members in 1983. Today, we maintain over 400 head of Gelbvieh and Balancer cows and sell approximately 130 registered bulls annually.

I have great passion and pride in what Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle offer the beef industry. I have served three terms on the Kansas Gelbvieh Association Board of Directors, twice as president. I have also served on many AGA committees, most recently as the chairman of the rules and bylaws committee. I have played an active part in keeping the Gelbvieh breed at the forefront of the Kansas seedstock industry. I served on the Kansas Beef Expo Board several years, twice as chairman. I believe that if the membership elects you, you must serve the membership by attending state functions, production sales, and generally being available to the membership for input as well as promptly returning calls. I assure you that I will continue to dedicate the time required.

If re-elected, my focus would remain to do what is best for the Gelbvieh breed while increasing the breed’s position in the beef industry. I know firsthand the importance of a strong junior program from which my children have greatly benefitted. As a breed, we must also recognize that the average member has around 25 cows. They are the backbone of the Gelbvieh breed. We must have a strong and united membership moving forward. If you are fully invested and involved in production agriculture, you are keenly aware of the economic climate we are in. Dollars will have to be spent wisely, all costs will have to be analyzed fully, and progress will be slower than what we hoped for. But I am steadfast in my belief that given the Gelbvieh and Balancers’ genetic strengths and with the continued commercial industry focus and positioning that has been put in place, together we can emerge stronger and with more market share when prosperity returns to agriculture.

Thank you for your consideration and for the privilege of having served on the AGA board.

Mark Covington, Colorado

I appreciate the honor of being asked to run for a position on the AGA Board of Directors. If elected, I will make every effort to make decisions that are best for the Gelbvieh breed. I do not have any agenda I am looking to push, other than to help continue the effort to promote Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle.

I started raising Gelbvieh cattle when I was hired to manage the Broken Fork Ranch in La Jara, Colorado, in 1980. After nine years there, we had grown the herd to 250 head of registered Gelbvieh. With my wife, Nancy, we took many trips with local kids and Colorado kids to the American Gelbvieh Junior Association (AGJA) Classic shows. At that time of my Gelbvieh life I was very active in the AGA on various committees.

We moved to Montrose in 1990 with our three kids, Justin, Ann, and Nicole. All of our kids showed in many of the AGJA Classic shows. Our kids and their families are still active members of the ranch. We have continued to raise purebred Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle, both for the show ring and the commercial cattleman. We have been managing partners in the Pot of Gold Bull Sale for 29 years. We currently sell around 130 bulls each year. The commercial cattleman has been our primary focus, but the sale members, our operation included, have raised many outstanding purebred and Balancer sires and females.

Our country is a little different from some of the other areas of the U.S. because we have to raise cattle to survive and perform at elevations of up to 10,000 ft. Data is now being gathered by our association to help find the sires within our breed that have the genetic make up to be able to live and function at higher elevations. With the knowledge I have gained from the last 40 years of selecting cattle that work at higher elevations, I look forward to being able to help with that effort whether or not I am elected to the board.

If elected to the board I will use my past and present experience to do my best to help make decisions that will move the Gelbvieh and Balancer breed in a positive direction.

Doug Hughes, Virginia

I live in Max Meadows, Virginia, with my wonderful wife, Sue. We have two daughters, three grandsons, and a great-grandson. I am retired from 35 years in the truck repair and large wrecker business. The company I owned and operated, Complete Truck Service Inc., employed around 18 employees. Now, I’m living the dream of farming and raising cattle 24/7.

We own and operate Little Windy Hill Farms and have been raising Gelbvieh cattle for 25 years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. I was raised with Hereford cattle and showed Hereford steers in 4-H. Sue and I had a herd of Charolais and dispersed them in the late ‘80s after our daughter was done showing. Then we had a herd of black commercial cows and used Charolais bulls to make smokey calves. A friend of mine asked me to keep a big, dark red Gelbvieh bull for him one year. His calves, which were black or red, weaned just as heavy as the smokeys and brought more per pound. We switched to Gelbvieh bulls and as the story goes, we soon became a purebred Gelbvieh herd. We now run around 100 Gelbvieh, Balancer, and Angus cows along with 30 to 40 ET calves. We are having our 14th annual bull sale this November.

I helped organize the Virginia Gelbvieh Association and held numerous offices there. I am a past president of the Breeders Choice Gelbvieh Bull Futurity, past president of our local VA BCIA Bull Test Board of Directors at Virginia Tech, on our local Wythe County Apex Center Board of Directors, member of the Carroll-Grayson Cattlemen’s Association, and past treasurer of the Max Meadows Ruritan Club. Currently, I’m co-chair of the AGA national sale committee, where we have been selling cattle there since 1999.

I believe very strongly that Gelbvieh will be one of the breeds that will survive because they bring to the table traits that are lacking in a lot of other breeds and can produce what we can use in the future.

It is an honor to be asked to run for a second term. I have learned a lot in the past three years on the board and have a more in-depth understanding of how the association operates, along with its challenges.

If re-elected, I will do my best to help move the Gelbvieh breed in a forward direction. We have a lot of changes taking place in the cattle business. To stay on top we have to stay one step ahead of our competition by being forward thinking. We presently have a great group of positive thinking cattlemen and women on the Board that are very passionate about the Gelbvieh breed and its ability to move forward into the future.

Klint Sickler, North Dakota

For the past three years I have had the privilege to serve the membership of the AGA on our board of directors. I have greatly enjoyed this opportunity, and am grateful to have been asked to run for a second term.
My wife, Maralee, and I operate Prairie Hills Gelbvieh in southwest North Dakota. Our ranch is truly a family endeavor, with my parents – Galen & Marcia Sickler – being active partners in all parts of the ranch. We have been blessed with four wonderful children – Kylee (8), Emerson (6), Trey (3), and Sage (3 months). Kylee attended her first Junior Classic in Iowa last summer, and she has definitely caught the bug!

Our family has been involved in the Gelbvieh breed since 1985. Today we run 150 head of Gelbvieh cattle, and implant 30 embryos into a separate recip herd. What sets our program apart is that nearly every animal is a registered purebred Gelbvieh animal. We market our cattle through consignment sales throughout the U.S. and Canada, and sell 50 purebred bulls and select females through our annual sale in February.

Over the past two years I have served on the AGA executive committee as secretary. This experience has really given perspective to the inner workings of the association, and to the potential that lies before this breed. We are truly on the verge of great things. In the past year we have implemented BOLT-powered EPDs, relocated our office to Lincoln, rolled out the Balancer Edge program, and have hired a talented, energetic executive director. While I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of these projects, I feel our best days are still in front of us. Now that we have our house in order, it is time to focus on things outside of our walls. There is still much work to be done in developing greater market demand for Gelbvieh-based seedstock, and Gelbvieh-influenced commercial cattle. As the AGA prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the board members elected over the next five years will be tasked with making decisions that will determine our destiny for the next 50 years. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I look forward to meeting these challenges head on.

I would greatly appreciate your support and consideration, whether voting in person or through absentee ballot. Please feel free to reach out to me through phone or email if there’s anything you’d like to discuss. I look forward to helping our breed take the next step!

John Shearer, Kansas

I am humbled and honored to be a candidate for the American Gelbvieh Association Board of Directors. Since 1989, my family and I have been building on a foundation herd from 12 crossbred, Gelbvieh-influenced cows, to our present herd of about 300 cows at Circle S Ranch. Our annual production sale includes purebred Gelbvieh, Gelford bulls and heifers, and Gelbvieh-influenced cows and pairs.

My wife, Carla, and I have two children, Kaycie and John, who were very active in the AGJA. Both have animal science degrees from Kansas State University. Kaycie and her husband, Clay Schilling, live near Goodland, Kansas, and are primarily involved with his family’s cattle and farming operation. John has assumed most of the daily operations responsibilities of Circle S. We are also blessed with three healthy grandsons: Cogan, Whitten and, Wripley.

My passion for most of my adult life has been to promote the Gelbvieh breed. I have traveled to many states to participate in state fairs and junior shows to promote not only Circle S genetics, but the Gelbvieh breed as well. If elected to the Board, I will strive to implement programs that will increase revenue and sound business practices for the Association. I think it is important to continue to promote Gelbvieh, Balancer, and Gelbvieh-influenced hybrid cattle, separately and simultaneously. I also want to reinvigorate the membership and positively engage with members. We have so much to add to the cattle industry.

I would love to visit with anyone regarding my vision for the Gelbvieh Association and breed. The best way to contact me is by phone, 620-654-6507. I look forward to the opportunity of representing my fellow cattle producers on the AGA Board of Directors and would appreciate your vote.

Tom Vehige, Missouri

I was fortunate enough to grow up in the beef industry. My family operated a pasture to plate program. My grandpa owned a meat locker, and we raised commercial cattle from calf to harvest. As I grew older, my work ethic and passion for the beef industry continued. When I thought about establishing my own herd, I knew I could never have as many cattle as I wanted, but I could have the best. Because my wife did not grow up around cattle, I knew I needed a docile breed. Growth and maternal strengths were traits that I wanted for my seedstock business. Gelbvieh was a natural fit for what I wanted to achieve in my operation.

Our program, T Bar S Cattle Company, is a true family business. Alongside my wife, Stacy, we have raised three children in the Gelbvieh breed: Justin, Kyle and Grace. All my children have served the AGJA as ambassadors and junior board members. Their time and service to our breed has continuously made my wife and I proud. I hope to leave a positive impact that recognizes even half of the blessings that I have received from being in this breed. As I run for a position on the AGA Board, I plan to keep the values of my family and breed in mind.

As my kids are exiting college, they have expressed their love and interest in our family operation. There is growth and expansion on the horizon for us. It is our mission to genomically enhance and DNA verify our entire cowherd. We feel strongly about identifying where we have been in order to better determine where we are going. We will continue to do this within our herd to better serve our commercial customers through added value by utilizing tools to help mitigate risk. My family is prideful of our customer service and loyal customer base. As a small breeder, I have been blessed with many fortunes; yet, my family continuously works to stay grounded to better serve the needs of our customers.

I am running for the American Gelbvieh Association’s Board of Directors so I can better serve our industry. My industry experience will offer a new perspective and inspire conversation and vision for the Board. I wish to serve so that I can give back to the breed and association that has given my family so much. Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time and consideration for my election. I would greatly appreciate your vote. It would be an honor to serve on the AGA Board of Directors. I ensure you that I will serve with the best of my ability. Thank you.